My boys do not like to tear themselves away from whatever they are doing when nature calls. Sometimes they push it so far they barely make it in time. There have been several instances where I am told by one of them later in the day that, “Well, I didn’t make it all the way,” meaning some leaked out and they have been walking around with pee-stained underwear all day. Boys seem to accept this as a fact of life for them. Boys’ underwear? Stained. Period.
They also give themselves more credit than they deserve for knowing when they do and do not have to go, and for knowing just how much room their bodies have to hold onto these items when their bodies are obviously ready to eradicate the unwanted waste. No matter how many times I ask, “Are you sure you don’t have to use the bathroom?” and no matter how many “No” answers I get, need to use the bathroom they do. And inevitably the urge to purge comes at the most inconvenient times.
Hiking – We’ve taken to carrying a roll of toilet paper with us on hikes. I don’t know if it is the walking that gets things going, but Murphy says that we will be at the far end of a 2 mile hike when the “I need to poop” look crosses one, or heaven help us, both of their faces. There are no bathrooms deep in the woods. Not man made ones anyway. The boys think this particular form of communing with nature is hilarious. Does a boy ---- in the woods? Yes. Every time.
Airplanes – Maybe I should have just ignored his protests and gotten up and taken him earlier. But, I really believed him when he said he didn’t have to go. This was the first time we had flown since Luke stopped wearing diapers, so I blame my newly potty-trained-son-ignoranceinnocence for this one. Our plane was in descent. The landing gear was down. The ground was fast approaching. And Luke had to go. Really go. I knew that it would be at least 30 minutes before we got to the gate and got off the plane. He'd make it maybe 3 minutes. So I took him. The flight attendants allowed me to do so. I guess they weighed the risk and, for them, the risk of injury to us was less of a factor than having to replace a pee-soaked seat during the layover. You thought using airplane bathrooms was hard under normal circumstances? Try doing it wedged into the tiny space with a three year old with questionable aim while the plane is pitched forward and hitting every air pocket in its path.
In the car on the way home from vacation after you have just passed the last stop for 20 miles – This time we didn’t make it. For our next car trip my father-in-law, who is a licensed pilot, gave us those bags that pilots use that you can pee in that contain a powder to solidify the liquid. We’ve yet to have an opportunity to use these, but I’m looking forward to it.
Every morning before school – Usually after we have put on our coats and backpacks and are half-way to the car. After so many times I should expect and plan for this. But we are usually running behind and so I get impatient and Jack actually apologizes to me for having to go to the bathroom. Add that to the list of things that make me feel guilty.
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – This is a beautiful place with a well-known, at least in our area, Christmas light display. Little did we know on the night we decided to go that cars would be backed up for miles. We inched forward slowly over hours, approaching the entrance to the light display. About 15 minutes from it finally being our turn to enter the light display, Luke proclaimed you know what. Had it been Number 1, we would have jumped out of the car and used a bush nearby. But it was Number 3. We had to leave our place in line, head to the visitor center, find a parking spot, wait in line for the restroom, get back in the car, and wait in line to leave the visitor center parking lot to get back in line for the light display. All of this would have been a million times worse had we not made it to the restroom in time. Which we did. And every time the boys ask if we can go to the light display again this Christmas, they say, “And remember when Luke had to poop really bad?” We’ll always remember. What an association to have with Christmas lights.