March 08, 2012

The Big Bag

Crouched in my closet, it lurked. Every now and then, I’d peek up at it and then, with a feeling of perverse joy, give it a shove further back into the shadows. Ha! Take that, stupid big bag!  I’ve moved on! I don’t need YOU anymore.

Only now, it seems I do.

For the past year (more than that, really), we’ve had a little problem around here. I mostly don’t talk about it in public because I have this strange feeling that Silvia would be embarrassed. But at five, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this blog and by the time she can, well, hopefully the issue will be long-forgotten history.

Silvia has accidents. Like, wetting herself on a regular basis accidents. It’s been an up and down cycle for a long time. There’d be months at a time where she was totally fine every day, not a drip or drop. Then suddenly, it would start to pick up; little mini-accidents here and there and then the occasional full-on puddle.

We’ve gone over everything, tried lots of different approaches. In the beginning when she was hanging off the tail end of potty training, we spoke sternly to her every time. Obviously, if you know kids at all, that is the WORST way to handle it. Since then we’ve done incentives, the “potty timer” to beep a reminder, tried to talk quietly about how she feels when it happens. We make sure she goes before we go out, while we’re out and when we get home and many moments there after.

These days, however, I just get her changed into clean clothes, send her to the bathroom to finish up and move on. What else can I do? I’m not going to yell at her. I’m pretty positive she’s not doing it on purpose. I’m not going to lecture her or punish her. I sometimes implore her to just TELL someone so we can get her changed before she gets a rash, but that’s it. Ordering her not to do it is ridiculous.

But none of it is helping. She’s having more problems, more incidents and it’s gotten to the point where I’ve brought it up with her doctor at the latest check-up. The biggest conundrum is that she doesn’t wet the bed at night. Ever. It’s only during the day. She says she doesn’t feel it until it’s happening, but if there is a muscle problem then why is she staying dry at night?

I won’t lie, I get really annoyed, even embarrassed, sometimes. I’ve even gotten mad (not my proudest moments). But most of the time, lately, I just get sad. Why is this happening? What is the problem? Is she sick? Is she scared? Is there one thing in particular that set her off (so to speak)? Am I not paying enough attention to her? Am I paying too MUCH attention? I’ve googled the hell out of it, talked it out with the doctor and friends. Kurt and I have had long discussions about the what, why, how, and if of it all. We’re not just sitting here aimlessly, but in the end, there’s just not much someone ELSE can do to make a person control their own body.

It’s a frustrating mystery. Probably, hopefully, she’ll get over it as she gets older. For her sake I really hope she’s doing better before she starts kindergarten in the fall. Kids can be really unkind sometimes.

In the mean time, I’ve pulled out The Big Bag. It’s a diaper bag I got when Jack was born. It has a billion pockets and holds all the diapers, wipes, cups and snacks a kid could ever want with room left over for my wallet, phone and chapstick. Most importantly, it has space for a full set of clean clothes for my daughter, something I just cannot fit in my regular purse.

It also tends to knock over displays at the grocery store and mildly concuss any child who has the misfortune of standing behind me when I turn around. It leaves a dent in my shoulder and has rearranged my posture to a Quasimodo-style hunch after only a day. But I’ll do what I have to do to help her out, even if it means The Big Bag has to momentarily emerge from retirement.

My hope is it’ll be buried back in the dark closet, gathering dust, problem solved, before the summer has past. I don’t want to think about lugging that behemoth about in 110 degree weather.


You KnowWho said...

i had a similary problem with my second son at a similar age (and older). sadly, when i talked to the doctor about it all i got was parenting lessons and "he'll get over it". when he was living with his father, and the doctor noticed his rash and asked questions, there were no parenting lessons, it was all taken seriously and we found there WAS a physical reason and minor surgery was required to fix it. now i'm not saying that doctors are all dead set against mothers, but try having kurt take her to the doctor and see what happens.

Meg said...

Our doctor is taking it seriously (kurt can't really do appts, there's no time) and she's ruled out some infections and is now reccomending a urologist. The stress of that is not going to help, I know. The problem you're talking about doesn't happen with girls, but if there's anything going on, it will be a relief to know.

Lea said...

I hope everything with Cici checks out and that this passes. Sounds so challenging for both of you!

And as for the big bag...I've been desperately shopping for a big purse I can use right now, if only for a few months, but haven't found one that I like. The day I can be fully done with a diaper bag forever will be a wonderful day indeed!