When a developmental milestone is reached, parents often rejoice, document the event for posterity and silently breathe a sigh of relief that their child is “normal”. I do all of these things, including one other. I go back to the books.
My daughter woke up the other morning (she had come to our bed sometime in the night), announced she had to “go potty” and went to the bathroom by herself. In my sleepy state, I could hear her taking off her clothes and diaper. Then the distinct sound of “tinkles.”. Long and forceful tinkles. She came back to our bedroom completely naked and complaining she was cold. Forced out of my slumber, I got up to get her some clothes. As I passed the bathroom, I saw the diaper on the floor and picked it up. Something was off. The diaper wasn’t laden with pee. It was …. DRY.
“Honey,” I said to her. “Is this the diaper you were wearing all night?”
She nods, shyly. “I pee-peed on the potty!”
Indeed she did. An entire 12 hours worth. Her bladder stored urine for 12 hours. At 3.5 years of age. This prompted me to look up the average age of attaining bladder control. I quickly learned that my daughter is pretty average. Most children are dry at night by age 4. So, she’s right on schedule. My husband has been wanting to take away that nighttime diaper for a while now, but I insisted she wasn’t ready. “No 3-year-old is wearing diapers at night!” he’d say. “I wasn’t, and neither were you!”
This begs the question – do we take the diaper away? I’m inclined to keep her in it until she’s proven dry for at least a year. HA! I kid. Maybe two weeks? I’m not sure. All I know is that I don’t want to be cleaning wet sheets in the middle of the night. So for now, the diaper stays.