Then he got something feverish ailment akin to Swine Flu and nearly coughed out a lung, so he was not in the mood to participate.
The whole thing was a fairly negative experience for him (and us) so nothing more happened on that front for several months. With a new baby sister on the way, we knew he had plenty to cope with already.
About a month ago we went to IKEA to get a few things and we told Scott about all the fun he would have playing in the balls with the other kids. When we approached the counter the attendant asked, "Does he wear diapers? Has he been potty trained? Children in diapers cannot come in the play area."
One look at his face and my heart broke for him. I led him a few steps away from the counter and crouched down to confirm what he had already suspected: diaper-wearers are second-class citizens in Sweden. Through some nearby windows he watched children with elevated bladder control running to and fro in the play area. He asked, "I can't play in the balls because I have a diaper?" It was more than I could take, so I led him away to get an ice cream cone. We discussed it a little more, and it was quite clear to him that if he could get free of his diaper habit, he would be eligible to play in the balls.
He finished his ice cream and the conversation ended there (I ate a cinnamon bun, for the record).
Suddenly, on Wednesday morning last week, I got a call from home. It was Scotty and R on the speaker phone. "Scotty has something to tell you" said R. Then Scotty came on the line with his trademark falsetto telephone voice. "Dad, I went pee in the potty and now I have big boy underwear on and I can go in the balls at the big blue store!" I was shocked. I wasn't sure what was going on or how to respond. Then R came on the line and explained what had happened.
That morning Scott had come to R and had said, "I want to wear big boy underwear and play in the balls at the big blue store." R told him that he would have to be able to use the potty and keep his underwear dry if he was going to do that. Scott immediately agreed to her terms and she immediately panicked. Her mind started racing, thinking of the implications for the day's schedule, wondering if she had all the necessary supplies -- including the requisite patience.
So it began. Fortunately, R had a carton of juice on hand and Scott was delighted to get an extra ration (we have a standing breakfast-only policy on juice in our house). They set a timer for 5 minute intervals when he had to try sitting on the potty.
And then it happened. He peed in the potty. And then he did it again.
That first one wasn't perfect, but it was enough to get him started and he never looked back. He has been pretty much 100% since that morning, which puts him at nearly a week. It's crazy. With one exception, he hasn't even wet his pull-ups at night or at nap time. It's like he wasn't ready to do it until he could do it perfectly. Early on, R had been reading a strategy for a 3-day potty training campaign. When the time came, he was potty trained in about 3 hours.
It's funny, even though several months had passed from the first attempt, he remembered all the details. He remembered the trains, the stickers, the jelly beans, the juice, the underpants, the pull-ups for night time. All of this information had been accumulating in his mind, and the IKEA incident must have been the tipping point.