My daughter and I had a conversation recently that made me crazy. One of her friends has three teenage daughters. A few months ago, the fourteen-year old, Mary, spent the night at my daughter’s home. She slept on the floor with sheets and blankets provided by my daughter. After the young girl left, my daughter realized that during the night Mary had wet the bedding and the carpet beneath. Recently Mary spent the night with another friend and the same thing happened. Because of a church assignment, my daughter has had regular opportunity to associate with Mary, and she has become very aware of the smell that accompanies her. Other friends complain of the smell, but apparently they aren’t associating the smell with their friend…at least not yet.
It has become more and more apparent that there is a major problem with cleanliness. Out of concern for the future taunts and ostracism by friends, my daughter talked to Mary’s mother. At first the mother denied knowledge of the situation, but as the conversation continued, she admitted knowing about the problem. Apparently both her fourteen and twelve-year old daughters wet the bed nightly. The mother said she has tried to get her girl’s to quit stuffing their soiled clothes in drawers or closet corners, but it still happens. Her concern with the soiled mattresses is having to spend the money to replace them. Her excuse for not protecting the mattress was that the plastic gets torn, the girl’s don’t tell her about the tear, and the mattress gets soiled again.
The wetting of the bed is not the issue I want to vent about. Some of my children have been older bedwetters, but during those weeks and months, I was SO aware of cleanliness. Sheets and night clothing were washed every morning. The mattresses and mattress protectors were checked every time the bed was remade for any tears or foul smell.
The issue I have is with Mary’s mother. If she is not even aware of the repulsive urine smell that surrounds her daughters or apparently their bedroom, then something is terribly wrong. I can’t even fathom such a disconnect. Would this woman be just as oblivious to her teenage daughters’ problems if she stayed at home full time? But she has admitted to my daughter that she loves her employment, and would much rather be at work than at home. As a result, long hours are spent away from family and the frustrations that they cause.
So my question is, did problems at home cause her love of the workplace? Or did her love of the workplace cause the problems at home? This bedwetting issue could stem from a physical problem…if so these young girls will out grow it. But if it stems from an emotional problem…a problem that is being ignored…then my heart goes out to these girls and the hurt and humiliation they are experiencing.