I look forward to the day that every other room in my house no longer smells like little boy pee.
Let me explain.
As you may know, I have two boys under the age of six. Victor (age 3) has just started the potty training process (meaning, he goes to the potty when he feels like it and has no sense of direction when aiming for the bowl). Angel has been fully potty trained during daylight hours for the past 2 years, but still has a hard time making it through the night.
At first, I thought he was being lazy (as in "I'm wearing a pull up and my crazy mother will just clean all this nastiness up in the morning anyway, so I'm just going to lay in the bed and pee everywhere.") Besides being a horribly cynical point of view (well, consider the source...), it did not take into account that we never actually TRAINED him to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. In my head, I thought it would just happen organically. If he could figure out that he needed to pee during the day, why would night time be any different?
This solid logic failed to take into account that my five-year-old subscribes to the "play hard, sleep harder" school of thought. Meaning, once he finally hits the sack he is O-U-T. We have tried to rouse him from bad dreams or talking in his sleep with no impact. You can shake him, sit him up, tickle his feet. Once this kid is asleep, it's lights out.
I spoke to girlfriends who'd done the whole night training thing before. The advice was varied - everything from "Don't worry, he'll grow out of it" to "Have you spoken to your doctor? He IS already five..." After many sleepless nights (and harried mornings washing yet another set of sheets), The Hubs and I decided to ride it out. We'd let him figure it out at his own pace. We stocked up on overnights and bought extra sheets.
Then, a few weeks ago Angel started to apologize for peeing in the bed. Mind you, we never scolded him for it. He just seemed embarrassed about it. When I would tell him that it was ok, that he just had to practice going to the potty at night, he would reply (in typical dramatic fashion), "I just CAN'T do it mom! I will never wake up dry." Then he would walk away pouting or in tears.
It was too much for me to take.
I didn't want to pressure Angel into night training because I didn't want to make him anxious or embarrassed. But, since God has a since of humor, this kid has (un)fortunately inherited my Type-A-perfectionist-anxiety gene. So, I jumped onto the internet and bought a pee alarm. Technically, it's called a bed wetting training system but, let's be real - it's a pee alarm.
That night, I told Angel that I'd ordered an alarm to help wake him up when he needed to go to the bathroom. You would have thought that I ordered him a lifetime supply of Legos! He was ecstatic. Really, I felt more than a little guilty (does this kid have such a rough life that a pee alarm is a treat?).
Fast forward to this weekend. We gave the alarm a test run on Saturday night. After a few beeps (we set it on vibrate with a flashing light since the sounds were just too crazy), Angel woke up completely dry on Sunday morning. Last night, he went to the bathroom about 1000 times between 8 and 9, then slept through the night, waking well-rested and dry again this morning.
And he is SO proud of himself. The look of accomplishment on his face when he announces that he wore big boy underwear to bed AND woke up dry? It's truly amazing.
Now if only I can get Victor to stop hiding behind the couch when he makes poo...
(p.s. I fully realize that this is one of the posts that my boys are going to KILL me for when they are old enough to read my blog. Mommy loves you, boys. Now please learn how to aim and use Clorox wipes...)