If I could only pick one thing about parenthood that is really, really hard, potty training would top the list every single time. Teaching a small human who has little concept of bodily functions to (a) listen to his body; and (b) pee or poo into a toilet instead of into a diaper, ON A CONSISTENT BASIS, is a nightmare. Especially when that small human talks back and has an attitude the size of Alaska.
In our house, the road to complete potty-training is littered with distractions like Lincoln Logs, Legos, and yes, Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs. In a perfect world, Bubba would immediately sense his need to go potty, stop whatever play he is engaged in, and trot dutifully to the toilet. But, no, that doesn't happen. Instead, he plays a new game I have dubbed Pushing the Pottying.
It usually unfolds like this: Bubba will start to do something that grabs hold of his undivided attention, his body will send him a little signal, play continues uninterrupted because that is way more important than pausing to potty. Eventually, he'll will start squirming and pressing his legs together and holding his penis as though he can hold back the pee, which inevitable leads to wet pants and a sisterly cry from the playroom Bubba peed his pants! Great.
If you think changing a baby is tough, try changing a toddler who is dead-set on convincing you that he most certainly DID NOT just pee his pants. First, he cries and/or screams (loudly), then he avoids you by running away from you (fun!), then he just flat-out lies (not as cute as you would think). What pee stain? Oh, THAT. I have no idea how that happened.
We've tried everything. We took away his favorite underpants (Thomas doesn't like to be peed on), we limited his time in the playroom, we took him to the bathroom every hour (that actually worked) but, dammit, more often than not we still end up with wet britches. However, he is still waking up totally dry from nap. Go figure.