There may be other similar questions, and if so I'd love to be pointed to them, but our situation seems somewhat unique and I guess I'm mainly looking for advice on this specific situation, and maybe a bit of reassurance.
A few key points:
We likely started potty training our eldest son when he was too young and not quite ready for it. We didn't really research best practices and just kind of winged it
My wife has a hard time controlling her reactions to things. For the most part she's been pretty good, but over the last year or so she'll have four or five calm days, then something will cause an outburst and she'll upset our son. She's also not really been able to completely control her reactions surrounding our son and his bathroom breaks. Again, about 90% of the time she's great with it, but every now and then she'll upset our son again, which I believe is stressing him out and creating over-defiance. More recently I think this point is getting across to her, but I'm wondering if the damage has already been done and our son has regressed.
There is a younger brother in the picture at 1.5 years old, which has complicated things
We haven't really been overly consistent in our approach, and for a while maybe over-relied on taking him for breaks, rather than giving him the agency to go himself
He is now really strong at holding his pee and shows some interest in progressing in potty training. For example, he'll now say things like 'I listened to my body', or 'I stayed dry all day', but without reminders he still regularly wets himself. And despite having a few successful, self-directed bowel movements on the potty he regularly poos in his underwear. It's hard to tell if he's lost interest in co-operating, or still having a hard time figuring it out.
My question is:
Does this sound like a normal scenario? One of the challenging things I've found with potty training is getting a reasonable idea of where he should be at, at a given time. I know all kids are different, and progress differently, but at 3.5 should we be taking any extra measures, or just letting this run it's course?
I've seen some suggest seeing a pediatrician, but I think we generally know what we're doing now, but at times are having trouble executing. Am I overthinking this? Help much appreciated.