Well it’s the next morning and I’m here. SWEET! I’m not sure where to officially start. I think in order to get a gist of the type of person I am now in my early 40’s. I should start when I was a wittle bitty tot back in rural Kentucky. So here goes…
I was born in a small town of 55,000 people (well actually that’s Pulaski County’s population -but you get the idea), in southeastern Kentucky. I would say Appalachia because in the neck of the woods I grew up in it was called Cedar Grove for the first 8 years of my life. My Dad was a mechanic and farmer by day and a bootlegger by night. My Mom delivered newspapers. Our home was pretty much a shack. And I’m serious. I wish I had pictures of it. My Dad built it on the corner lot of some property my great grandparents owned. It was 5 rooms, with no closets – running water or obviously an indoor bathroom. Initially, it only had three rooms, then as my Mom and Dad starting popping out kids (Linda, 49 and Bruce 47) He added on two more bedrooms. Then I came along 5 years later (suprise) and wala the house was full.
We used an outhouse that was quite a ways from the house. I hated that when I was little, because of the cold walks to the toilet. Amazingly, I do not remember using the toilet EVER. Even though I did, but I remember the walks there. But when I had to pee I simply opened the door went on the porch and let it all hang out. There was lots of yellow snow beside the front and back porches of the house needless to say. Initially, we took a bath in a claw tub we had in a storage shack behind the house. We had to walk a 1/2 mile with about 10 five gallon jugs to fetch water from the spring below the house in order to have water. MY Dad stuck a lead pipe into some rocks so that when the water came out it it was sort of a faucet, that made it easier to fill the jugs. They were definately heavy. My Mom, brother and sister would carry the bigger jugs, while Mom brought me plastic milk containers to carry. I remember being exhausted from those and as I got older obviously I got my own 5 gallon jug to carry up the hill back to the house. I remember the water sure was cold and man did it taste good. I did, however, learn that if I wanted a drink of water that the watering spring was the best place to get it. I still remember the taste, it was cold and had a slight after taste of lead… GO FIGURE. I also remember that the house didn’t have heat vented it thru it. We simply had a coal burning stove in the middle of the livingroom to which I remember waking up on the floor in front of it all the time. When I was an infant that’s where the crib was kept. It’s a wonder my siblings and I didn’t catch the house on fire from our blankets. Once I had graduated out of the crib my parents didn’t have a lot of money for new furniture. So they took my baby bed mattress and laid it on the floor in my brother’s room in the back of house. I only remember sleeping on that mattress while we lived in that house. I suppose with good reason because I developed a bad habit (and I use that term loosely) of wetting in the bed. I remember it stunk of pee daily. I can’t imagine how my brother dealt with it, other than the occassional punch from him here and there. But, my Dad had a great nickname for me because of it. “Piss Pot”. Now, I’m a funny guy, always up for a good laugh and I see the humor in this as an adult now. But, as a small child it hurt my feelings. I’m not sure if my brother or sister ever wet the bed, they might have because it seemed my parents were at their wits end apparently when I developed it because in order to cure me of this nasty habit (as they called it) of laziness they would take my face every morning (it was a nightly thing) and rub it in the pee stained blankets, underwear and mattress with no sheets. NOW take a breathe, because I know that was not proper parenting, the emotional scarring from bed wetting alone was horrible. It’s one of the things I remember the most growing up. It’s not a pleasant memory either, for me or my parents I’m sure. Yes, I think that was one of the cruelest things you could have ever done to a child with a problem such as bed wetting. But, let’s remember that Dr. Phil wasn’t on TV then and there was no such thing as the internet where my parents could simply surf the answer up on the web and chat with parents who were experiencing the same thing and learn that it’s A) hereditary and B) something the child has to grow out of. SO I do not blame my Mom for getting upset, I do blame her for reacting the way she did and then showing my father how she was potty training me from pissing in the bed. I get so infuriated over it because once I was old enough to research it and see why I did pee in the bed, (because I assure you it was not on purpose as they said) it was heriditary. I asked my Grandma Bell if by chance my Dad wet the bed and she said until he was 10 years old he did. (I didn’t bother to ask if she and Grandpa beat him cuz I was pretty sure that since my Dad was the way he was, he was taught the same as I was. ) The thing that infuriates me the most is that it was hereditary as I said – and my Dad did it, but not once did he take the time to reflect on his own endeavor with bedwetting and how he was treated. He didn’t hesitate to believe that his parents were right and continued on trying to pass that same message along to me.
What I learned from this experience? I learned that when Zachary developed the same problem that it needed to be addressed with a “it happens” kind of attitude, that plastic sheets were inexpensive and that he needed to know that not only did I do it as a child, but so did his Papa Bell and Great Grandpa Bell. It’s something you have to grow out of and it’s something that if you want it to change you have to focus really hard. Luckily for Zack it only lasted until he was 7 years old. But that is more than a lifetime to a child that wants to spend the night with his friends and not have the embarrassment of bedwetting. We made it thru it and if Zachary by chance has his own child someday that develops the same problem, the cycle has been broken and will be addressed in the manor it should be. I hope.
Till Next Time