October 12, 2009


“Daddy? I have to go potty!”

My husband sighed. “Now? We’re five minutes from home. You’re going to have to hold it.”

“But I can’t!” My daughter wailed. She stared at him in hysterical panic. “I have to go SUPER BAD! I have to go now!”

Why do kids have to go when it’s not only inconvenient, but impractical? We were walking on the high school track, timing our daughter’s running times when her younger sister began to whimper. “I CAN’T HOLD IT ANY LONGER, DADDY!”

My husband and I frantically glanced around the track field. There was nothing—just bleachers, acres of grass, blue sky, and a dying sunset. My daughter has no bladder control. Asking her to hold it would be like asking a penguin to fly while singing the Macarena.

“Daddy!” she nearly sobbed. The kid had to go—and it was a must—a need. We were potty training—although an accident in the pants was something I was used too. I was tempted to tell her to go in her pants, but we had worked so hard with this one getting her to actually come and tell us when she had to go. She had a hard time recognizing those signals.

After nearly a year of practice, stinky wet pants and loads of smelly underwear—she was FINALLY telling us—right then and there that she had to go. Success!! But……..I sensed a tragedy in the making.

She began to do the Michael Jackson trademark “hold”—but added another element to her choreography by jumping, twisting, and dancing around. “Daddy!” she wailed, clearly suffering.

We gathered our little family together and began running toward the parking lot. There was no way she could hold it for another five minutes. I was going to have to wash another pair of sour underwear and wash out the car seat—again.

As we ran, she hobbled along like an ankle had come loose. My husband picked her up and tucked her under his arm like a football player running for the winning goal. But unexpectedly, he skidded to a stop. Suddenly, a chorus of angels began to sing, the beam of sunlight breaking through the clouds in the fading sunset shone on a golden throne.

There was nothing out here. Nothing.
But there was an old tire...

“Go in there,” my husband told her.
“Honey,” I protested, starting to intervene. I stared at the monster truck tire lying on the ground. Where was its owner? I saw a tractor a few feet away. Where was the man who had parked it here, and when was he coming back for his tire?

“It’s okay,” he assured me. “She just has to unload her bladder. It’ll be fast.”

I glanced around in panic, praying the owner of the tire wouldn't come back within the next few minutes as he lifted her down into the tire and told her to “do her thing.”

This particular daughter isn’t one who is picky—she’ll pretty much do it anytime, anywhere. We tried to look nonchalant as we pulled a pioneer move and “circled the wagons” to cover her as she vanished below and did her business. She had no compunction about going in a tire. In fact, she laughed and thought it was awesome.

Great. Don’t get any future idea’s kid. This was a one-time thing.

She was done in seconds—just like a little kid. She asked for Toilet Paper. “I don’t carry it in my purse,” I told her, rolling my eyes. “Just pull up your pants and let’s get out of here.” I was so embarrassed; I began to walk away as my husband waited for her to finish. I scanned the field, searching to see if anyone had seen us, wondering what people would think seeing our family standing around an old tire.

I just wanted to get out of there as fast as we could.

It was at that moment I heard my husband shout in a high whisper. “KID!!!”
I sighed heavily and kept walking, too afraid to turn around. “Wonderful,” I mumbled, “she peed all over her clothes.” I didn’t want to look.

I looked up as I heard a car door slam and watched as a family with three kids began to skip and walk across the parking lot. Now it was my turn to whimper.

My husband flew to my side in three seconds, taking my elbow and rushing our family through the parking lot in lightning speed. “Quick! Quick! Get in the car and strap the kids in!”
“Oh no,” I groaned. “What’s wrong?”
Not that I really wanted to know, but….

“I thought she was just going to pee,” he said, “and it’s one thing to pee in a tire—but when she-”

The color drained from my face. Oh yeah, she had unloaded. But—it wasn’t what we thought she would “do”. Yep—doo doo. Number two.

I turned to the kid in question, utterly embarrassed.

“HONEY!” my husband shouted quietly. “KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN!”


We both just wanted to crawl under something and die when the family we passed in the parking lot walked onto the field and we heard their kids squeal, “Cool! Look at that tire!”

They ran toward it.

My husband and I looked at each other in dread.

Sheer and utter humiliation flooded through me. I wanted to click my heels three times and pray I either vanished, or a dark cloud of angry flying monkeys would thankfully carry us away.

“There’s no place like home with a flushing toilet. There’s no place like home with a flushing toilet…”

My husband and I started screaming at our kids in loud whispers to buckle up in their car seats because we couldn’t take the time to do it for them. I threw myself into the car and slammed the door, knowing how all of it looked. We were such a weird family. We looked panicked, we were watching that family’s every move, and we shouted secretively, slamming doors and running around like maniacs. My husband backed up the car as I leaned over the seat to buckle in our kids, watching the family through the back windows as they approached the tire.

I wanted to die as they stared.

My husband punched the gas and sped away.
Man, if that didn’t scream ‘you’re guilty’….hey, you’d think we committed a crime or something.
Honestly, if those people hadn’t come, I would have poop-scooped my daughter’s nasty—but someone was bound to notice that we had no dog.

What would you have done? If I had to go back and do it over again, I still would have run. Only, I would have run faster. I wouldn’t change a thing. If there hadn’t been people around, I would have gone back—but nonetheless—running was a good option at that moment.

I can’t get the image out of my head of the man who needed to change his tractor tire right there in the grass. He probably popped a tire running over a football player’s cleats and left for a few minutes to go to the school’s maintenance shed to grab a few supplies. At first glance he might have thought it was doggie doo—until he lifted his tire up and was forced to take a closer look.

Whatever happened, someone was bound to come back for that tire. And in their absence, we had left them a little surprise.


Jess said...

Truly an inspiring & moving post Camryn! I loved it! Laughed myself silly first thing in the morning.

Thank you I needed that! By the way you reacted the exact same way I would have.

Aren't kids the best & aren't potty training kids just the bestest ever!?!? Hahahahahaha...

rubberbandgirl said...

'k, I don't know you and came from Christie G's blog, but this is

and i would have run and run hard. :)

MommyMert said...

You were very thoughtful to leave such a great gift. :)

Not exactly mother of the year said...

Oh My!! I nearly had an accident in my office chair reading this. VERY, VERY FUNNY. One time my 4-year son went pee in the display toilet at Home Depot. I turned around for a second and when I turned back he was standing there peeing in the middle of the store. There was no running away from that because about 15 people saw what he did. I thought I might drop dead on the spot over that!

Aren't kids the BEST!

Heather said...

OH GOOD HEAVENS! I laughed so hard! I also shuddered a few times, potty training stories are usually funny and embaressing, but girl, you get frist prize! Along with your husband who came up with the idea.....

Becky said...

My biggest fear is being smack dab in the middle of Walmart and having a child say "I need to go, NOW." I have been known to throw all the children in the cart and race at top speeds through the store in an attempt to advert disaster.

Your story is so very funny!

MommyMert said...

I had a moment like this today, I had to share because it made me think of your blog. We walked to the park and of course when we get there, she has to go #2. No potties anywhere. Uhh??? In the plastic bag I saw over there? She kept asking to go on the grass. Uhh... NO WAY. We ran home, and I carried her all the stinking way home. Ugh. Anyhoo... xo