Back when child #1 was 18 months old I tried everything in the book to get her to cooperate. We kept on with this endeavor all through her second year of life, and it wasn't until she was three years and three months that she decided she was finally ready. After much frustration, I learned that when she really was ready it was easy as pie....or M&Ms, or whatever the bribe of the day happened to be. We had no accidents and no problems from that time forward, but each child is a little different.
At any rate, things have become slightly easier in this department now that most of my children are older and are willing to help train the toddlers. Last year, all three of the older girls thought it was a lark to put their little sister on the toilet and encourage her to go. Who need's a Baby Alive doll when you've got the real thing? This worked out wonderfully well until the girls lost interest and Kathleen suddenly decided she didn't want anything to do with the potty. So we put things on the back burner until recently. Now Kathleen has been going half the time on the potty and having accidents the rest of the time. The thing is, she knows how to go on the potty, she wants to go on the potty, but sometimes she chooses not to. The other day I caught her grunting and turning red in the kitchen. When she saw me looking at her she said, "don't mommy" and ran out of the room so I couldn't see what she was doing (as if the scent wouldn't give her away). As I am cleaning her up after every accident she very sincerely proclaims, "I'm never going to go in my pants again mom." She has a firm resolve that she will never do it again.....but she does do it again, and again, and again. We are making progress, and eventually she will overcome, but it's a process.
The Church, in her wisdom, gives us this season of Lent to spend a little extra time reflecting on the sins that need to be rooted out of our souls as we look forward to celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord with a clean heart. I am so thankful we have a loving Father who is so patiently merciful with our messes.
I'd love to meditate on this a little longer, but I see that there is a puddle on the floor behind me to mop up.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51: 1-2