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
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
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.