wet dream problem/solution for camp? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello - I just embarrassed myself in the bedwetting thread and so thought it was only right to do likewise to my son! Of course this is anonymous and he'll never know but he'd throw a fit if he knew I told anybody.

He turned 13 recently and earlier this year when we were making plans for him to go to summer camp (when my wife and I usually go on our own little getaway) he suddenly did not seem interested in going to the camp he so loved for the fast few years. And many of those friends he only sees there so we thought this was strange. When we started pressing him about it when the deadline was getting close he started getting mad and more intense in his refusal to go. What started out as "nah, I don't feel like it this time" turned into "no, I'm not going back to that stupid camp!"

Fortunately I was able to discover why. My son and I are pretty close and we seem to be able to talk about a lot of things, but it would have been easier to do had he told us instead of us finding out ourselves. He had been doing his own laundry for a while now - well, mainly just his sheets since that is only once a week. But my wife noticed he started doing it more frequently and I told him that wasn't necessary and it wastes water etc.

But one morning I needed the dryer after helping out with a load myself while my wife was away and I "encountered" his sheets in there. It was then I discovered several "watermarks" some darker than others on the sheet. I went into his room to drop them off and out of curiosity I pulled off the spread to discover a pretty ravaged mattress cover. Luckily he wasn't there to be immediately embarrassed.

So I later sat him down and said I think I knew why he didn't want to go to camp and told him I didn't think we ever talked about wet dreams before. Well that blushed him up pretty fast but I was as calm as I could be and told him that I had them too (though not as many or as young as he did) and they were normal and a good thing and nothing to worry about. I even said they should be something to enjoy without going into details and that seemed to bother him and he basically asked how that was supposed to be possible to enjoy wetting the bed! That scared me because I used to dream of wetting the bed to awaken instead to a wet dream or sometimes to an actual wet bed. I didn't think it was possible that he would have the same kind of dream.

Eventually I got this much out of him: that in his dreams is somehow gets "stuck" on his bed or someone else's couch and he is trapped down and feels paralyzed and heavy as he starts to pee, always fearful that someone in the dream will find out and he desperately tries to get up but can't and he says they last a really long time. I didn't know what to say but explained we can't control our dreams and weird things like that don't mean anything bad and they should soon either stop happening or become better once he gets used to it. I did offer that he should be sure never to wear soiled underwear to school since other kids will see if he gets changed to which he hurriedly replied "I know dad!" - so obviously he is very aware and sensitive on this issue. To save face that I wasn't an insensitive idiot I added that I knew he wouldn't do that and meant he should use certain underwear for school and others for sleep that it doesn't matter if he wears ruined underwear to bed already if it keeps the other ones safe.

But it was clear that he didn't want the emarrassment of having these dreams at camp where he is in either a bunk or sometimes paired up with other boys in a bed depending what site they travel to. When I said one probably won't happen there he mentioned they happen 2 or 3 times a week! I didn't even know that was possible. Especially with the sizes of the stains on the sheet, which all seemed to be the size of a CD or larger. One morning he uncharacteristically came tome saying he had another one and what should we do - well clean it up of course! I helped him an dwas able to determine that it was NOT urine but also seemed, I don't know, not very thick but tacky. It dawned on me that perhaps in these dreams he has that are so long most of the time what might be happening is simply an extended state of arousal prior to ejaculation where a larger quantity of pre-ejaculatory fluid leaks out. When I asked if anything different happens at the end of the dream to make it stop or wake up he just says he feels some stronger squirts happen - so I thought uh-oh, that is where is happens, so maybe my theory is right.

Which doesn't matter anyway because it doesn't solve the camp situation. While I've done my best toassure my son not to worry AT ALL about the wet dreams hoping they go away or that he starts enjoying them instead, I turned my attention to the camp(s) which were really no help.

I asked them if they had any advice or could help out in some discrete way. My son already told me that they have people who change and wash the sheets, so even if his buddies didn't see this happen he didn't want the counelors to find out. I asked if he could somehow wash his own sheets and the best they could offer was that he wear a diaper (!) or that he is put in a cabin with children who wet the bed - or find a camp that specializes in that kind of thing.

