Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Two funny stories about the kids to tide you over until I get the pictures up.

Remember Maia's squirrel issue? She's found a way around it. When the group plays the squirrel game, she plays along. She eats her acorns, plays on the grass, and lies down to sleep. But when it's time to pick a tree to curl up in, she stands alone, sort of looking off into the distance, and ignores the entire class while the "woodcutter" finds a tree to chop down. Then, when it's time to run around again, she's back in the game.

I love her solution, and I love that the teacher lets her do it.

To be filed under "Hey, They Really Do Listen When You Talk to Them!"
At the risk of embarrassing him in the future*, I'm going to make a disclosure about John: He has a bedwetting problem. We've decided to get active about rectifying this, and I bought a book called Waking Up Dry by Dr. Howard J. Bennett.** I'd seen a story about it on AP and thought it sounded good. So far, I love it. It's written in a conversational tone for kids without being all AWESOME and RAD in a way that puts kids off. It also has a lot of body-function jokes and riddles that I, uh, I mean, John, loves. We will begin the program as soon as we move into the new house.

Through the years, we've stressed to John that we understand he's not being lazy when he wakes up wet, or that he does it on purpose, and so on. We've told him there's nothing to be ashamed of because it happens to lots of kids. I have to say I'm amazed at the number of parents in the checkout line who volunteer that their kids had problems too, when they see me buying the pack of Goodnights.

Well, John has certainly taken it to heart about not being embarrassed. A year or so ago, we stayed with some friends who have a son a little older than John. As they were getting ready for bed, their son pointed and said to John, "Is that a diaper?" John said conversationally, "No, it's my nighttime underwear." End of story. No concern at all.

I had to draw the line, though, as John was getting ready for school yesterday. "Can I bring that staying dry book with me on the bus?" he asked. "I want to read it on the bus."

"Uh, no," I said.

"Awwwwwwwww-WWWWWWUUUH! Cummmmawwwwwwnn! Why nawwwwt?" he wailed, displaying a new conversational trait that's currently driving me up the wall.

I had a mental image of three mean fifth-graders cornering him in the back and teasing him about his book. I looked him in the eye and said, "Because, that book is mine, and I don't want it on the bus."

* I thought long and hard about whether to disclose this. In a way, it's not fair to John to have all these random people know this about him. On the other hand, it truly IS nothing to be ashamed of. It just happens.

** The link takes you to Powell's Books. I was trying to make it go through their union portal, www.powellsunion.com, but for some reason that site isn't active right now. If you do buy books online from Powell's, please use the portal -- the union then gets a percentage of the sale.


  1. Thanks for the book recommendation -- I think I'll get Gracie a copy.

    Grace and John, partners in crime. =)

    You're right...it's an...er...all-too common affliction.

    (but no, I don't anymore!)

  2. I wondered how many parents would chime in. :) They say it is hereditary, but it doesn't run in our families, so John must be a biological sport.

    Also, I didn't make it clear that the kid who pointed at John and said "Is that a diaper?" did NOT say it in a mocking fashion. He was simply curious. But anyone who knows the kid in question knows that he doesn't have a mean bone in his body.

  3. You can always take the entry down when John gets older, too. That's what I plan to do when my kids get older.

  4. Ah, good point, Flea. I guess that kills the idea of a bedwetting-only blog, though. Maybe I'll start it up without using real names.

  5. I'd e-mail this to you if I saw an e-mail address for you, but I don't. I just edited a paper on sleep problems in kids, including a short section on bedwetting. Here's the state of the art, written by a physician (shh, I don't own the copyright on this):

    Sleep enuresis is primary if a child has never had a period of prolonged nocturnal continence and secondary if wetting recurs after 1 year of continence. Sleep enuresis is quite common, affecting up to 25% of boys and 15% of girls at age 6. There is a natural regression of the disorder, and prevalence at age 12 is 8% in boys and 4% in girls. Enuresis typically occurs in NREM sleep and is uncommon in REM sleep. There is generally a family history of sleep enuresis. Sleep-disordered breathing has been identified as a potential cause of sleep enuresis.
    Routine evaluation should include a comprehensive history with an evaluation for emotional or psychological abnormalities. Examination should focus on identification of masses in the abdomen and motor/sensory disturbances that can be associated with spina bifida. Limited testing is needed, although most individuals would recommend urinalysis for assessment of infection, proteinuria, and glucosuria.
    Treatment should be directed at underlying disorders first, then at development of skills and behaviors to promote dryness. These include alarms, retention-control training, waking, and responsibility training. Drug treatment does not have long-term effectiveness. Therapy such as tricyclic antidepressants and antidiuretics can be used for short-term management. The most common agents used are imipramine at a dose of 25 to 75 mg at bedtime and desmopressin acetate (DDAVP; Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc; Bridgewater, NJ) at a dose of 20 to 40 µg (1 to 2 sprays in each nostril).

  6. Thanks, Orange!

    John's wetting is definitely primary. We haven't found any underlying causes, although sleep apnea may be a possibility. So far, John's been doing great. I wake him up when I get home from work (anywhere between midnight and 1:10 a.m.) and he's always dry. I wake him up, he gets himself up and goes to the bathroom by himself, and then comes back to bed. He's been waking up dry in the morning (6:30 a.m.) for a couple of weeks, yay.

    Pretty soon we'll transition to an alarm clock going off around 12:30 a.m. (and him getting himself up), plus a wetting alarm. He asked for one for Christmas, aw.

    PSA for all: My e-mail is udarnik at the mail of hotness. I'm trying to dodge spambots.