A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from Vacation . . .

3 08 2009

Potty training has been my biggest parenting nightmare to date. Zack is neither submissive nor meek, and he was still young enough when I started potty training him that I hadn’t yet fully learned to work around his personality type. (Ask his teacher from last year–I’m still figuring that one out.) Add to him two siblings in rapid succession, and potty training seemed my full-time occupation for awhile. After years (that is not a joke) of wet and/or stinky pants, we finally hit a pretty good stride about 3 years ago, and potty issues while travelling pretty much cleared up a year after that.

I seriously don’t know what was going on this trip.

“I gotta go to the bathroom!” was uttered more during this trip than any other, frequently followed by, “I can’t hold it!” I should have counted how many times we stopped at the side of the road, just so I could share it all with you.

Generally, we were able to pull off at an exit, affording the chillins a bit of privacy while they did their thing. And while we’re on the subject, why are boys able to go so easily in the wild? Another object lesson on the unfairness of life. It took several stops before I got the girls to miss hitting their shoes. Anyway, at one particularly frantic stop (“I really can’t hold it!”), a sibling decided to hop out since we were stopped anyway, and proceeded to say, “I guess I’ll go, too.” When nothing happened, I started to hoist her up (we found a modified chair-sit with me holding under the armpits worked best under the circumstances) and she said, “Wait! I’ve got to go [number two].”

Great.

So the deed was done, tp was found, and we were (finally) back on the road, when just around the next bend we saw the big blue sign letting us know a rest area was two miles away.

Seriously?

But that isn’t all. Oh, no, our strange potty adventures don’t end there.

One daughter (who wishes to remain anonymous) had been whining about using the toilet for miles. We were about to stop for dinner (as soon as we made it to a sizable town), when Stan suddenly said, “I’m toast.”

He was right.

He got pulled over (13 miles beyond seems to be the magic number for us) and had already handed over the ol’ lice and reg, explaining that our “daughter needs to pee” (vernacular has not been changed). While the officer ran the numbers, daughter glibly jumped out of her car seat, opened the door, and said, “C’mon, Mom.” (No prompting necessary. I’m telling you, we’d done this way too many times already.)

The kids hadn’t even noticed the policeman, and my daughter already had her pants down by the time I got out of the car, as well as her arms held up for me to help her sit. There were cars–oh, so many cars–racing by. She went. She got it all over her shoe, and we had to use an extra pair of socks hanging around in the van to wipe them off, since we finished off the tp earlier. Back in the car. Buckle up.

Officer returned. “If she had to go that bad, you wouldn’t have made it to the next exit, anyway,” he said.

Stan gets off.

He is SO lucky.

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13 responses

3 08 2009
Mom

Glad you made it home safely if not without the potty adventures. Traveling with kids is always an adventure. I guess Stan can thank whichever daughter for getting him out of the ticket. Thanks for coming and visiting. I bet the kids are glad to be home. Love you.

3 08 2009
Abby

We are headed to california this weekend with the cousins…my husband told me that my sister (who we will be traveling with) stops WAY to often to go to the bathroom…so he will be driving alone with the 5 kids, while I drive with my sister. … I will definately have him read this post before we leave….and the fact that you have it written down for posterity….priceless!

3 08 2009
Mr. Smith

Hahaha, too funny. Nice of the officer to let you off, Stan – way to go!

I recall some road trips that required similiar steps. It started off much easier, though: when Cinderalla was potty training, we just brought the potty! Clean-up was easy, time delay was minimal, and smiles remained throughout.

Much better than my sister on a road trip when I was young. We pulled over and – though she didn’t need to go – she hopped out to retrieve a stuffed animal cruelly thrown out the window by an older brother (no, not me – not that time). She had the bad luck of landing on a fishing hook. And yes, the story about needing to push it all the way around because of the hook? It’s true. Ouch.

3 08 2009
mandy

I’m sure Stan wasn’t the first traffic offender to plead “kid needs to pee”. How nice that your kid was ready and willing to prove his story true. Car rides with kids are always eventful and usually disgusting in one way or another.

3 08 2009
moniquel319

I second the “take the potty on the trip” comment. That’s how we did it with my daughter and it was nice because she could just go in the car and we were able to clean up in a snap. Highly recommend it for your next long drive.

3 08 2009
Jacki

How embarrassing!
Glad I have boys! LOL!

4 08 2009
Mrs. Olsen

Wanda Wanda. Pooping off the freeway takes the cake (or is it cowpie?). Anyway, I have one word for you: IKEA.

Last time I was there I saw a seriously cheap but sleek little potty seat and I thought they would be perfect for road trips with little kids.

4 08 2009
Mrs. Olsen
4 08 2009
Candi

That’s hilarious…though I’m sure it wasn’t at the time. Glad your home!

4 08 2009
Kathleen

lol, that is great. We’ll have to try that the next time we get pulled over…our kids always have to pee. This trip home we had Everett pee in an empty water bottle, the kids all laughed at the “lemonade”. Boys are so lucky (and gross)!

Are we still on for the sleepover? I was thinking you should bring the kids bikes, fun!

4 08 2009
Hailey

LOL. So funny and so familiar. We get very little notice from Mr. Henry. We didn’t even make it to Island Park without a stop at the side of the road. The last few times it happened to be raining, which only adds to the fun. Glad you made it back safely. It must have been Stan’s lucky day.

5 08 2009
Alias

I’m still laughing… Ah, the family road trip. So fun. Glad to know I’m not the only one.
Driving down to CA, we discovered Cinderella ate, oh, 5 too many bowls of applesauce the day before… which made for 5 or more side-of-the-road stops. Ewwwww!

10 08 2009
Clint

We saw these on a Dave Barry Christmas post: http://www.pmateusa.com/. I can’t verify their effectiveness, but they sure seem like a good idea. We sure are looking forward to such adventures.

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