A bedwetting endurance medal
After age 5, 15 percent of all children still wet the bed at night. This percentage decreases as these children age until it dwindles to about the same chance as your child winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
If bedwetting were an Olympic event, I would be the proud mom of a gold medalist.
My child is good at so many things. He has a bright, intelligent mind, a loving heart and a beautiful smile ... and he has never had a dry night in his life.
As a mother, I don't want to focus on something that many consider to be a negative trait. I try not to focus on the sheets and blankets that need to be washed every day, the millions of pull-ups I have had to buy, the smell that has imbedded itself into the very walls of my house.
Really, there is so much more to this wonderful child than the leakage that occurs in his bedroom each night, but it does take a toll on the parent.
There is the psychological damage of thinking that I'm a lousy mother because I can't seem to "fix" the problem. My other four children were potty-trained through the night from the age of 3. And although potty-training could not be considered the highlight of one's life, there is that one moment with each success that you feel the world bowing in deference to the accomplishment.
Something tells me that when victory finally comes, it will be so hard-won that I will expect more than a bow of deference. I should get a solid gold medal.
Certainly, my boy will have earned one by being the longest running bed-wetter in history.
"Surely," these other moms with zero bed-wetters would say, "he should have stopped by now. Have you tried rewards for each dry night? That worked for me and Junior."
What I hear in those words is, "What's wrong with you? Why have you let your child go this long without potty-training him?"
Rewards would indeed help, if he ever had a dry night!"
Some know-it-all moms say I shouldn't let him drink anything before he goes to bed; like I've never thought of that before.
My mother-in-law asked why I couldn't use something on the equivalent of a shock-collar to wake him up, like they use with dogs for disobedience.
"Um, because it's illegal? Besides, he isn't being disobedient. He can't help it. Do you drown puppies too?"
I once bought a sensor that slips into his pull-ups that said it would detect "moisture" - I love the way they worded that - and wake him up with an alarm that was clipped to his pajamas.
He unplugged it every night because the alarm scared him.
I let him win that battle because he stopped wearing pajamas. There was nothing left on which to clip the alarm.
I found bed "sheets" about 20-by-20-inches that had sensors to detect "moisture," but the child twitches and tosses in his sleep as if he were fighting an army of guerillas, or gorillas. Not sure which.
In the mornings I might find him lying sideways across the bed, hanging over the side, or even curled up underneath.
I bought underwear with sensors sewn in and a wireless alarm that plugs into a wall outlet across the room.
The alarm was supposed to wake the child, who would then get up to push the "off" button and head to the bathroom to finish his "moisturizing."
The alarm woke the entire household at odd hours of the night, but he was only slightly disturbed.
I shook him awake, pulled him from the bed, showed him to the alarm and then pointed him in the direction of the bathroom.
He did his best, but when I went to wake him, he just stared at me from the bed. He resisted getting out.
After finally leaving the bed, he cleaned the floor around the alarm, pushed every spot except the button on the alarm and then looked at me with the stare of a zombie. When he shuffled into the bathroom, he didn't know what to do, so he brushed his teeth.
One night the sensor disappeared and the next morning we found it in the bottom of the toilet. There is insufficient proof that it sprouted wings and flew there.
I'm looking forward to that gold medal.