This is a post about two things: wetting the bed, and waking my mom up in the middle of the night to ask for help.
This is not the real Smoky, but it is a very close approximation.
I have a very clear memory from my childhood – I woke up in the middle of the night. Our family cat, Smoky, was sitting beside me on the bed, staring at me. And two things were immediately clear to me:
One, I was soaking wet.
And Two, I was way past bed-wetting age.
I can still remember the flurry of thoughts that went through my head as I tried to reason through my situation in that frantic way you do when you wake up in a puddle in the middle of the night.
- First, I tried to find the source of the dampness. Did I seriously pee? Did Smoky come in here to pee on me? (Smoky was a weird cat anyway, so this was not entirely outside the realm of possibility.)
- Second, I tried to determine what kind of liquid we were dealing with – which meant I sniffed my covers like a madwoman for a minute or two.
- Third, finding that nothing about my blankets smelled especially offensive, I tried to convince myself that it was just sweat or a nightmare -
- And then Fourth, I rolled over and eventually went back to sleep.
You know what I never did? Go wake up my mom and ask for help sussing out the situation.
Now, as an adult with the advantage of hindsight and a little more knowledge under my belt, I think what probably happened was this:
I ran a fever (as I often do when I sleep). The fever broke and made me sweat like a crazy woman (which does sometimes happen). Smoky, being the weird cat that he was, sensed my distress with his weird feline telepathy and came to sit on my bed in case the opportunity arose for him to suck my soul out through my mouth (you know, as cats do).
OR maybe I really did wet the bed and sleep in my own pee all night.
OR maybe I was hallucinating.
OR maybe none of this happened at all and I’m recounting a completely false memory created in my own sleep-deprived mind.
I was reminded of this whole episode last night when I found myself, once again, awake in the wee small hours with a wide-eyed creature perched next to me on the bed. Only this time, there were three key differences in my story:
- One, there was no puddle.
- Two, the creature was Henry.
- And Three, I asked my Mom for help this time.
Mom is staying with us for the week, and while she is always amazing and helpful (seriously – it’s like she’s a magical laundry-doing, house-cleaning, baby-watching fairy godmother), I don’t think I have ever appreciated her more than when I knocked on her door at 4:00 this morning with a wide-awake baby on my hip. She threw back her covers, happily grabbed Henry, looked me in my bleary eyes, and told me to go back to bed.
So I did. And when the alarm went off two hours later, she came into my room all bright eyed and bushy tailed and full of joy over the sweet snuggles she got from her grandbaby while I was sleeping. She told me she was happy to help, and I didn’t doubt it for a second.
Here is what I know now, and what I wish I knew way back when I woke up in the middle of a bedwetting whodunnit:
If you can ask for help, do it. You don’t get a prize for figuring any of this out on your own. And chances are, there is someone in your life who will honestly be happy to help – whether the situation involves an otherwise cute baby who just doesn’t feel like sleeping, a bed full of what very well could be pee, neither, or both (if you’re lucky).