I was speechless! I didn't want to force my son but I also felt bad that he missed out on his camp. He seemed to down that we took him on our trip (as if we weren't going to go!) - and, to kill two birds with one stone, we decided for OUR privacy (wink) and HIS with his problem that we would put him in another room. I explained that our son might have an accident so what could they do and they supplied extra sheets and a mattress cover which I gave to my him. I was glad to see him have fun on the trip at least.

For now I don't think the wet dreams have stopped or slowed down. I don't feel comfortable bringing up masturbation, especially since I'd be doing so in order to SUGGEST that he do so (I don't know if he does) in order to prevent the wet dreams. It just doesn't seem right to ask him to try that if his body is taking care of things for him. Plus, even if he does try, there is no guarantee that the wet dreams will stop AND I'm not sure if it is a good idea to masturbate at camp anyway, given the issue with privacy.

So I hope this wasn't too long or off topic - but I'm hoping I can come to some solution so he can enjoy his childhood without feeling like he has some problem to hide from the world. I could not find any website that addresses the issue of "chronic nocturnal emissions" if there is such a thing, and how to stop it or live around it without disruptions.

One glimmer of hope was last week he asked me "dad, when you have sex do you really go inside a girl?" - so maybe he finally realized what it was all about or maybe his dreams took a slightly more realistic (and enjoyable) turn at least. Hey, I'm looking for the positive here!...
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#2 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 09:14 PM
 
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I find it incredible that a camp with boys of that age isn't more practical about it....most of the other boys are probably in the same boat! They understand this is a puberty issue and not a bedwetting issue, right? How long is camp? How about a special laundry bag and enough twin sheets - maybe bought from goodwill - to line his sleeping bag or regular bedding? Every morning (or after lights out) he can cram the old one and any dirty underwear in the laundry bag and get out another..he can keep it at the bottom of his sleeping bag if he doesn't want anyone to see it. If camp is long, he can mail it home and you send a replacement. If they're goodwill sheets you could even think about throwing them away if there's no good solution. Another idea might be sleeping in nylon shorts (thinking longish, like swim trunks) over his underwear, so the underwear take more of the damage and you don't need to worry about bedding.

The menfolk in my house suggest, if the showers are private stalls, that he shower at night and masturbate in the shower.
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#3 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 09:21 PM
 
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Most people would introduce themselves in the "Pleased to meet you" forum or post in some other topic areas before jumping right in with a post of this nature.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry - I wasn't aware of such ettiquite protocals! I should have at least preceeded my post with a "not for the faint of heart." My main worry was that I was a male posting at a "mothering" site - but I believed that I read other male posts and in any case mothers - perhaps of more than one male son, have dealt with some variety of this problem and could help.

As for Clarity's advice - it seems sound. I didn't think of swimming trunks because of course he'd have THOSE to clean up instead. I was thinking more like a towel placed under him but didn't go into such detail chatting with him about solutions.

I think he is simply more creeped out about the prospect of having such a dream and waking up "like that" in the presence of so many others, lights out or if asleep or not. Personally I would be too. Plus I think there are certain locations they hike to that require them to team up in beds so I think he was most afraid about that since he'd have quite a dilemma removing a wet sheet with someone sleeping on the other side of it.

I don't know how common these are in other boys. I think some never get them, or if they do not this many and not as noticeable - they are more noticeable than most of the ones I had for sure. And he does wear underwear and shorts (PJ's in winter) to bed already, so he would need some very absorbant material. The problem, as I've said, is perhaps all of this isn't semen but that other fluid which sometimes drips out beforehand. Just a theory. Anyway, I don't know how cruel the other guys would be at camp if they found out, but that isn't the point because I'd have to convince my SON not to feel awful afterwards IF they found out even if they were cool about it. I suppose I could have forced him to go and said "deal with is" with a dismissive laugh, "kids!..."

The mailing of the sheets seems a bit odd and troublesome too. I just thought they could provide a separate bed or access to washing machines but they said they were closed at night. I don't know why they weren't more helpful or understanding - perhaps I was projecting insensitivity onto them because of my embarrassment from asking. They probably had no set policy for this sort of think because I imagine it rarely happens or if it does it is mostly hidden.

