DS has been out of diapers since he was 2.5. He will be 4 in December. Last year, he started preschool 2 mornings/week, and loved it right from the start. A few months in, he started having accidents. He would refuse to use the bathroom, or just pretend to go, and then end up having an accident later on. Of course, I've read so many times here and heard elsewhere about potty regression, and it was about the right timing. It went away within a few weeks.
Fast forward nearly a year. No accidents. Ever. Then we had a playdate at his new friend's house last week, and the boys were running wild, playing, and it was hot. DS sucked down 2 or 3 cups of juice in a short amount of time. He used the toilet when I asked him to, but still ended up having a small accident. I chalked it up to too much juice and me not suggesting a break often enough. Then on Monday, he came home from school in the morning and said that he'd peed in his pants "just a little" b/c he didn't feel like taking a break from playing to use the bathroom. I was livid. Told him that it was NOT okay. Yesterday we ran errands and hung around the house. He was fine. Today it was back to school, and guess what? Same deal. I tried not to get angry about it, had decided that no attention to it was the way to go, but he was just so smug about his amazing "discovery" that he can do this and get away with it. Then we got home, he used the toilet (that's when I saw how wet his underwear was), and went to bed for nap. Within 2 minutes, he was up, saying he needed to go to the bathroom, and I lost it.
This is not an infection. This is behavioral. I'm wondering if he's trying to hold some back instead of letting it all out and that's why he's going so frequently. (Now that I'm typing, he does this at bedtime sometimes. He always goes before teeth brushing, but lately has been getting up within 15-20 minutes after he's in bed to use the bathroom again. And I know I've heard DH tell him he can't use the bathroom b/c he "just went" -- so maybe this is an extension of that behavior?)
How do we stop this?? I don't care if he goes 20 times during the day, as long as he doesn't have an accident. But how can we get him to realize it's best to make sure he gets it all out at once so he's not spending so much time in the bathroom and then not wanting to go at all? And how many more of these phases are we going to go through before he just moves on to some other annoying phase?