This prospective story by popular demand:

My daughter and I have the same small, cramped, little bladder. I remember as a child I would always fear being in traffic (I was raised in CA) and having to tell my father that I needed to go to the bathroom. I would avoid drinks before a trip, I would try to keep my mind off it, but once in a great while (taking all these precautions) I would have this tick in my brain saying, "Your bladder is a quarter full, it keeps filling....now it is half full...." I have only wet myself once (we are NOT counting when I was pregnant) and that was in the third grade.

I remember it well. How could I forget? My government school had earthquake drills. For these drills they closed the bathrooms by putting tape over the doors (don't ask me why) but all of us kids felt that it was a sign that we had to "hold it" if we had to go. My best friend Ann and I held it all day. I was pretty much seeing yellow, it was so terrible. We got out of the tail end of lessons to get to that now untaped door and relieve ourselves. The problems is that during drills they turn off the lights and in some huge public restroom it is hard for a third grader to find the lights. Especially in the dark. Ann and I knew this so as we hopped around trying to hold our pee, we discussed who would keep the door open and who would go in first. Ann, bless her heart forever, said that I looked like I needed to go first (I think she thought the wince on my face would not fade if I did not relieve myself as soon as possible) but being stupid, I said, "No, you go. I think I will be ok." She even said, "Are you sure?" By this time I was almost about to say I was not sure, we were stalling just talking about who was going to go, and I couldn't handle it. But I kept on by saying, "Just go." Or something like that. What happens next I will never forget for the rest of my life. Poor Ann, it is not her fault. Bless her soul, I say. As I heard her tinkle in the dark, dank, bathroom it got harder for me to hold it. I remember looking around trying to distract myself---at this office building, at the multi-purpose building--the sun was beating in my face. I think that was the point of no return. I did not realize that there was a point where the bladder hits "full capacity" and there is sharp pain and you know, heaven help you, but you lose it. There is no going back, there is no passing go and collecting $200, you have lost it. What gets me is at this state you can't even empty out "half a bladder". It just runs like the dam broke and it is over. I looked down and there was the puddle---a large puddle. Ann walked out of the bathroom. I can't even remember what she said. I know that she felt bad---she may have said something like, "You should have gone first. I didn't have to go that bad!" That sounds like Ann. My jeans (Yes! I was wearing jeans!) were soaked. The gentle California breeze made me cold---hey, I was warm for a little while, but soon you get cold, you know what I mean if you ever get your jeans wet in the ocean, or someone throws you in a pool for a good time. Everything else that happened until I got on the bus to go home is a blur. All I remember is that I was in line to sit down and I sat on the seat quickly to avoid anyone noticing. I don't remember if anyone did then. When I got off the bus was the worst. I got up and there was a pool of wetness on the seat. "Great," I thought. I thought that I could quickly get off the bus as quickly as I got on, but the person behind me wanting to get off accidentally swept past my pants with his hand and all I heard was, "Uh!!!" To say the least I was embarrassed and wanted once again for Scotty to beam me up.

So, my daughter, I think, inherited this. I feel bad for her, really I do. When it hits her she has to go immediately. There is no "tick" yet to tell her that her bladder is half full or at a fourth of its capacity. I have to coach her, literally. Usually it is on a long car ride and this weekend that is what happened. We were on our way to the park in Great Falls to have the picnic. We got lost, took a few wrong turns, and pretty soon the girl had to go. Thankfully, we found a CVS. I got her out of the car and she was dancing around. "You can do it!" I said. "You are so good! Be brave! You're the best!" I said further. I picked her up and took her in.
"Where is the bathroom?" I asked the cashier.
She looked at me dumbly like she was going to refuse me by saying that the bathroom is not public. I knew what she was going to say so I said, "Please!"
And she said, "Uh, over there!" and just pointed to some vague place (I had no idea where) at the other end of the store. I had put the girl down by this time and she was following me. "Mommy, I can't!" She cried.
I picked her up and said, "Yes, you can! You can do it! We will get there! Hold on!" And I proceeded to run frantically through the store wondering if my hip felt warm or not---looking for that stupid bathroom. I found a stock room. I went in even though it said "employees only." I looked around in that room for a bit and finally found a bathroom after trying a few doors. It was ridiculous. You know, when you have to worry you get frantic---you fumble, make mistakes, and just pray for the best. My daughter was in pain. She was crying. She was jyrating around like a madgirl using all the necessary power in her little body to hold the waters back. I remember hating her shorts when they wouldn't go down quick enough, but finally I got them. She was in agony. I threw her on the pot and a cascade followed. "Thank you, Mom!!!!!!" She said as she cried (literally cried) tears of joy. I praised her and praised her and told her she was the best daughter and no one could do what she just did. "Oh Mom, you're so kind," she said.

So yesterday we were getting an inspection done at the house we are buying (and it is a long drive) and we have to get to a place many miles away. We hit a traffic jam, so my "tick" says, "You are three-quarters full" and I am afraid. It finally gets really bad. Man of the House is breaking traffic rules, cutting people off, and just over all doing a great job to get me to our destination because he knows. My daughter catches wind of what is going on and says, "You can do it, Mommy! I know how you feel! I am so sorry! You can do it!"

When we safely got to our destination she took her hand in mine and told me she would escort me to the bathroom and that she was "so proud" of me.


Mindi said...

There are women everywhere who applaud you! I love this story.

Through This Great Wilderness said...

This literally made me laugh out loud. I love you!