Saturday, February 28, 2009

The power of social status in kindergarten

A few weeks ago when Genea was going to her first little kid birthday party, we went through expectations and discussed ahead of time what might happen. There might be games, food, the birthday girl will open her presents etc. Take turns, don't push anyone getting to the cake, and hold your jealousy over all the presents in until we get home. We also talked about what we should do if she started feeling nervous or if something happened and she felt the Wango Tango coming on, which is how I have been referring to her hysterical furious meltdowns. At the time, I was surprised at her answer. She said, "I will have to leave because I don't want anyone to see me like that."
No worries for sure, it all went fine and the wango tango did not pay a visit to the party.
I have told her things like this before. Things that most kids do, things most kids don't do. Often she has to be told. She was never in a position to learn how other kids are by being around other kids who are regular. Her developmental process went wonky the day after she was born and stayed that way. It isn't her fault, we just have to remember she never had the chance to learn by example.
Anyway, yesterday after school, she invited her friend over to play. It was a big milestone for her. Everything went well, the kid stayed about a half hour and went home. Later last night, I was talking with Genea about it and I mentioned how her friend sounded so surprised that there were diapers in their room. Genea has worn pull ups or diapers at night her whole life. In difficult times (ie, wango tango weeks/ months) she has had to wear them for naps. We have had issues with her trying to keep them on all day. She wants to wear them, damp, wet, dripping, she wants one on. I try to rarely mention the pull up situation, but I have told her that most kids her age don't wear them anymore. Our discount stores only stock up to 5t and she is about out of that size and I have told her that too. I told her, if she wanted to she could tell her friend that the pull ups belong to her sister, since that is true, and just not mention that she wears them since it could be embarrassing. Some things are private in our family and no one else has to know etc.
Last night she decided to go to bed without a pull up on. She just came up with it as she was getting ready for bed and told me she wanted to try. I did a quick mental scan and I figured we had enough clean sheets that we could spare a set when she wet the bed in the night. We have tried to make it many times before without success. I had realistic hopes (ie, a shred, just one shred not two, of hope).

She did it. She stayed dry. All night.
The power of social status is that strong.

But what is really scary is the power of this child's will.


  1. This may be a myth, but I heard that Bruce Jenner wet the bed until almost teen-aged years and his mother used to hang his sheets out to dry. The story goes that he would be embarrassed and so would run home as quick as possible to make sure that the other kids did not see his pee-stained sheets swinging in the wind. LOL! Some social prsssure seems to be a good motivator. :)

  2. Gosh i am so so pleased for you, and for her. Its a great mile stone. i hope that she is able to keep it up. i noticed that sarah is able to say things that her friend Tilly says. like she was never able to say mummy's (when she is pointing at something that is mine)she just says mummy. Tilly said mummy's and low and behold Sarah said mummy's as clear as a whistle. I've been telling her mummy's for AGES! i guess kids sometimes need to learn from other kids. :)

  3. Good for her!

    And, I think this (peer pressure/power of social status) is why they say no one goes to college in diapers: don't sweat it!

  4. Woo hoo for all of you! Hopefully she'll be able to do it again tonight. The pressure of doing it once might be too much though...

  5. Don't underestimate the power of peer pressure!

    It certainly starts early.

    Hoping you have many more dry nights!

  6. That's great...and HOW I laughed at the "Wango Tango"! Anastasia has had a couple lately....probably because I had just mentioned to someone that I thought she was "over them". He-he...she'll show me!!!

    But I really like your talking about things ahead of time. Often Nastya's come along when things don't go as [she] planned....or as I "promised" (i.e. said "maybe", "we'll see", or "I don't know" about)... But when it comes to other people's birthdays she is a Wango-Tango waiting to happen, and perhaps talking about it more ahead of time would help! Good idea.


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