Geekygirl loves to change her clothes. At home on the weekend she will wear five, six, even ten different outfits in a day. This leaves me confused as to which items of clothing are clean and which really need to be washed, but otherwise it doesn't really bother me. My only rule is that once she has got dressed on a weekday morning there are to be no last minute changes as we are all trying to get out of the house.
She is a preschooler now, four and a bit years old, but still needs to wear a pull up at night. I know lots of kids her age are dry at night, but she really doesn't seem capable yet, she is a deep sleeper and just doesn't wake up when she needs to pee. The fact that one can buy 'pull up' type diapers for kids way bigger than she is makes me think that this isn't unsusual, so I'm not too worried.
What was worrying me was that she would often have accidents at preschool. Quite often at naptime she would wake up with wet clothes, something that never happens at home. The school were encouraging her to pee before going down for nap and she always did. Then her teacher noticed that often she wasn't actually even asleep when these accidents happened. This had me a bit flummoxed. Why would a kid who had been potty trained for over a year pee her pants almost every day, specifically at nap time? I was constantly bringing new 'spare clothes' to keep in her cubby at school, Geekygirl obligingly slecting a new cache every Monday morning.
I was about to make an appointment to talk to her doctor about this odd behavior, then I had a flash of insight. What was the end result of all these accidents? Geekygirl got to change into her spare clothes!
I picked her up to find, yet again, that she was attired in a different set of clothes than those in which she left the house, and with a plastic bag of soaked clothes to take home. This time I asked her "Geekygirl, I was wondering, did you go pee pee on your clothes on purpose so that you could change into your spare ones?"
"yes" she told me. "I like to change my clothes after nap time"
"You know, maybe, instead of going pee, you could just ask teacher S if you can change your clothes?" I suggested, catching the teachers eye as he nodded furiously in agreement.
"Geekygirl, you can change your clothes whevever you like" he assured her.
So the problem is solved. Geekygirl changes her clothes after nap time, and I no longer have a bag of soggy clothes to wash every day. When I pick her up now she is still always in different clothes than she left the house in, but she says to me proudly "Mummy I didn't go pee pee on my clothes. I just decided to change them!"
Children are strange little creatures, aren't they? It had simply never occurred to her to ask if she could change her clothes. In her four year old mind's logic, the rule at preschool was that if clothes were wet or soiled you would change into your spare ones, so therefore if she wanted to change into her spare clothes she must first soil them!
.I'm going to pick up a few more child psychology books. This little incident gave me a glimpse of insight into what a bizarre and fascinating place the mind of a child really is!