yellow rivers by I.P. Freely, doodle © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
I had a flashback the other day. I had to pee badly, so I ran into the bathroom, unzipped my jeans, peed, wiped, flushed, and walked out of the bathroom while pulling up my pants. Suddenly I saw my mom, 30 years earlier, doing the exact same thing.
She did it all the time. Ran into the bathroom, peed, walked out while pulling up her pants. No closing the door. Just pee and run.
One time I had just come home from school with my boyfriend and two friends in tow. We walked through the front door, turned the corner toward the kitchen, and there was Mom, heading out of the green bathroom off the entryway while pulling up her Bermuda shorts over white nylon panties, the toilet flushing in the background.
She must have said something like “Oh my!” but all I remember is, she was embarrassed, I was deathly embarrassed, and my boyfriend and two friends were speechless.
Yet, that was such a “Mom” thing. She never closed the bathroom door when she peed.
And now, I seem to have inherited that trait.
Besides the obvious aspects of our peeing proclivities (the fact that we don’t wash our hands when at home and that we’ve fallen into this loosey goosey don’t-care-if-someone’s-in-the-next-room groove whenever our pants are down) I’ve gained another insight from this flashback.
I realized that I never bother to close the door when I pee because, frankly, I don’t have time. I’ll be standing at the sink washing the dishes and then, BOOM, it hits me. I have to pee! (In Spanish, they say, “Me estoy meando,” which literally means, “I am peeing on me!”)
Maybe it’s a familial thing. Maybe it’s from having babies. Maybe it’s the last thing I ought to be sharing about myself on the blog, but for whatever reason, once my brain registers “I need to pee,” my pee seems to scream, “I need out!”
Sure, I can wiggle and squeeze and even do what my sister (who used to work with toddlers) fondly calls “the pee-pee dance.” And in a professional setting I somehow manage to hold it until I reach the bathroom. But when I’m in the comfort and safety of my home, I have a tendency to push the envelope and barely make it to the bathroom.
So I’m thinking, if I have this problem, I bet Mom also had it; ergo, Mom never closed the door when she peed because, like me, she suffered from stress incontinence.
There are other signs, too. Jim plays this trick on me whenever we shop for groceries where when we get to the aisle with toothpaste and shampoo, he waits until someone is within earshot and then yells, “Honey, don’t forget your Depends!” Then he zooms off with the cart in the other direction, leaving me facing the person who’s just come down our aisle.
And there was that one time I got a coughing fit at the grocery store. I was eight months pregnant with Em, and Dee was about three years old. With an almost baked eight-pound baby pressing down on my uterus, every time I coughed I peed just a bit in my pants. (Actually, I was wearing leggings over a maternity top.) Fortunately the coughing finally stopped, allowing me to finish up our shopping and head to the check-out line.
There we were, standing in line. One lady was in front of us, one man behind. Being shy around strangers, Dee clung to my legs. I could feel her little hand probing around the spot where my leggings were soaked, so I tried to push her away, but before I could she looked up at me, eyes wide, and said, “Mama, you peed in your pants!”
I tried to ignore her but that only made her think I couldn’t hear, so she backed up a bit and yelled this time.
“MA-MA, you’re wet DOWN THERE, you PEED in your PANTS!”
I bent down and whispered in her ear that if she stopped talking and went over to find the kind of gum she liked, I’d buy it for her. As she disappeared around the point-of-purchase display, I looked at the three people staring at me—the cashier, the woman checking out, and the man behind me—shrugged, smiled, and gazed back down at my cart.
Truth is, though, I don’t think I technically suffer from stress incontinence. I mean, stress incontinence is a pretty serious issue, and once you get to reading about the many incontinences there are—stress, urge, overactive bladder, functional, overflow, mixed, transient—well, I’m not ready to go there.
My little problem? A bad family habit of peeing and fleeing. Or fleeing, peeing, and fleeing. That’s all.
I just need to listen to my body and get to the bathroom more frequently. And I need to start closing the door before my girls inherit our trait.
I know. My apologies. Too much information.