My son is not very athletic but skinny and this camp really is his only exercise outside of gym class during the school year. Sports are not a major aspect there or crafts. It is more of a camping and hiking and canoeing kind of experience and lasts two weeks - plenty of time for him to have 4-6 "accidents" at the rate he gets them at home.

I still don't like the sound of masturbating at camp. If they can get away with is and feel comfortable, fine - but at camp that is essentially "in public" and I retch to think of him resorting to doing that in a shower used by dozens of other boys, where they might do the same thing. Everytime I've been in that situation masturbation was the LAST thing on my mind! Just shower quickly and dry off and get dressed before anyone can see me naked too long. Again, some places the showers have stalls but some of the more "rustic" locations have a more open setting.

Menfolk - ha! Are you a female responding? That must have been quite a special moment when you posed that gem at the dinner table...
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#5 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to mention that I found this site through a search, so I went right to one of "those topics" not knowing what the whole experience of this site was, and in quasi-relief and desperation I went right to the point. But I'll check it out.
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#6 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 10:32 PM
 
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yeah, hanging out in the living room with DH and BIL and sister and the kids. We're kind of an open family. It's ok with me, I answered because you were so detailed and, well, dorky and dad-like. The lascivious trolls have an ickier and less detailed feel to them in my opinion. But maybe some other men would offer opinions in the Dads forum?

I just don't think double sleeping is appropriate with boys of that age, many of whom have the same issues. But as for the big M, in just a few years of of these boys are 5-7 times a day, so the bathroom or the shower must be where it's happening. Learning to do it fast and quiet must be an skill acquired early by many.
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#7 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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This may be a possible solution you may not have thought of.
They do make "bedwetting" pads that are quilted and have a rubberized backing, they'll just fit the width of a twin bed and are square. Buy two of them and switch them off when one gets soiled. I use one for nighttime menstrual accidents which inevitably happen. I found mine in a catalogue for baby and toddler things.
You could also buy some chux pads...the blue disposable pads used for women on the bed during childbirth. This may be just what you're looking for for a camp situation. You'd find those at a medical supply house I would think.
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#8 of 20 Old 08-08-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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I think you should just tell him to get himself off before he goes to sleep so he doesn't have any built up pressure to come out at night. All the other guys will be doing it, too. Trust me. The guys I knew at camp all said they did it.
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#9 of 20 Old 08-09-2004, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dork-like?!?!

Ha - well, I guess the apple doesn't far from the tree in my son's case. I was so clueless as an early teen and maybe he is too but I wised up pretty quickly - though I don't want to rush him. I certainly would not have wanted to hear MY father tell me "son, I think it is about time you started masturbating."

Very interesting suggestions from the ladies. My wife hadn't thought of those, although it seems finding a solution to this is unofficially my department. She is great and open about a lot of things but I can't picture her feeling as pedestrian or nanchalantly encouraging about the practice to teenage boys the way a lot of you seem comfortable in speaking. I guess in my mind she isn't allowed to say things to him I would have found embarrassing for my mother to say!

And no matter what you say I can't believe "everyone is doing it" especially at camp. With so little opportunity for true privacy, I guess you have to learn to be quick and sneaky, not just doing it but cleaning up too (hence how could it possibly be enjoyable), and even then guys must be caught from time to time. As for the showers, the question of sanitation! And under the covers with the lights out - eve if they aren't in the same bed, how can they hide shaking the bunk or emitting telltale squeaks?

I think they only spend a couple nights in the same bed because of the place. It isn't like that all the time. Maybe they cut that off at age 13 but for the past three years it has been that way. As for me, I remember a class trip in 12th GRADE where they put guys 4 to a room with two beds, so you figure it out. Same for the girls.
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#10 of 20 Old 08-09-2004, 01:17 AM
 
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Boy oh boy WakeUpMama! Way to be friendly! :

Opinionated Mama to dd 2/23/03, ds 3/20/05 hbac, dd 1/23/08 2hbac, and baby #4 due in June 2010!
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#11 of 20 Old 08-09-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherSONokayHERE
I certainly would not have wanted to hear MY father tell me "son, I think it is about time you started masturbating."
Babies start masturbating the minute they find their genitals. It just usually "goes underground" at an older age (either out of an increased understanding of bodily privacy, or out of embarassment/shame).

