It all started very early one day – 2 am on 18 May 2009, to be precise. Rhea, our three-year-old daughter, who used to sleep between my wife and me sat up on the bed and started crying. If you have a kid, you know how scary these things look when they cry in the dark.
A three-year-old Rhea crying in her sleep at 2 am was definitely scary. The fact that I could feel thick blood on the bed sheet was scarier. Rushes of the movie <i>Evil Dead</i> appeared before my eyes.
As I peered through the darkness to get a better glimpse of my daughter’s crying face, I noticed that my wife was also trying to do the same.
“Why is she crying? Did you kick her in your sleep?” My wife asked nonchalantly.
Before I could answer, she turned towards my three-year-old daughter and shouted, “Shut up, Rhea!”
“No, I didn’t do anything! I can feel blood on the bed sheet.”
Rekha jumped out of the bed at a speed which only a concerned mother can achieve, switched on the lights (and by mistake switched off the fan, which angered me…but more on that later) and stared at the bed sheet for a full five seconds.
I was still gathering my wits. If you are a man, you do understand that being the breadwinner isn’t an easy job. I mean, my wife does a lot of work being a home maker. But gossip, politics, backbiting, slandering and meddling in office can also be extremely tiring. It isn’t without reason that corporate firms have five-day weeks and home makers have to work on all seven days.
“And this is blood? You almost gave me a heart attack!”
If there is one thing I hate about my wife, it is the fact that she keeps giving false hopes. “Heart attack, my foot,” I whispered to myself. She was going to be alive a very long time and my dreams of marrying a bewitching, young siren was going to be on my wishlist forever.
“Looks like she wet the bed.” I reconciled.
I doubted myself soon after I said this. As a kid I used to be a famed bed-wetter. So much so, my nickname in the neighborhood was “LAP” – Little Adorable Pisser. What if Rhea inherited this enviable quality from me? I looked down and my shorts was indeed wet at the right place. But I was almost sure it could have been because I was lying in the pool created by Rhea. As a child, wetting the bed is bad but as an adult, wetting a child’s bed and putting the blame on her is worse.
My wife broke my thoughts with her. “Yes, that’s more like it.” Now nothing could be changed. The jury had spoken. The culprit was indeed Rhea.
By now, Rhea had stopped crying and was tugging at her shorts. Nobody likes their shorts to be wet, especially when it is 2 am and your parents are staring you down.
For a moment I thanked my stars for not falling for the beautiful salesgirl’s pitch at Home Center and buying the electric blanket. If I had, by now the three of us would have been history – the alkaline piss and the electric blanket would have been a fatal combination.
“Rhea, you are now a big girl. You shouldn’t be wetting the bed,” Rekha said.
“Amma, I am sorry, I won’t do it again.”
“You better not,” Rekha can be very persistent when required.
Being her daughter, Rhea is also no less. She asked, “Amma, from tomorrow can I sleep with my grandma?”
I knew how Rhea’s mind was working. Now the question was, will my wife be able to spot how the little devil’s sharp mind was on overdrive? Alas! Nobody escapes my wife.
She replied: “If you think you can pin your piss on her, forget about it!”
It took me a bit of time to gather the courage to say, “That’s alright, Rekha.”
I was waiting for Rekha to stare at me with those pointy eyes which can burn a hole in anybody. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. Rekha was busy getting Rhea change into a new set of clothes. After which, she started replacing the bedspread with a fresh set.
As I watched her in action, I wondered for how long I will be able to keep it a secret that I used to wet the bed till I was in fifth standard – yes, till I was 11 years old. Maybe not for long, but I was going to give it my best shot.
With time I have realized the bed-wetting is a bit like falling in love. It starts off with a nice dream and in the dream you are in this nice place. Once you start peeing, it is nice, warm and feels good. With time it becomes cold and messy. You want to get out of the mess but can’t because it requires a lot of effort so you just lie there for it to be morning.
Next day morning, when my wife wasn’t around to censure me:
Me: Rhea, don’t worry about bed-wetting. All kids do it.
Rhea: What about tadpoles?