About a year ago Liel started wanting to use the potty. She was 19 months old, and were living in a sublet house in Pittsburgh while Robert did research. I mention this only because the only bathroom in the house was upstairs so I was constantly snatching up my toddler and racing up the stairs, since she announced that she needed to potty about 8 times more often than she actually did.
Anyway, she was potty trained long before her second birthday, much to our surprise (yes, I know other kids do this, we just hadn't ever thought ours would. Robert's mom reports that she sent R to preschool with "spare clothes" because he wasn't potty trained but they wouldn't let him go to school if he wasn't so...). But. She only likes to go potty when she thinks it's the right time. And in her 2 year old wisdom she rarely thinks that time is before a nap, before we leave the house for 4 hours, or before bed. And oh how she fights it! We just ask her to sit down and try- if she really doesn't have to go she can up and go on with her day. Our persistence is starting to pay off, as she now makes only a weak and rather ritual protest when we ask her to try to pee.
So tonight after she brushed her teeth I told her it as time to pee. "I don't need to potty" she whined. She pointed at the small potty chair (as opposed to the seat that goes on the regular toilet). "I want little". I set her on it and went to find Fluffy. When I returned she again informed me that she didn't need to potty. "OK", I said. There was a pause. "I pooping", she said. I quickly whisked her off the little potty (that thing is a total pain to clean) and set her on the big toilet, happily noting that the little potty was empty. Liel squawked with indignation. "I don't need to potty!"
"I'll sit here with you", I assured her, sitting down on the stool the kids use to reach the sink.
Liel was unimpressed. "No," she assured me, rather crossly, "I don't need to potty!" She frowned and jutted her chin out, concentrating. "I don't need...to....potty", she grunted, doing just that.
"Oh", I said, trying not to laugh too hard. "Are you done?"
And that is why we ask her to sit on the potty before bed each night.