He knows his wet dreams are orgasms, right? Maybe you could say (you could even go so far as to act as if it just occurred to you) "Have you thought that maybe if you had an orgasm before you went to sleep, you wouldn't have one in your sleep & soil the sheets?" I doubt he'd require clarification on how to achieve this :LOL Possibly all he needs is matter-of-fact confirmation that it's OK to masturbate.
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#12 of 20 Old 08-09-2004, 01:50 AM
 
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"I think they only spend a couple nights in the same bed because of the place. It isn't like that all the time. Maybe they cut that off at age 13 but for the past three years it has been that way. As for me, I remember a class trip in 12th GRADE where they put guys 4 to a room with two beds, so you figure it out. Same for the girls."

They should, AT THE VERY LEAST, be in separate sleeping bags while they share a bed. And laying head to toe would be good too, so they aren't breathing in eachother's illnesses all night long. I have a daycare, and it's against regulations for me to have non siblings share a bed, and nappers that are on the floor have to sleep head to toe with a minimum required space between them to minimize the spread of illness.


If he's in a sleeping back he could keep a couple of chux pads rolled up at the bottom, and descreetly place one under him when he crawls in. Then toss it in the trash later when he gets the chance.
-Heather

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#13 of 20 Old 08-09-2004, 08:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnE73
Boy oh boy WakeUpMama! Way to be friendly! :
???

I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. I personally would not answer in any detail to this type of question to a member who had not made some inroads into becoming part of the community. I can't be sure if he's for real or not, but the initial post is loaded with fetish material. At the time of my posting he only had 2 other posts with very similar content under "Find other posts." I thought recommending he branch out and establish himself here was much more tactful than just posting a troll smilie.
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#14 of 20 Old 08-09-2004, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I suppose that suspicion was to be anticipated. It was, after all, similar to the feeling I got when talking to the camp who some of you were surprised "weren't more understanding in these matters," so I expected I would find some of that here as well except I'd have the numbers game on my side and not have the more personal discomfort of actually speaking to someone and dismissing my concern. I even brought it up to the family doctor and got the same basic "oh don't worry that is normal" brushing off, sidestepping the real issue of concern which he didn't have the time or desire to really hear or couldn't fathom why anyone would be so concerned about it. So it is with this history of "being brushed off as quacky" (here I'm only "dorky" ) that I recklessly rushed to this site and typed away without proper introductions. Apologies.

And speaking of DOCTORS - I switched my previous PCP who was INCREDIBLY rude to me. He would barely look at you for a check-up, mumbled when you asked him a question and made you feel a fool for asking it. I was trying to figure out what these lumps under my skin were and he would basically say "oh they're harmless, don't worry" and mumble what they were called (lymphoma?) and what did it for me was when I had bloodwork done he WOULDN'T let me have the results OR a copy, and rushed me when I tried to scribble the numbers down! So I reported him to the insurance company and switched doctors, and the jury is still out. At least now I have an referral appointment to remove one of these "benign" lumps (and hope my teacher's insurance covers at least the first one) and see what it is. This year an uncle (mother's brother) had DOZENS removed from his front and back torso and leg area - and I remember his mother (my grandmother) had two large fatty lumps on her wrists that were never removed, so it runs in the family.

Oh dear, and there I went off on a tangent! Well, welcome to a conversation with me! I guess my typing fingers really are wired to the same brain that my chatty mouth is...
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#15 of 20 Old 08-13-2004, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know I recall having more wet dreams on weekends when I could sleep in or during the summer when I didn't have an alarm waking me up to go to a job. Perhaps this is more common with all boys on average, that wet dreams tend to happen towards morning when you get the longest and most vivid episode of REM sleep and dreams. Waking up earlier or being interrupted by an alarm might be another way to naturally deter these dreams, and since boys don't sleep the day away at camp I can't imagine that they happen nearly as often as my son fears. With school coming up this fall it will be interesting to know if that is a factor for him - and since I don't want to pry or expect him to volunteer the information, hopefully he is bright enough to piece the situation together and take a chance next summer. One can only hope.

