Although I haven't talked about it here, we've been off and on with the potty training for five months. FIVE. MONTHS. Geez.
It started in March, when I noticed that Olivia was dry for long periods of time, so we started the "potty chart" to encourage her to use the potty. We were successful in cutting down on the number of diapers we used per day, but that was about it. Olivia got lazy and stopped using the potty on any regular basis. I got lazy and discontinued the chart.
She would potty off and on through the rest of the school year, but training was hard with other kids in the house, and then there was surgery, and then vacation...I just decided to put it off until we had a few weeks at home that we could dedicate to this. All the while, we'd been sinking money into training pants for ease of pulling off and on when she deigned to use the potty.
And then...we went to Branson for a week with the family. And I changed her training pants exactly once a day...when she pooped. Olivia seemed pretty scared to poop in the potty, but since we were vacationing all week and both of us were there to remind her (not to mention, the rest of the family), she peed in the potty all week. Stayed dry...all week. Even overnight. It was evident that she was ready.
But when we got home, she adamantly refused to use the potty. Wet her training pants regularly. Didn't see the need to stop playing to go to the bathroom. She'd even change her own training pants if I wasn't watching. She KNEW she had to use the potty...she just didn't care. I got so frustrated and angry. I asked her why she didn't use the potty. And she said, "No, Mommy, it's OK. I just pee in my diaper."
And there it was. Training pants = diaper. Why on earth would she bother herself with using the potty when she'd been using her "diaper" for her whole life. Duh, Mommy.
So we switched to undies and didn't look back. It's been nearly three weeks, and I think I can safely declare that she is fully potty trained. We're still using the training pants at night, but most nights it is an unnecessary precaution.
It appears that the only motivation Olivia needed to start pooping in the potty was having undies instead of a diaper. It was rough at first, and I had to watch her like a hawk for the signs of needing to poop. But now? She just goes into the bathroom by herself, does her business, wipes, washes her hands.
We are successful at home and away from home. All it took was undies (and a lot of explanation, repetition, etc, but that's true with teaching most things). I don't know why it took us so long to figure this out. But this diaperless existence...feels like a huge success for both of us.