Take, for example, potty training. But, before I get too deep, we are not "training". As I have mentioned before, "training" doesn't work here. My son is stubborn, and he has two equally stubborn parents who are also somewhat lazy, albeit totally and very frequently, overly involved parents. We're older parents. When I think of the first time I though I was pregnant - ten years ago - whew, I was nuts back then. Luckily, I have mellowed and stabilized with age, but I am still a first time parent.
So, back to the potty training. It was going great, then not so great, then great, then even better, and now back to contentious. There were the few nights that we put Beren to sleep without diapers. Several of those nights were perfect, several involved lots of laundry. My lap has been peed on many times now. The floor, too. Actually, I prefer my lap be peed on than the floor. It can be aggravating and confusing, especially when he peed and pooped perfectly in the potty months ago.
The word "regression" is often used when children (or adults) go back to a behavior of an earlier age. I suppose that's a catchy way to put it, but I'm not sure it's fair. Hey, I had a blubbery breakdown tonight over discarding a tattered sleeping bag. It was time, I know. Beren lost his toy sink in one of its many holes. He pulled put wads of the stuffing, whining, "Sink... Siiiiiiink." It was time, but the ragged blanket was my first non-hand-me-down sleeping bag and was on my bed throughout high school. Regressive? Sentimental? Baby-ish? Sure, but I'd rather be comforted than accused of regression.
So what works for us is riding the waves and putting a diaper on Beren when wet pants would be really disruptive for all of us. At night and in restaurants.