Potty Redux

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?

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  • I don’t have any answers for you but wanted to say that it sounds like you and the school team are doing an excellent job – and in “big picture” terms there’s true success going on! May you get a full night of sleep before too long.

  • Foster never wanted to be potty trained. Never. Either he was completely unaware or he just didn’t care. At a family Christmas party (pre-Christmas) I pulled “Santa” (who was otherwise more of a bad influence, and thankfully hasn’t made an appearance since) and asked him to tell Foster that he could only have whatever Thomas toy he wanted DESPERATELY if he started putting all his pee and poo-poo in the potty. Santa was chagrined, but I’ll be darned – it WORKED.

    Let me be clear – Foster is not easily influenced. It was something about Santa and the timing.

    On the other hand, all four of my kids are still in diapers at night, and they pee so much that I wash sheets EVERY.DAY.

    And I totally get the 2:30 a.m. disco DJ scene. My kids take turns at that fine game.

    xo

  • No helpful information here, but this post really resonated because we’re trying to potty-train here for what seems like the umpteenth time. Primo seems to be starting to get it–Secondo, nothing. So frustrating.

    And I had to laugh, the iPod Touch is Primo’s reward of choice when he goes in the potty. And I love, love The Elephant Song. Maybe more than my kids do, even. 🙂

  • Going through some similar things, but also have no advice. Someone told me that “a switch will go off” in my boys’ heads eventually, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    We are progressing, but John is way ahead of where we are.
    Hope someone comments who does have advice 🙂

  • Potty training is so rough. After doing it three times, I still have no advice because it is so different for every child. I don’t even try to pretend that I know how to do it. Hopefully John’s day will come—sooner rather than later.

    And I’m really sorry to hear about the 2:30 waking. It’s so hard to be a good mom when you’re so tired.

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