Our DD is 18m old, and starting around 4 months ago, I thought she was really ready to use the potty regularly - she would signal when she needed to go, and even went over to the potty on her own and used it without prompting from me when sometimes when she needed to go and was diaper-free at home. Also a few times when I asked her if she needed to use it, she went over to it and peed in it. This had followed months of her signaling while going, and being happy to be put on the potty to finish if she started to go on the floor. Then we had a few disruptions to our routine (travel, moving, etc), and now she refuses completely to use the potty at all, under any circumstances. She has also stopped signaling, and if I ask her if she is peeing or pooping when she obviously is, she will say no quite strongly (although she also says no to food that we try to feed her right before she then eats it, etc, so she is clearly trying out the toddler "no" more generally). She will make the potty sign if she sees a grownup potty, or if she sees the dog pee, and she will do the same for poop. Because she finds poop in her diaper uncomfortable, she will sometimes tell me that she has already pooped, and if I ask her if she needs a fresh diaper when she has pooped, she will go into the changing room, get out a fresh diaper, and put it on the changing table.
Right now she has a staph infection on her bottom which she will scratch if she is diaper-free, so while that has been healing she hasn't had any diaper-free time in a few weeks, but before that she would be diaper-free for hours at a time, during which time she might not pee at all, and then go once the diaper was on, or she would pee on the floor and then very excitedly tell us that she had peed and point it out. We tried moving her to another room when that happened, so that she wouldn't see us clean it up, since it seemed to be a game with her to pee and then watch us clean it up (or to clean it up herself), but that didn't seem to help.
If I ask her if she wants to use the potty, she always says no, and if I try to put her on the potty, she complains and immediately gets off. Same thing if I try to put her on a regular grownup potty. She will then often pee pretty soon after, in her diaper or on the floor. I've reacted by basically never even offering the potty anymore, since she always reacts so strongly against it. I know this can be a normal stage, but it's been going on for months and months, and she is otherwise pretty agreeable and excited to mimic grownups, and most of the time, if she isn't really interested in something else, or overtired, or needing to eat, she will be happy to participate in something we suggest. I had been planning on moving her to cloth pull-down training pants months ago that she could pull down on her own, so that she would feel more in charge, but I was waiting for her to use the potty a little bit more consistently before we moved to them, and now since she will only ever go in the diaper, the training pants don't seem to be a reasonable possibility.
I just don't get why this is only a problem with the potty, and I'm not sure what else to do. I don't know how to offer the potty without creating a situation where she feels that it is something I want her to do, and therefore resists it. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas (or similar experiences to relate)?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post!