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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Self-wetting and nonself-wetting or the person you are and the person you would like to be

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Eventually we all grow out of bed-wetting, and then eventually we start growing into it again…

I think that most of us have a picture of ourselves. It is a physical picture or a digital one or one whose existence is merely in our heads. Most likely it is the latter that is most common. A picture of ourselves looking our very best, feeling good. I don’t know how your picture looks. But mine is exactly eight years old. I know that person in the picture. We get together now and again. But recently he seems to be busy elsewhere. Where did you go, my friend?

My guess is that he is sleeping. Because I haven’t slept a whole night in 8 years. (Wha wha, say all of the insomniacs out there, I’ve never slept, they say. Okay fine, you win…) This fact doesn’t really bother me much. Not really. There must be scientific research that proves that if you are chronically, ever so slightly, sleep deprived that you get used to it. You might die younger, you might lack creative thinking. But you don’t suffer, at least not emotionally and not on a daily basis. Not like those that stay up too late one night, then are hungover and it takes a week to recover. (That happens to me too, except I don’t recover, at least not yet anyway. Plus I don’t think there is anything else worse than being hungover and have three kids under the age of 9. I have another picture of myself. New Year’s morning, 2007. Uppsala, 6:45. RAT playing on the floor in our friends’ kitchen. Everyone else asleep. My head in my hands. Or New Year’s morning 2012. Water gushing into the apartment from the hallway. Me thinking, “Geeze, did we spill so much last night?” No, it was a broken pipe…)

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Perhaps it doesn’t look this bad after a particular wetting, but sometimes it feels close. Image courtesy of ithinkx’s

What I am talking about is gray hairs. Crows feet. Blue bags. That picture I was talking about earlier, he doesn’t have those things. I do. (Wha wha, someone else says, you are a white, middle-class male living as a diplomat, what are you complaining about. Okay fine, you win, again…) What got me started here actually doesn’t have anything to do with sleep. It has to do with pee. And the perfect storm. All three, awake, and self-wet. In my bed, in their beds, in the mattresses and cots we have spread out throughout our house.

That is what I have a problem with. Not being awake as such, but rather being awake and being damp, but not self-wet. That picture I was talking about earlier, of that young man, he didn’t even know what he was getting himself into. Good thing, because otherwise nothing would ever be done in this world. And honestly, I don’t miss that guy all that much. I’m much happier today with my non-self-wet bed, even if I am a tired.

The Currency of Potty Training

Kate Fox, Toddler-tips-and-tricks.com

Anyone who has potty trained a toddler knows you need a few things to be successful. First, you need a willing and ready toddler. Second, and almost equally as important, you need an equally willing and ready parent. Some idealist would stop right there and feel ready — but this combination alone leaves out a major player in American potty training. Do you see what’s missing? That’s right…. candy!

Now, most of the time I’d vilify candy just as much as the next person for being the empty calorie, cavity-promoting, dinner-spoiler that it is. But in the realm of potty training, candy is king. Think about it, we’re talking about convincing a toddler to excrete on a giant, flushing bowl of water rather than in a soft, absorbent diaper! Do you really know of a vegetable with the motivation power needed to accomplish this? I don’t.

Just because it works for you, doesn’t mean we endorse it for your children until they have that paper route when they’re 10.

The trick with using candy is to know exactly how to use it. You give too much candy and your toddler isn’t left wanting more. You don’t give enough and your toddler feels the reward is not worth the effort.  You have to find that perfect balance. Maybe it’s two Skittles for going #1, three Skittles for going #2. Maybe each bodily function deserves its own type of candy: M&Ms for pee, a Starburst for poop.  And then you’ve gotta figure out the reward for going on strange toilets. How much is going on the self-flushing toilet at the library worth? Or the spider infested one at the park? Wait… scratch that last one. How much to get the kid to pee behind the tree instead?

It’s a delicate balance, but somewhere in the midst of the successes and the failures, a “big kid” emerges looking pretty similar to that little munchkin you still like to call your baby. And you can’t help but think how much more painful of a process it would have been without the sugar!

Kate Fox is a contributing author at www.toddler-tips-and-tricks.com and, as you can tell from her post, the master of child-rearing-slight-of-hand. You can reach her at marketing@toddler-tips-and-tricks.com

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my experience being a single dad and perhaps I may have somethings to share-with and gain-insights-from, the fathering public. I’ve made quite a few posts about my experiences at my other blog, kung-foolery.com – but I set this up to focus solely on the daddy aspects of my life. Thanks for stopping by, leaving a comment or two, and helping me help myself and yourself.

This is me and my sweetheart kid, who I’ll refer to as AT at worldsbestdaddy.org