There comes a time in parenting when you pass a point. Many points, actually. The point of going out to dinner, and taking turns eating, or worse, ordering while at the same time asking for the bill and a to-go box just in case things go bad. I’ve even been at a restaurant and just asked for the food to be brought to the table already in the to go box. “Fuck it, just bring us plastic spoons and pull the car around” I’d say....
Pass the point of carrying around extra underwear (however, I might consider carrying my own) wipes, diapers, formula, shovels, extra water, bandaids, gas cans, duct tape, extra shoes, socks, toys, cameras, finger puppets, crackers, juice boxes, sippy cups, anti-venom, teething toys, butt balm, bug spray, sun block and a thigh tourniquet. Boy is eight and Girl is ten. We’re good. I mean, we carry shit around, but they carry it. If we don’t have it, they don’t need it.
Which led me to believe that when I was in the business of shopping around for a new ride, I no longer “required” leather seats. Rubber seats, plastic seats, whatever. we don’t need it, we’re good. Liquids stay in the mouth, food...same. No more stickers being tossed around, no more crayons baking in the sun.
Ok, so Husband and I go to buy me a new car. Now, on a side note, I’ll discuss how annoying that process is. Let me first say that I am not the world’s spokeswoman for Feminism. Open my door for me. Carry the heavy shit. Offer to “run me a hot bubble bath” because that’s all I “need to feel better”. Do it. I am all about that. I like bras. I like makeup. I like being treated like the lil lady. That does not mean that I am fucking daft, or clueless, or helpless, or wearing a burka. I have a name, and it’s not “wife”. Which is what the car salesman kept referring me to. When we were going through this whole process, it was “Mr. O’Brien” this and “Mr. O’Brien” that and “Mr. O’Brien, how far can I shove my head up your ass?” this. All the time, it was : “Mr. O’Brien, I’m sure your wife would....blah blah blah fucking blah blah blah her bra” or some shit like that. It was annoying. Fuck it, whatever, I’m a lady, so I kept my cool. But I signed all the documents first, Husband signed second....
Ok, so, three hours later, we’re done. We go get Boy and Girl who had gone to my parents. We have the new (to us) car. It is so clean and sparkly and smells so new (to us) it’s almost kind of gross but in a good way. I guess, it was just a foreign smell. And we’re excited, and they’re excited. We’re all excited to be driving home in our new car that doesn’t have leather seats. Or fill-in-the-blank repellant seats.
Which is why....hmmm...which is why what happened is so unfortunate. So we’re driving, and Boy and Girl are sitting right next to each other, and they are laughing. Hard. I kept hearing Boy say to Girl “STOP IT!!” laugh laugh laugh laugh....”STOP! I’m SERIOUS!” giggle giggle “STOP. IT. GIRL!! I’m gonna PEE MY PANTS!”.
There are certain things in life that when you hear them, you speed up. Whatever it is you’re doing. If you hear that certain sound dogs make as they’re about to barf, or the cat making that hairball sound, or just any “OH NO!!” coming from a different room, you are ON IT. Motion.
So when I heard “STOP IT! I’m gonna PEE MY PANTS!!” I was instantly, and I mean instantly doing 90 mph on a residential street. To the nearest stop. I am screaming at them to “STOP IT!! HE’S GONNA PEE HIS PANTS!” But all I’m met with is more laughing and the sound of a struggle. grunting. cringing...laughter.
I pull over, Boy hops out and is instantly peeing in the grass. I look back to where he’d been sitting. On my not leather interior of the car. And I see the spot. About as big around as a slice of bread. Wet. Pee. In my new to me car. It had not even made it home yet. The ink on the paperwork I signed was still as wet as the spot I was now looking at. He peed in my new car. It was like, seriously, 13 minutes, we’d been in the car.
I’ll be honest. Not one of my prouder parenting moments happened next. I lost my shit. I did. It was awkward how bad I was losing my shit. But we all made it home...off to bed..and I was using the pee cleaner I use for the puppy in my new car.
The next morning, I was at work. Everybody was asleep when I left. I’m at work, preparing for some random surgery, got the gown on, gloves, playing with instruments, going all OCD on my set up (that’s another story) and I’m thinking. God, I was an asshole about the peeing in the car thing. I mean, laughter. It was just laughter. Hearing them laugh is such a good thing..and I was a shit. I looked at the clock, and I had 5 minutes before they were supposed to go to school. Even as the patient was coming in the door, I took off my gown and gloves, left the OCD set up to wait, and called the kids. Of course, a few people heard my apology, and were laughing to themselves: “Hey guys, yeah, it’s mommy, how’d you sleep? Oh yeah? blah blah blah...Hey listen..about the whole peeing thing, it’s all good. I’m sorry I snapped. Yeah...it’s just pee. It’s just a car. You’re more important than a car...blah blah blah...I’m sorry I’m such an asshole. I love you...have a good day at school.”
We get past certain milestones in parenting. And we come to new ones. Being able to admit when you’re an asshole. Still better than schlepping around bottles and diapers any day. Well, fuck that...the diapers stay.