Saturday, November 13, 2010

Who is this Stranger in My House?

For the past several weeks, Joshua has woken up in the morning and has walked himself to the bathroom to pull down his pants and take a morning pee. Now, for most typical 8 year olds, this is not a big deal. This is a huge deal for mine.

Although Josh can do much of the bathroom routine by himself, he has never taken responsibility to get himself there at the right time. For his whole life he has seemed utterly happy to just go in his pants if we don't take him. I cannot tell you how many times I have cleaned up the accidents that this child has had.

Because of Joshua's hormone deficiencies, he is usually running out of urine condensing hormone by morning time. This means that it is very difficult for him to control his output, especially at that time. Josh always goes to bed with a nighttime diaper, even though he has worn underwear in the daytime for several years now. I have never imagined that we would make progress in his being potty trained at night and, honestly, it has not been at the top of my list of goals to work on for Josh.

The nighttime diaper is a pretty big deal in the world of caring for Josh. If you don't put it on right or, God forbid, if you don't give him the right dose of evening pills, you can wind up with a bed that is completely soaked. We have thrown many, many, many yucky pillows away.

However, for some reason, lately Josh has decided to not pee in his diaper at night or in the morning in bed. And he has decided to take responsibility for getting himself to the bathroom in the morning. The first time he did this, I seriously thought that there was a stranger in my house. I could tell that the person who walked by my slightly open bedroom door was taller and heavier than my girls. Who could it be? I had no category for Joshua getting himself out of bed in the morning. Immediately, I jumped out of bed to see what was going on to find him calmly pulling his diaper and pajamas back up then washing his hands. "Want toast" he said to me with utter nonchalance.

Even now, weeks into this pattern, I'm shocked and surprised every time this happens in the morning. I take a minute to be thankful and amazed then I run to the kitchen to get a reinforcing chocolate chip and jam it into his happy little mouth saying, "Josh, if you take yourself to the bathroom, you get a . . . " "Choc-lit" is his reply.

I'm not sure when Josh will be fully potty trained; when I don't have to mentally calculate how long it's been since he went to the bathroom and then prompt him to go. He's not totally trustworthy yet. But I would like to take a minute to note that my son is learning to take responsibility for his morning pee and, for that small but significant thing, I rejoice!


  1. This gives me hope for change too!

  2. hurray, joshua! a great thing to celebrate, susan!

  3. what a delightful story of josh's development! my heart is so glad with you!! :D

  4. Hooray! We love you, Josh! Good job!!

  5. So excited for you and Joshua!!!! Hip hip hooray for Joshua!