Monday, December 4, 2006

The Importance of Clean Sheets

Right now my son is taking a nap. He is sleeping on top of his waterproof mattress pad with no
sheet on the bed. His head is resting
on a pillow draped in a newly laundered pillowcase but his body is resting on a
fairly rough mystery material that keeps bed wetters from doing any permanent
damage to the mattress, a must have for any parents of young children. This arrangement is not one that I am proud
of but, nonetheless, it is the current state of affairs in my house. This happens more often than I’d like to

In the middle of the night last night, my son came bounding
up the stairs and woke me up by repeating my name over and over, “Mommy, mommy,
mommy.” I asked him what was
wrong. He said, “I’m wet.” Having lived through this scenario many times
prior, I knew that he was telling the truth and I immediately started peeling
off his pajama bottoms. They were
soaked. His pull-up was, miraculously,
fairly dry. This is the mystery of
boys. How can the underwear remain dry
while the pants get completely soaked? It’s some sort of freakish phenomenon that seems to happen on a fairly
regular basis in the case of my son. I
took his hand and led him down the stairs back to his room. I got another pair of pajama pants out of
the drawer and put them on him. I
grabbed a towel from the linen closet and threw it over the wet spot on the
sheets, tucked my son back in and went back upstairs as quickly as
possible. I managed to do all of these
things in a state of limbo, half asleep, half awake. The second my head hit the pillow I was back in dreamland. 

I had every intention of getting my son’s bedding washed and
put back on before naptime today but it just didn’t happen. His bedding was still in the washer this
afternoon and his nap could no longer wait. Instead of putting some oversized sheets on my son’s bed temporarily, I
threw my extra mattress protector on his bed (yes, it was clean), put him on
top with a quilt to cover up with, read him stories and kissed him
goodnight. He did not think twice about
it and had no problems jumping in bed under these circumstances. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad
thing. Apparently, he is so accustomed
to sleeping on a bed with no sheets that he thinks it is the norm. 

As I write this, I am a little worried that I am alone in
this practice. Will people read this
and think, “I cannot believe that she would allow her son to sleep on
his mattress pad.” Will my In-Laws read
it and call my husband at work to discuss my lack of skills as a Mother? Will my own Mother call me and give me a
little mini-lecture on the art of time management and the importance of clean
sheets? I have my comeback ready. I understand the importance of time
management and clean sheets but the two are not mutually exclusive. How is putting clean sheets on a bed for the
purpose of a two hour nap, risking the possibility of having another
bed-wetting episode and having two wash sheets and a mattress pad
instead of just the latter effective time management? If my son, as a result of his destitute Mother, doesn’t know that
sleeping on a bed without sheets is unusual, then what difference does it make?


  1. Of all the things we dealt with on a regular basis while letting the wild wolves raise our three boys, we didn't, at least on a truly regular basis, have to deal with bed wetting, and, boys don't really need sheets anyway, as a matter of fact, one of your sons' Uncles actually used a sleeping bag at Police Training Institute so he wouldn't have to make his bed in the A.M., and get an extra 10 minutes of sleep. His mother did not alllow this, it just happened, and we heard the story later from one of his fellow trainees. One more thing, we've lost our middle son's work phone number, do you happen to have it??

  2. Wait a second, the make sheets for kids beds? When did this happen and why didn't any one tell me? For the past 11 months of my daughters life, she has sleped on the pad. I'm only kidding. It happens from time to time though. Like last night. My brother was watching her. He is scared to tighten up the diper. So when she waks up at 5:30 in the morning, she is soaked. I have just enough time to change her and pull off the sheet. When she falls back asllep at 7:15, I just have to put her back down. There are worce things that can happen, I guess.

  3. We used to have to get Maggie up about 10PM just before we went to bed and carry her into the bathroom, still asleep, and put her on the toilet to go to the bathroom. She would pee (practically in her sleep on the toilet) and then be carried back to bed and tucked in. Until she was four, this was the only way she could have a dry night (and sometimes, not even then!) She still has the zippered mattress protector on the bed because of the occasional accident.
    We have two sets of sheets and two mattress pads for Maggie's bed, just because of the bedwetting when she was little - we would just immediately put the dry set on as soon as the wet set came off. Then the wet set went into the washer.
    There were times though when we had that middle of the night wake up call (mommy! I wet my bed!) and the bed would get stripped down and I was too tired & uncoordinated to mess with it right then, so I would put a blanket on the bed and one on top of her and put her back to bed. You ARE NOT alone!!!

  4. This is all too familiar to me too. It has happened the past 3 nights. Nothing like getting interupted sleep. While my husband sleeps soundly, I am fumbling around w/ Trey getting him set for bed again. I haven't even bothered buying those cute sheets that match or a comforter. I am waiting till he grows out of the toddler bed. I am using his daddy's twin comforter from college. Last night though, I said "no more drinks". Typically he has a full sippy cup of something right b/f bed. I am really trying to cut that out.
    Oh, one thing I note about Daddy sleeping- I am raising boys. That is a whole other topic for everyone. How do you raise boys to help out when the father doesn't do it??? I'm not saying my husband doesn't help out, I am the one who is woken up or requested at night not daddy. Hummm Like I said a whole other topic.
    Sorry didn't mean to go off topic, haha.

  5. Papa Dale-
    You are lucky that you never had to deal with bed-wetting. My son is such a milk drinker and it is tough to curtail it in the evenings. Milk is his security blanket and he needs it to fall asleep.
    As for the sleeping bag, I totally understand that. One less thing to do in the AM.

  6. Aunt Becky-
    I have to say that I think your practice of putting Maggie on the toilet right before you went to bed is genius! I've started doing that with my son and it makes a world of difference. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Linda-
    Good to know I'm not alone. Sometimes sleep trumps clean sheets, huh?

  8. Kathleen-
    I can relate. Whenever my son wakes up at night, he yells, "Mommy! Mommy!" which of course wakes me up and NOT my husband. I guess it is both a good thing and a bad thing, though, because I would be a little crushed if he got up and yelled, "Daddy! Daddy!"

  9. J-
    I don't know, I don't thing I would care at this point. Sometimes I need some good rest especially w/ Dusty's work schedule. When I get up w/ the kids most mornings and put them to bed most nights w/out Dusty. So, my feelings wouldn't be hurt. But, I would have to wake anyway b/c Dusty sleeps sooooooooooooo hard. Trey would have to yell in his ear to get his attention, haha. Then Ben might wake too. So, it is a double edge sword situation. I am cool being the one "chosen", might not be in the best of moods for it, but they grow up soo fast. I will miss those days, soon it will be me coming in his room saying "Trey, Trey, Trey".