Thursday, March 10, 2011
He thought he was in trouble...
This morning my son came to me after getting dressed for his day with something he ached to tell me. He said it like he was confessing some dire crime and expected that he would be punished in some way. This happens once in a great while and I attribute it to the confusion we face in social settings of all kinds. It may seem silly, but it really does make our lives awkward.
"Dad, I didn't want to wake you, but I got up to go to the bathroom last night and got two drinks of water."
I know, how could a child ever be in trouble for something like that? I had always told him it was perfectly okay to get up for such things, but in early bed training days he must have attributed it to being taught not to get out of bed in the middle of the night. Of course, in those days, it meant getting up to empty the refrigerator onto the kitchen floor or climb on top of something. It meant letting the pet rats out and we feared for his safety. He was just too capable a child for his own good. But all that has changed, he's grown into quite a big boy.
For that matter, he was pleasantly surprised by my response: "That was a very big boy thing for you to do." I explained that I would far rather he get up and use the bathroom than have an accident in bed. I also said that it was okay to get a drink of water when he did that. The other difference he may have confused was that, at bedtime itself, he has already gone to the bathroom and had his drink, so another isn't needed. So it's also explained that waking up in the night and having to go is okay.
Finally there's the big boy points for putting himself back to bed when he's afraid of the dark. Big kudos and another look at our perspectives.