Some emergencies require us to dial 9-1-1. Other emergencies might cause us to scream for a nearby neighbor to lend a helping hand. And then there are the emergencies that call for a little bit of common sense and creativity.
I have had the good fortune not to have waited in an emergency room due to a child breaking a body part or thinking at any particular time it would be a great day to fly. I have not experienced those moments…yet. I have boys and while that is a mouthful in itself, I do understand (and have often been reminded) that my trips to the hospital are etched into my immediate future. It is why, when the insurance representative showed me a policy that covered children in the ER to the tune of $1500 the first day of admittance, I grabbed the paper and signed them up immediately.
We have emergencies of another nature in my house. My youngest son is very hyper and is so active that he seldom takes time to use the bathroom. Playtime is important, and to interrupt it is unheard of at the age of six. Often, you will find him racing into the house, virtually jumping over the couch and knocking me over to get to the toilet. As a good parent, regardless of his hurry, I have to always shout, “Lift the seat!” He never does.
It baffles me, and sometimes even infuriates me that he will “hold it” until we are in the car, on the freeway and stuck in prime time traffic to inform me that he has to go. I figured it was best do start a bathroom check before pulling off each day from school, on the way to church, or to the grocery store. Each time, I would receive an emphatic shake of the head.
“No, mommy. I know when I have to use the restroom!” He has the nerve to look embarrassed for being asked.
“OK, lil boy. I have a lot to do today, and I need you to make sure you don’t have to use it until we get home.” Public bathrooms are intolerable and usually out of the question.
One day, we went to our neighborhood grocery store and within ten minutes of being there, the dance began. You know it; left right, side to side, bring it back, round and round, shuffle-shuffle-step, shuffle-shuffle-step.
“Are you serious?’ I started.
“MOMMY!” He hated to be called on the carpet.
“Didn’t I just ask you if you had to use the restroom before we left home?”
“I didn’t have to go then!” The dance became a two-some of sorts as he moved too quickly to resemble one person.
“Do you realize you have to use the bathroom in here? Uggh! COME ON!” I dragged him into the restroom, irritated, agitated and too through.
“I’m sorry! You can’t control when you have to pee, mama!” He was convinced that he had made the right decision and sympathy was warranted.
“Don’t touch anything! And aim into the bowl!” He was quick, and invited his brother to join him. That way, if they both had to go, he could not be held totally responsible.
This became such a frequent behavior that I planned to leave the house as soon as I saw him go into the bathroom. At least I knew that it would be another hour or two before he would have to return.
One day, I was running late for an appointment and had to drop the boys off to a friend before going there. I was making perfect timing when I looked into the rear-view mirror and saw my son’s face. He was about to burst into tears.
“What’s wrong?” I inquired.
“I don’t want you to be mad at me!” He grabbed his pants and crossed his legs.
“Oh….my…God! You have to go?” Making an exit to locate the nearest restroom would have meant being late for my appointment. I started looking around on the floor and in the back seat. I lifted the console, threw open the glove compartment and found nothing. And then, directly behind me, there it was; a large, empty bottle of Gatorade!
“Here! Pee in this!” I shoved the bottle at him and he stopped crying for a second to see if it was a cruel joke. “Do you have to pee or NOT?”
“YES!” He screamed.
“Well, get to peein’ then!” His brother looked on in horror, but for a moment wondered if he had to go as well, just to see what the experience might offer.
I realize that those passing by wondered why my child was kneeling in the car. Some might have even seen the look on his face go from completely terrified to being totally relieved. Whatever the case, I was assured that I would be on time and my child would not be delivered with soaked underwear.
Some people sit in the emergency room for hours when there is a crisis with their child. Others scream for a nearby neighbor to assist in times of need. I use an empty bottle of Gatorade.
P.S. For the love of God, please do not forget to throw the bottle way when done.
Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!