Ingratitude and Incontinence

I’m really mad at my kids today.

But let me back up.

There’s a story in my husband’s family. Years ago, even before Christian was born, my parents-in-law went on a business trip, and left their (at that time) two kids with Grandma for two weeks. Grandma was afraid the eighteen-month-old would make a scene, so she didn’t talk about Mom and Dad. At the end of two weeks, Mom came back into the room, and the baby didn’t know who she was.

I think we’re well beyond that… But I’m not sure. So while I was gone last week, I made sure to call every day and talk to both kids. Alex had lots to say, of course, though long before he could get it all out, he started complaining that “my ear is getting tired.” Julianna doesn’t talk yet, but she acknowledges yes or no questions with little grunts. (As an aside, what an ugly word for such a cute sound.) So I did what I could to stay connected to my little ones—my little one, specifically. She’s already a die-hard daddy’s girl, and I didn’t want my importance to decrease even more by comparison.

Maybe it helped, maybe not…At least, she knew who I was. But for two days, she gave every male in the house hugs at the drop of a hat, a coin, or a grain of sand…but turned her back every time Mommy wanted one. The only time she had any use for me was when she was hungry, or when there was food on my plate that she wanted. Ungrateful child. I bear her for nine months, undergo major surgery to bring her into the world, feed her day and night, sit by her hospital bedside, feed her off my plate, bathe her, read to her, and what do I get in return? The cold shoulder!

Oh yes, and then there’s Alex. Alex-who-has-been-toilet-trained-for-nearly-two-years, but can’t stay dry through the night. Two days ago, he had two accidents—count them, TWO—within an hour after getting up from nap. Then he had the gall to whine at me because there were no more underwear in his drawer!

I took away his movie, and we made it clear that if he’s not a big enough boy to decide on his own when he needs a bathroom visit, they will be dictated to him from on high. So mid-morning today, we were getting ready to go to Bonkers when I saw a wet spot on his shirt. I truly thought it was spilled milk or something, until his face crumpled up when I challenged him. At that point I was so furious, I almost called off the Bonkers trip altogether. The only reason I didn’t was because it involved other kids, too. He knew it, too. When I came upstairs, he whimpered, “Do we still get to go to Bonkers?”

I made him choose his punishment: a week without movies, or a week without sweets. (He picked sweets.) And he lost his movie today regardless. We had a talk about bodily functions, and how they are the trash from our body, and how icky bugs grow on them, which is why we DO NOT PEE IN OUR PANTS.

So I sent him to the bathroom at home, and once at Bonkers, and when we came home, I’ll be darned if that kid wasn’t wet AGAIN! UN-ACCEPTABLE!

Oh yes, I forgot. In the middle of the Alex drama, I’m also trying to work up the energy to toilet train Julianna. So I put her on the toilet while I was dealing with Alex’s mess. Now, Julianna discovered a few weeks ago that she can get off the toilet while we’re not looking, but the mystique lost its appeal when she got in trouble for it; usually she stays put.

Today, however, she decided to get off the toilet, and pee on the floor.

This is why I’m mad at my kids today.

The trouble is, I know that I did not take every possible step to ensure my kids’ success. There was a book on the floor of the bathroom, and Julianna wanted it. Should I have given it to her? Taken it out of the room? I didn’t make Alex go to the bathroom before we left Bonkers. Is that why he leaked?

And then there’s the more troubling question. Is there something medically wrong that’s causing Alex to be incontinent? Am I punishing him for something when I should be calling the doctor?

Well, I came up with a good “punishment,” to fit the crime, at least. Since Alex is making me do more laundry, he’s sorting it for me upstairs. HA. If only I could make him fold it.