Wednesday, December 5, 2007


As a child I wet the bed. Great, now the world knows.

I was just laying in bed with my cell phone some where between the sheets with me when I suddenly had a flashback of being strangled in my sleep. This isn't why I started wetting the bed, but rather a side effect of that. I never knew why I wet the bed, I guess I was just a really heavy sleeper. But I grew out of it...eventually.

I used to wake up every morning with a dreadful feeling... being stuck to my bed with wet sheets and blankets. I honestly went to bed every night resolved to awaken dry and triumphant. but somewhere in between dusk and dawn, I lost track of that.

My parents tried to beat it out of me. I got spanked every morning that I wet the bed. When I was about 6, My mom (being the JC penny catalog bargain-shopper that she was) bought a revolutionary contraption that would cure me of my narcohydrodisposition (enuresis), It was called The Buzzer.

The buzzer came in a kit with about 6 cotton sleeves and Velcro shoulder pads. The sleeves were sewn to the front side of my dainties(mostly consisting of Mickey Mouse, a previous attempt to weigh on my good conscience with the instructions "don't wet mickey!") and the moisture sensitive "switch" was tucked therein. this moisture sensor was at the end of an two foot long wire that was to be strung under my sleeper shirt and velcro'd on my shoulder just beneath my ear. when, during the night the sensor was tripped, my slumber was cut to a sudden halt by the unnerving sound of a cicada on my shoulder. If you have never had the displeasure of living in cicada-infested countryside, the sound is not unlike a Buzzer. So similar in fact, that I often got the two confused, especially with the groggy state I found myself in every time it happened . The theory is this, when my incontinence reared its ugly face, I would be awakened to "take care of business". I have never been convinced that this product was actually tested on the narco/hydro variety. Because it was always too late. If my dainties had become sufficiently moistened to activate The Buzzer, then the damage had already been done. New sheets, new blanket, new underwear were all in order.

My parents were convinced that I never arose to "take care of business" when my buzzer went off. The reason being that I was very light footed and never made a sound, I also mastered the art of closing the bathroom door silently, since it was adjacent to my parents bedroom. They too, were awakened by the buzzer, and must have listened to see if I went to the bathroom. But, for fear of their wrath, I was quiet as a mouse when I went. The art of closing the door silently is attained in this way. First, make sure your door doesn't scrape the jamb, this means that it is aligned with the frame all around, and the hinges are screwed in tight. (Obviously I didn't maintain the door, but benefited from it's being the only hollow core door in the house((this is before the kitchen was given a door and padlocked.)) although I did know how to open and close every door in the house silently, it just consisted of applying pressure to the doorknob in various ways and holding the glass pane still so it wouldn't rattle.. but lets get back to the bathroom door.) when opening, hold door knob firmly and press in slightly to take the pressure off of the strike plate, twist knob entirely and pull door open (keep toes clear). Step 2: Close Door - Face door, Holding doorknob in right hand, twist to retract the latch. Apply pressure to the middle part of the door with left hand. Now, with right hand, pull just a small amount harder than your left hand is pressing. the result is a smooth and slow swing of the door. once you have door in closed position slowly release doorknob to allow latch to catch, with practice on any given door, you will be able to do this with complete silence. Step 3 take care of business.

Now, for some reason my parents kept the bedding in a high shelf in the hallway. Sometimes my "accidents" were small enough, or rather I was small enough, that I was able to return to bed and go to sleep on the opposite end as the wetted area and finish "taking care of business" in the morning (after my spanking). But often my incidents were of a magnitude that it required me to brave climbing the shelves in the dark and retrieving fresh linens. I wont go into detail of all that was involved with changing wet sheets in the dark. Suffice it to say that the plastic sheet that enveloped my mattress kept the liquid out quite well.

My parents thought (due to my cat like stealth) that I never got out of bed, but merely pulled the sensor from its sleeve and continued in my dysfunctional sleep pattern (I have already explained that this wasn't the case). And their logic told them that at some point I changed my underwear to trick them that I had not wet the bed. (my logic persuaded me to change into new underwear to be able to sleep). They began keeping tabs on my underwear, literally. My dad took a sharpie marker and put numbers on the labels of my Mickey Mouse undies. They would check to see which pair I was wearing before I retired. "number 7, Okay, goodnight!" my dad would then brush his beard down so as not to poke my nose and give me a goodnight kiss. I would pump up my fists for the nightly "grip test" in which my dad would allow me to test my handshake grip against his. After that, it was off to bed!
And in the morning I would be wearing Undies #5 and my dad would tan my hide.

God, why didn't you just give me a speech impediment?

Anyway, as to the memory of nearly being strangled. that was due to the cord of The Buzzer. it would often come unfastened from it's velcro perch, and, since I toss around in my sleep, become wrapped around my throat and nestled beneath my body. This happened several times each month and the trick was to wake up, not panic and figure out the pattern of my tossing and turning and retrace these motions in order to get out of the tangle. I doubt they are on the market anymore, in fact I bet you could get yourself in big trouble if the right people found out your kid was using one... which would probably be in the aftermath of your child's death.

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