Charlie is 4 years old now and has been out of nappies for a couple of years. The first year or so was bliss, the first time in twelve years that I didn't have a child in nappies. Then for some unexplained reason, he just started weeing himself. He's STILL doing it! He's perfectly capable of going to the toilet when he needs it, there's nothing medically wrong with him, he's dry at night and doesn't wet himself at nursery. He basically just can't be arsed to go to the loo if he's doing something more interesting. We have sticker charts and reward systems. I've tried to explain to him that he'll smell of wee if he doesn't stop doing it, not to mention the health implications, no avail. I've even had him helping me with the washing, putting his pissy pants in the machine etc, but he thinks it's marvelous and can't begin to imagine what my problem is. I know that this is a phase, and that making a big deal out of it probably won't help; blah, blah, but really, what is it with my children random acts of deviant toilet behaviour?
When Jamie was about 2 years old, potty training was in full swing and she was doing brilliantly. She was even dry at night, which I had been thoroughly impressed with. We were going on an outing to the park. This was to be the first outing without pull-ups that would last longer than a quick trip to the local shop. Jamie was totally prepared for this endeavour, she was a big girl now. We discussed it and I had told her; "Just tell Mummy if you need a wee, and we'll go behind a tree or something." This was in the days before I had learned that what is required with Jamie, are specifics.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon. I had asked Jamie regularly if she needed to 'go' but she had been fine. We were strolling back through the park and I was chatting to Nicki who was gurgling at me from her pram. I looked up just in time to see jamie dissapear round a tree. I was about to investigate when she reappeared beaming from ear-to-ear, soaked. She'd gone 'behind a tree', stood there and pissed herself. More fool me for leaving out the bit about dropping her knickers.
Nicki struggled to be dry at night for years. It was a combination of things according to the proffessionals. There is apparently a hormone that should kick in around the age of 2-3 which stops the body from producing excess amounts of urine at night. We were told that it is quite common for this hormone to be a bit late in doing its job. This coupled with the fact that Nicki was such a deep sleeper, meant that we were still in persuit of elusive dry nights until she was 6 years old.
When it appeared that she might be 'ready' to tackle this problem, we were given an alarm. It is a good job that we have a sense of humour in this house because the whole thing was beyond farcicle. Every night we wired her up before bed. She had to wear two pairs of underwear under her pyjamas and put the 'sensor' between the two layers. One drop of moisure and the alarm was triggered. Of course the aim of this was to get her into the habit of waking up when she needed a wee, but what it in fact did was wake every other member of the household up except Nicki. This usually resulted in one of us carrying an unconcious, bleeping child through the house to the bathroom and holding her upright while she used the loo.
Having put the children to bed one evening, Stig and I were sat playing cards, when a bewildered Jamie appeared.
"Mummy, Nicki has just walked into my bedroom and weed on the floor. I've tried to talk to her but she isn't responding".
As we ascended the stairs we could hear the shrill beeping of the alarm. It transpired that Nicki had progressed to sleepwalking when she needed the loo. Unfortunately her tired little mind had directed her to the closest possible room instead of the actual bathroom, and she walked into Jamie's room, dropped her two pairs of knickers as far as the alarm wires would allow, and pissed on the floor. We found her squatting in the middle of jamies new pink, fluffy rug in a perfectly round puddle of pee.