88 spares

By Mir
August 6, 2005

Another sign of the Apocalypse has come to pass, and you probably didn’t even know. Oh, sure; your life is busy. I understand. That’s why I’m here to fill you in.

You would know to take cover if it started raining frogs or the four horsemen came galloping by. But you might not know that the end of the world could also be heralded by tiny Batman undies. Yes.

So, be ye informed: That time has come, and that time is now. The Time Of Tiny Batman Undies… in BED. For SLEEPING. And staying DRY. Woooooooooooooo!

My children are only twenty months apart, so for a while I had two in diapers at the same time. Chickadee potty trained and then I only had one in diapers. This isn’t so bad, I told myself. And before I know it, I’ll have none in diapers!

With Chickadee, I summoned all the power of my new-and-hopeful motherhood and pushed and prodded and cajoled and came up with elaborate reward systems and she wasn’t having any of it. None. She waited until she’d completely broken me; I gave up, told her to enjoy wearing her Pampers to Princeton, and moved on. She then picked the single most inopportune time to decide to be trained (the day before a lengthy airline trip with multiple stopovers) and, well, was trained. *POOF* She slept in pull-ups for exactly a week before I realized she was part camel and I could safely switch her to undies. The end.

Monkey trained later than Chickadee, in part because he’s a boy and in part because that’s just how he is. Also, he’s quite a bit smaller than she was at the same age. And I think Mercury was in retrograde. (And possibly I will seize upon any possible explanation for his stubborn bladder.) Anyway, eventually, he too learned the joys of the potty. Huzzah! And it was very good.

Except… that was two years ago. And for two years, my darling Monkey has slept in pull-ups and soaked them with both regularity and gusto.

I tried restricting nighttime liquids. That resulted in a lot of whining and throat-clutching (“I’m drying up!”) but no dry pants.

I tried waking him up to take him to the bathroom late at night, before I went to sleep. He would usually oblige (not always the way I wanted, though), but still be wet in the morning.

Me: Hey buddy, how about we try staying dry ALL NIGHT?
Monkey: No thanks, I can just pee in my pull-up!


Amazon ran a promotion where you would get a gift certificate if you spent so much money on Huggies products. Pull-ups are expensive. They were on sale, and a gift certificate sounded good. I ordered a case of pull-ups… telling myself that this would be my LAST purchase of such. When the box arrived, the children were suitably impressed by the sheer volume of packages.

Me: See these? These are all the pull-ups we have. When these run out, NO MORE.
Monkey: That’s okay, Mama. You’re not gonna run out of those until I’m all growed up, I think.

He had a point.

The pediatrician told me at his three-year appointment that some kids have very small bladders. At his four-year well visit, the pediatrician told me that some kids are very heavy sleepers. And then for his five-year check-up, she told me that if he’s still “wetting the bed” (hey, the bed is dry!) at seven, we can discuss “alternatives.”

I’d bought some horribly bizarre, pointy Spiderman helicopter thing when he first potty trained… and put it on a high shelf in the closet. I’d shown it to him, and told him it would be his when he didn’t need pull-ups anymore. In the beginning I brought it out often, but as it became clear that dryness was going to remain elusive, I stopped taking it down.

On Monday, Monkey woke up dry. I congratulated him and forgot about it. After all, he wakes up dry now and then. Later that day, he came to me and asked me to take out the helicopter, and I did. He asked how many days he needed to be dry to get to have it. I searched my brain–had I given him a number before? I think I had–and told him five days of dryness would earn him the copter for keeps. He nodded… touched the propeller lightly one more time… and told me I could put it away.

And then woke up dry every day this week.

He got the helicopter this morning, whereupon he and Spiderman zoomed around declaring, “We’ll get the bad guys together! Spiderman and Dry-Boy! TAKE THAT!!”

I have four-and-a-bit packages of pull-ups left, for a total of 88 pairs that have escaped a sodden yellow fate. The miser in me is annoyed that I bought so far and unnecessarily ahead, but that’s okay. It’s been over seven years since I didn’t have to stock disposable undergarments in my house. Really, I’m excited. This frees up so much money, now, for things like… ummmm… well, more Batman underwear, for example.

And believe you me, there is nothing cuter than a little boy running around in nothing but Batman undies, holding a freaky Spidercopter aloft, declaring that they are protecting the world from pee.


  1. Crystal

    Ok, that makes me feel better about my adventures in potty training and our complete lack of nighttime dryness. I’ll spare you the details, but my kids are just over 3, so it’s not that bad. Speaking of which, can I buy those pull-ups from you?? :)

  2. Jules

    I sooo don’t want to risk jinxing it…but YAAAAY MONKEY!!!

    :)And way before his started college too ;)

  3. MelissaC

    This gives me hope for my son! He’s 4, and while he’s been daytime potty-trained for AGES we are still in the world of night time pull-ups. I’ve resisted offering rewards for staying dry, because I was afraid that it was simply a physical issue that he can’t control (small bladder, heavy sleeper, etc.) But I like the idea of offering him that additional incentive. I do believe I’ll give that a try.

    Congrats to Monkey!

  4. Jenn

    I am weeping the weep of potty training joy for you! Oh rejoice for the children are dry all night! Way to go Monkey!

    (How adorably is “”We’ll get the bad guys together! Spiderman and Dry-Boy! TAKE THAT!!”

  5. Nic

    That’s just fantastic news, I for one feel safer now that we have Dry-Boy helping to protect out world. My girls (twins) took forever with the potty training, mostly ’cause they kept pointing to each other “but she has accidents too!” Drove me nuts and may have permanantly damaged my eye-rolling talents.

  6. Carol


  7. Kym

    If this isn’t a sign that all is right with the world then I don’t know what is.

    Congrats to Monkee Boy and mommy too!

  8. Dawn

    YAY! MONKEY!!! WOO HOO!!! (Look out, bad guys – Dry-Boy is on the job.)

  9. Chickie

    Go Dry-Boy!

    Maybe you could let the kiddos use the pull-ups to build a fort or something.

  10. Zuska

    Congratulations to Monkey/Dry-Boy!!! For some reason, I actually remember when you bought that boatload of Pull-Ups, lol!!! Maybe you can donate the unused boxes to a shelter??

  11. Fraulein N

    Aw. Congrats to Monkey!

  12. Karen


    Not to rain on your parade, but just be aware that he may have relapses. Pete was dry for months and then all of a sudden started wetting again. Then it stopped, but he still has occasional accidents.

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