Nobody talks about this (or at least no one told me), but it really happens. I considered Riley fully potty trained as of September. We still had an accident here or there, but they were pretty rare. She did great for me, for grandma and usually for D. Side note: (some readers have expressed confusion on the subject) When I discussed daycare 5 days a week it was when I was being offered a work from home opportunity. That opportunity fell through shortly after. My friend D watches Riley part time as she did before. Which is necessary and helpful for a number of reasons. I digress. We had months of loveliness where everyone in the house used the potty.
Even though Riley was the only one of D's small group out of diapers she didn't seem to mind. I was ready to give away one of the little potties since it had been gathering dust in the bathroom. She was pulling her pants down climbing up on the big potty, wiping (I highly recommend the Kan Do flushable wipes in the pop up container) flushing and pulling her pants back up with almost no help. Yes, WAS. When her best buddy started potty training everything changed. Suddenly, she was having multiple accidents a day. Her excuses ranged from "oops" to "I didn't want to go on the potty".
I kept trying to remind myself how development isn't a straight line, but come on! No accidents for months and then three a day for a week!?! I had lots of accidents when I was a kid because I would hold it and then not be able to move quickly to the bathroom like the other kids. Riley is testing. She wants all the attention she got when she started potty training again.
I was frustrated, angry and scared that this has the potential to happen several times. Although maybe not as likely once the Boo and Roo gang are both on the potty trained side of things. The solution? You must start again. You go back to monitoring potty times extremely carefully (especially right after they wake from naps and over night) because you can't trust them. You bring back small rewards for successful potty use. Don't punish if you can help it, just let them miss out on the positive rewards and attention.
Hopefully, this is working and Riley will get back on track while her buddy gets more confident and we won't have any more potty training back slides. I suspect kids who spend regular time with friends and siblings are the most susceptible. Let's not forget the bed wetting phase to come. Isaac was wrapping that one up just as Riley was learning to use the potty the first time. Oh, also we make a HUGE deal of accident free days. Tonight Riley got green food coloring in her yogurt to celebrate.