Edward woke up dry today.
I know, I know, nes gadol hayah poh* but this is what happened. I read all of your comments (have I ever mentioned how much I love you, collectively? very very much. supportive, diverse, respectful, informed and informative - as the big sea turtle said to the little sea turtle and Steve often says to me: you so totally rock, squirt) and I thought, well now isn't that interesting.
The range of suggestions was considerable and it is obvious that there is no one solution, even for a given child, but what struck me was the number of the things it had never occurred to me to even try. My previous experience was: Patrick was dry during the day and then spent, oh, maybe a month in overnights before we started taking him to pee in his sleep before we went to bed. What prompted this was the fact that he was having consistent night terrors and I thought if I took him to the bathroom right before the time he generally started it might help break the pattern. Did this for about a week, never had an accident (and the night terrors dropped off as well) and it was done. As for Caroline, as soon as she was able to use the bathroom consistently during the day she was able to do so at night. I think she spent maybe two nights in an overnight and then we ditched them.
So when Edward didn't follow either pattern I assumed that he just wasn't there yet. The comments were helpful because I realized that as a result of my preconceptions I had basically given up without really giving him a chance to see what he can do.
I loved the idea of simply getting rid of the goodnite but as it happens Edward has gone commando more times than I can count (1. Steve does bedtime and forgets; 2. Our sitter does bedtime and believes Edward when he says he just wears pajamas now; 3. I say OK Edward you can try it again but remember! What are you going to do if you need to go pee?) and we have never had that magic moment ourselves. It is nice to know it worked for quite a few and let this be a lesson to the rest of you. First, try ditching the overnight and see what happens.
Also helpful were the cadre of people who had come up with ways to manage the transitional period (eg bed lasagne) with the realization that it might take days or weeks to work. Since all of the times Edward has gone without a not-corset have been accidental or deemed failures there has never been any consistency.
And I am embarrassed to say that the idea of really discussing it with him had never occurred to me either. It's so hard for me to personally conceive of making even remotely conscious choices in my sleep (get up! don't get up! pee! no no no don't pee right now you fool!) that it seemed silly to talk to Edward about his noctural decision making process. However, so many of you had obviously made the effort successfully with your own kids that you made me feel churlish.
So last night I ordered a pair of Super Undies per your suggestion as a way to perhaps give Edward some dignity while also providing protection (results pending although I got an email today saying they have already shipped - nice service.) I talked to him about getting up if he needed to pee in the night. I put a new nightlight in the hallway and another one in bathroom and I made sure the path from his bed to the door was clutter free.
But this is the kicker: I took him to pee after he fell asleep - nothing. I took him again before I went to bed - success. Then he climbed into bed with us after a nightmare at 4 in the morning and I took him to the bathroom again.
So yay he was dry by seven. On the other hand I had to personally transport him to the bathroom twice in five hours and frankly I like more uninteruppted sleep than that. Still I suppose it is better than doing the trek three times and having him wake up wet.
What I have ultimately concluded is that Edward might be one of those people who are simply not wired to be dry all night at this age. I know this is a possibility (see: heredity; subheading: Steve) and many of you in the comments have experience with this. But he might not be and in the face of his earnest desire I owe it to him to help him try at least until it is obvious that, Yuke, there is no try.
So thank you. Thank you very much for giving hints and encouragement and perspective. I shall, of course, report back on progress as warranted.
Oh and the subtext of all of this is: twin or not, Edward is my baby and it was uncomfortably obvious to me as I read your thoughts that I sometimes infantalize him because it doesn't occur to me to do otherwise. He's just so damned cuddly.
*Last year I was unbearably snarky and holier than thou as I decried the fact that none of our local retailers had any dreidels for sale and I wanted dreidels. Five thousand linear feet of Christmas stuff and not twelve inches to spare for another major religion? I questioned hotly.
A commenter tactfully noted that it was the end of December and Hannukah had come and gone already so... I read it and blushed. I might even have smacked my head against my desk. How mortifying to be all up on my soapbox only to discover that I was the ignorant one.
This week I was at Target and I passed a well-stocked endcap and... I bought my dreidels. The nice thing about being a secular humanist is that I get to appreciate all of the religions and some of them involve gambling for candy.
Anyway, sorry about all that last year, Party City. My bad.
PS Hey! You're right! Party City DID say they did not carry Hannukah stuff. Huh. I feel better.