A few nights ago Caleb got up at 8:30 PM (he had been in bed since about 8:00). He came into the living room and said, “Mom, I’ve got great news. I haven’t even wet the bed yet.” I told him that was great news and sent him back to bed.
A major part of my life right now is trying to get Caleb to sleep dry. I wouldn’t care so much, but he is such a big kid and big drinker that he wets through his pull-ups. (And every other brand of night dippers for kids.) I can’t stand the wet bed any more!!! (He will be 7 in February.) We are at our last resort – a bed wetting alarm. The alarm goes off every time it gets wet. The idea is that there is an instant consequence and awareness when he wets. We have been working on it for three weeks. I get up with him four times almost every night. It is like clock work. He did have two nights that he only wet once and I thought we were almost there, but it must have been a fluke because we are back to four times every night.
It feels like it has been a long journey. He has had five to ten dry nights in his entire life. For years I waited for a dry night to reinforce and to build upon, but that didn’t ever happen. We have met with his pediatrician multiple times and his doc thinks that it is based on the fact that he sleeps extremely deeply. He does crazy things in the night when his alarm goings off which confirm how deeply he sleeps. First of all he doesn’t even hear the alarm which sounds like a fire alarm. When I say, “get your alarm off” he questions “what alarm?” Can’t he her the screaming that is pinned to the shoulder of his shirt? He is totally confused in the night. When I tell him to finish going potty he climbs in the tub. He pulls his dry underwear over his wet ones and a million other things. Part of the learning is making the child get on dry cloths, sheets, etc. Caleb is so out of it Josh can’t help him. It makes Josh crazy!! Currently Caleb has the incentive of a new basketball if he sleeps dry. Every morning he says, “MOM, I get my new basketball!” He can’t even remember the experiences of the night. (He is going to be NO HELP when he has children.)
We have tried avoiding fluids in the evening as much as possible although nothing makes a child thirstier than being deprived of a drink. Of course, we have tried waking him many times in the night to go. We did that for months with out even a sign of success, which ruled out a capacity issue. He has had his tonsils out which helps some children. We have also tried two medications DDAVP, which had no apparent influence on him, as well as another medication, which gave him unbelievable hallucinations. It was very scary. We have also tried a great children’s hypnotherapy book “Dry All Night.” It was actually that book that got Cara to stop wetting in the night just a few months ago. (I made the mistake of not allowing her to get out of the crib in the night when I potty trained her or else she would have slept dry from the beginning. It was hard to back peddle.) We had been reading that book every night as part of our bed time ritual and Cara began to consistently have a dry pull-up and then on her own began to wear underwear at night. I asked her how she stopped wetting the bed and she said, “I thinked about it.”
So here we are . . . at our last resort. It is painful, but it will be worth it when he sleeps dry. Bedwetting is hard on the child, and it is hard on the parents. I sure hope this will take care of it forever for him. A few nights ago as I kissed him good night (for the third time) and told him that I loved him I thought of the girl he will someday marry. All I can say to her is that “we are doing the best we can.”
Not only is Caleb keeping me up in the night, but Ali has turned into a little night crier. I am not talking about a little fuss here and there. She does not sleep well!! I keep thinking it is teeth, but nothing has broke through. She wakes up several times during each nap, and she is easily disrupted during the nights. I haven’t had the heart to let her cry it out so she had been getting nighttime bottles up until this week. Now she has got a “new room” in the basement storage room. I have a lamp in there, and it is plenty warm. It is perfect because I can hear her when I am in the kitchen and at my desk, but I can’t hear her when I am in my bedroom. She hasn’t been awake when I have been up with Caleb so as far as I know she is sleeping through the night now! I think she does better without Caleb’s alarm going off every few hours.
I hate to admit it, but she isn’t the perfect baby. She has become extremely high maintenance. She is harder than any other baby I have had. She wants to be held! What is up with that? I am supposed to have perfect content babies.
Speaking of perfect babies – Andy. He is such a joy! He is in the best, most adorable and wonderful stage. He is talking like crazy and the things that he says are so cute. He repeats everything he hears. The other day Cara was trying to teach him how to play Duck, Duck, Goose. She said, “You’re the Goose.”
He said, “You’re the Goose.”
She said, “NO, you’re the Goose.”
He said, “NO, you’re the Goose.”
She said . . . you get the idea. They bantered back and forth for a while and then she gave up on teaching him the game. Today they had a similar banter with the words, “come here.” Another thing that I love about Andy is the way that his cheeks bounce when he runs. He is so dang cute!! He loves to get his hair done, and to go out and play with the kids. He hurries to the car when it is time to go in order to sit in Caleb’s booster. He hopes that if he is all set up he can sit in the back with Caleb and Cara rather than in his car seat next to Ali. He generalizes many words. He knows how to say drink, milk, and juice, but when he wants a drink he usually says “water”. He NEVER wants water! Caleb’s best friend is Isaac. Isaac has two brothers Henry and G. Jessie that Andy LOVES to play with. He has generalized the whole family to be “Isaac’s.” They are all “Isaac’s.” I have had Caleb begging me to play at Isaac’s for five years, now I get to hear it from Andy. There is nothing that I don’t absolutely adore about Andy right now!
9:53 Caleb just hit his first sleep cycle so I guess I can go to bed until he hits the next one! Besides if anyone has read this much you must really love me.
thoughts from Fall Break
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