Last night John came running to our room at 2:30 a.m. There’s nothing new about this, he’s been doing it (again) for months. Usually the impetus is a flooded bed and like robots we haul our leaden bodies out of bed and tag-team the changing of him and the sheets. Maybe 4 out of 10 times he will fall back asleep, but the norm is a cacophony of noises, laughter and silly talk — followed by the return of him pounding back down the hallway every 45 minutes or so when his music ends. It doesn’t matter that we’ve put the CD on “Loop” so that it plays continuously — as soon as he hears that last song, he’s up and running down the hall.
But this time, although he still careened around the corner at his usual hour, I brought him to the bathroom where he Peed on The Potty: a Major Project in progress. His bed was dry, he returned to it gladly and in his little voice, asked, “Lullaby music?” I hit play and made sure it was on loop, then padded back to bed. Alas, 45 minutes later, he stood by my side.
You would think that relieving his bladder and staying dry might encourage returning to sleep. But the sad, sad truth seems to be he doesn’t require as much sleep as the rest of the world. We’ve tried letting him pile in between us, but he’s still manic and ready to DJ a party. I don’t understand it, it makes me an irritable angry bear of a mom the next day, which lately is most days. If I’ve made the unfortunate mistake of staying up until midnight, which I do too many nights to count, then by the time John has decided he’s up for the day, I’ve logged just 2-3 hours of shuteye and then borrow it in 30-minute stretches until I give up.
Here we are past fifth birthdays and as I feared, John is still not potty-trained although obviously there has been progress. A few weeks ago, his new team took on the challenge of training him while at school and he’s been successful. He stays dry and in underwear for the entire school day. When he gets home, it’s my job to take over for the three hours or so before bed which involves lots of “first pee-pee, THEN itouch” and “first pee-pee, THEN the most expensive toy in the house” type bribes. And he goes, lately he goes for The Elephant Song and really gets the cause and effect of “pee-pee in the potty.”
But he doesn’t seem to care. Pee in his pants or in the potty? Either is fine by him. I don’t know how he can ever be fully trained if he doesn’t make a major leap of self-awareness: I don’t want to soil myself.
And then there are times like yesterday. In the middle of the day, John took me to his room and asked for “Lullaby music?” Grinning, he then pulled me to his bed and hugged me fiercely. We cuddled and I listened to him chatter to his stuffed animals, ever mindful of the sheets. After some time, longer than 15 minutes, I took him to the potty where he went. He tried to pull me back to his room and I told him that Mommy had to run some errands and that Daddy would be up. Upon my return I heard that at the 15-minute mark, Twins Dad had entered John’s room only to find that he had completely soaked his sheets.
It made me really despair, until I realized at 2:30 this morning that a little boy who was capable of holding it until that hour, had perhaps deliberately soaked his sheets because he was mad at me for leaving.
Possible? I think so, and that is something. Although the fact that he cared more about expressing his displeasure than being wet — we still have a dilemma here. Anybody out there face something similar?