Bed wetting paranoia… is just paranoia. Or is it??!!?

She's cool as a cucumber.

She’s cool as a cucumber and stopped needing the diaper early. Not that it’s a competition.

This is perhaps the first post that AT might one day in her teen years actually be a bit pissed at me about. Please sweetheart, forgive me in advance and tell your therapist that I am not a monster. Recently, at the behest of her pediatrician, we setup a visit to discuss bed-wetting. This provider instilled a level of worry in my ex-wife that was slightly below the nuclear option. The provider thought we should come in to discuss “the issue”.

This started as a harmless 4 year check up appointment setting and the passing comment, “Is it a bit strange that she’s still wearing a diaper at night?”

She’s been sans-diaper all-day since before she was two, but she still doesn’t wake up in the night to pee… and she ain’t holding it.

Fina and I have experienced the failed experiment of just ripping the bandaid off – peeing her (as Pappa Goob says) before bed and hoping she doesn’t wet the bed. The result thus far is that we’ve been changing the sheets daily by letting her pee the bed night after night for a week. This as you might imagine, was not productive.

AT’s mom was smarter about it and just didn’t take the diaper off for sleeping; and the guilt pouring into her emails planning this emergency doctor’s appointment echoed that of a mom who woke up one day and realized it was probably weird to still be breastfeeding her 13 year old.

AT ended up having a pretty unnecessary, if not mildly reassuring, visit with a healthcare provider — but it wasn’t her pediatrician. He was a 20-something Doctor of Herbs and Massages (or Naturopath for short) from Bastyr. He was super chill, said don’t fret, and told us that if she was still doing it at 6 start trying some home remedies.

The ARNP that serves as her pediatrician (pretty great, so I guess busy) wasn’t actually able to see her when we went to the appointment that had been scheduled in the previous day’s panic. So, thankfully we’ll be back in a couple weeks for her actual check-up.

 

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Bedtime Stories Illuminate Childhood Aspirations and Crush Parental Ones

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Some of these career choices may be a bit dated (what with cars driving themselves these days and carpentry being outsourced to Sweden/Ikea). Bravo to Richard Scary for not kowtowing to the cultural norm of the day and asking the reader if they want to be a good cook, like their father.

Last night I was reading the great Richard Scary classic, “Best Word Book Ever” or something about words, I can’t remember. It’s really long and there are surprisingly few words in it. When I flipped to the page about professions, I asked the logical question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I may or may not have blocked everything on the page from her line of sight except the doctor/pig and may or may not have lead her a bit with, “…a doctor?” To which she (exasperated) responded, “ewwwwww, no daddy, I’m going to be a Princess when I grow up!”

I followed up with, “Are you sure you don’t want to help people when they’re sick or injured or do something else for work besides be a Princess?” To which she responded dryly, “I don’t want to work when I grow up, it’s boring.”

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Go to Sleep! …Please

AT likes her rituals. She demands an eggy-burrito nightly while she watches her programs (Macneil/Leher primarily) — and who am I to deny her this? I once ate a tuna fish sandwich every day for an entire summer when I was a big-wheel trucker in college and I never once got sick of it. The only reason I stopped was school started again and I needed to move on to eating a burrito every day. And I forcibly removed her pacifier at 3 months, and now she sucks her fingers, so I figured she probably might knows what’s best for her.

But recently, she’s taken up the habit of the never-ending bedtime ritual, and to parrot one of her favorite phrases, “I.don’t.like.it” (said through gritted teeth very, very slowly). This never-ending ritual starts with something she co-opted from me, the spell-it-out method¹ of saying what you intend to have happen long before doing it.

Up until very recently, I’ve found it particularly effective to spell out EVERYTHING the two of us will be doing together in advance, not only so I can later say, “SEE!” and “REMEMBER?”, but because it’s really the only proven tactic I’ve had for getting her to do what I want. One example of this is on a typical weeknight after I’ve picked her up from daycare. On these drives home, I always spell out exactly what we’ll be doing (eg. “we’re going home to make dinner, you can watch one episode of wonder pets, and then it’s bath, book, song, and bed — sound good?”). This has worked quite well, until just recently, when she’s been heading me off at the pass and using my method against me.

Instead of me dictating our night in advance, she will say things immediately after we get in the car like, “Just so you know, I’m not tired at all daddy and I’m not going to be tired later”… at 5:30 pm! Of course you aren’t tired you sweet little monster. What am I supposed to say to that?!

Partially my response to this is seasonal, it’s summer after-all and we live almost as far north as Alaska, so it’s generally quite bright when I’m trying to get her to fall asleep at 8(ish), and so I say, ok, let’s read another story, or hang out while daddy gets his at-bat in softball.

But when it’s pushing 9:30 and she is adamantly not tired (yet yawning violently), I’ve tried everything to combat this objection:

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Even this weighted vest I strap onto her for added exhaustion during post-school play hasn’t worked to tire her out! Photo courtesy: DennisSylvesterHurd

Aggressive post-school play. I love to take her to Greenlake or Wallingford Wading Pool and try to tire her out as best I can after a long day of running around at daycare. I have her run win sprints with a weighted-vest with the parachute attachment. Doesn’t Help.

Sugar-rush! I’ll admit this may at first blush appear completely counterintuitive, but I read something recently that stated that the “sugar high” is actually a complete fallacy, so I thought perhaps if I just seceded to her every chocolate whim, perhaps she’d do me a solid and go to bed when I ask. Nyet Chance, and chocolate stains the $hit out of her PJs.

Scalding Hot Bath. You know what makes me sleepy? Hot tubs make me really sleepy. I thought perchance if I ticked up the temp on her bath right before bed it might make her conk out. So far it has only made her look slightly oompa loompa-ish and strengthened her resolve not to go to bed because in her words, “I’m soooooooooo not tired right now because of that bath.”

These 3 seemingly brilliant ploys to tire her out have only made the ritual seem that much more feeble and pointless. Perhaps I should just turn on the TV and let her watch it until she falls asleep? This would free me up to go to bars and dog tracks and other things and then come home to a sleeping toddler (and blaring TV) and I’m sure there wouldn’t be many long term repercussions, and I might make a bit of money. Continue reading