Whereas with bedwetting, I understand this happens much sooner after falling asleep in the deepest part of sleep, so waking up earlier or later should not affect this, except to prevent what I've heard described as the "2nd accident of the night" after the first one was already cleaned up.
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#16 of 20 Old 08-13-2004, 11:40 PM
 
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Father, I was a summer camp counselor in high school (at a girls camp of course) and I know how cruel kids can be about that sort of stuff. I wouldn't recommend masturbating in the showers. Usually they are a concrete area with just flimsy shower curtains separating the stalls, hardly private, with lots of gaps. Someone would surely see/hear him, and whisper it all around. Certainly he doesn't want to be called the 'shower spanker' or whatever.

Since he's probably sleeping in a sleeping bag, I wonder if it'd work to stuff a washcloth into his underwear after he's crawled into his sleeping bag for the night, then no one would see. Pull it out in the morning and whip it into the laundry bag when no one's looking, with his regular dirty clothes. A chux pad would be crinkly, I think.

Poor kid. I had a few teenage bed wetters in my cabin and boy, did everyone know it. There were a couple girls with menstrual leaks, but I don't think the campers knew about that... I just washed their sleeping bags/sheets when the other campers were at lessons. No one knew.

Good luck to you both!
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#17 of 20 Old 08-14-2004, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! Though he needs more luck than I do!

I'm glad you said that about chux because I was hoping for a simpler solution.

They don't use sleeping bags though. I've seen the bunkhouse where you drop them off but apparently they hike to other smaller locations that have beds where they need to double up, but luckily there are only in those places a few nights total.

I guess I was hoping for a sympathetic counselor who would volunteer to wash my son's sheets "when no-one was looking." Then again there is still the sad imbalance of acceptance between girls' periods and boys wet dreams - probably because the wet dream isn't a definite experience for all boys, nor with predicatble monthly regularity, and since they only happen at night and are connected with sex dreams somehow they are more embarrassing and like "wetting the bed" somehow not being in control or finding other outlets.

But boys don't hang around gossiping and blurt out "I'm expecting my wet dream any day now" like a girl will say about her period, and have a product she could conveniently purchase that has been advertised to death on TV. Nor would my son likely be able to swallow the lump in his throat and go up to the counselor to admit to the event. He never said anything about anyone wetting the bed so I guess that camp never has to deal with that it seems.

I'm not trying to say that girls have it easy. Only once did I have a girl who menstruated noticeably in her seat - though I was clueless about it while she was there and noticed it only after the whole class was dismissed, no-one said anything to me or her. I can't imagine how she wouldn't know it happened, or how others did not see it on her. But I tried to be cool about it with the younger group who entered and had the nurse come down to clean it up - schools are VERY paranoid about coming in contact with blood and bodily fluids, so I don't take any chances either.
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#18 of 20 Old 06-20-2005, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't checked in here in almost a year. I see the thread hasn't been continued which shows me how unusual my concern was.

Anyway, it is another summer here. My son appears to be handling the situation much better. From what I can tell he doesn't have as many and/or is able to clean-up/hide things much better. No doubt letting him do his own laundry makes it all a mystery.

Well, we stopped perstering him about summer camp. He found new interests and I suppose grew out of that phase of his life, which is a shame because he had so much fun. Now it is all computers and video games and he isn't getting the exercise.

How differently things would have been in I found a sympathetic couselor.
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#19 of 20 Old 06-20-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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Just a thought for others who may end up with a similar situation, but fleece is moisture resistant, so if he were to sleep wrapped up in a fleece blanket (I'm guessing it might get cold enough at night at camp, although it may be too hot), or better yet in fleece pants or shorts, maybe with some properly placed washcloths, it might help to hide the situation. The fleece wouldn't even need to be washed as long as he had a way to air the pj's/blanket out a little (and it shouldn't need much as it doesn't absorb moisture)
HTH
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#20 of 20 Old 08-09-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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I for one am greatful for this thread...being a mom to a teen boy with potential issues like this when dad is gone. Thanks for the courage to start it, very insightful.

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