Potty Humor

Over the weekend Maya caught what seemed to be a stomach bug. You know the one. It strikes in the middle of the night. Numerous sheets and outfits get changed and washed and changed again. Out comes the Pedialyte. (which Maya hates with a passion and refuses to drink) On goes Tangled. And then Spy Kids. And then Olivia. (The TV limits in our house are suspended the minute an illness hits) Twenty four hours later it is gone. Well, almost...

Yesterday Maya went back to school with a clean bill of health, or so we thought. An hour into the day we got a call from her teacher. "Her stomach is ok but she keeps getting up to pee. A lot. Or at least she thinks she has to pee. Perhaps she has a urinary tract infection?" Hmmm. So I call the doctor and set up an appointment for that afternoon.

When I pick her up from school she seems perfectly normal; happy, full of energy. The doctor says the same. Everything looks fine. They just need to do one lab test to make sure.

Have you ever been tested for a UTI? Even if you haven't I am sure you can figure out what they need to do in order to run this particular test. So we take the cup and two antibacterial wipes and we "try". (I will spare you the details. It will suffice to say that a 4 year old cannot do this task on her own. She needs someone to hold the cup.).Nothing happens. No problem. The doctor gives us a new one (because once you break the seal it is no longer sterile), along with two new wipes and tells us to try again before we leave. That one is also unsuccessful. Out comes a third cup and more wipes which we take with us promising to bring the "sample" back later that afternoon.

Off to the playground! But first we stop at home to get sunscreen. And some juice. And yes, you guessed it, to use the bathroom. Where once again, nothing happens because the reason we took Maya to the doctor in the first place is that she feels like she has to go constantly but doesn't. Only now we have a conundrum. We have opened the cup. The seal has been broken. Unsuccessfully. What to do?

Thankfully there is a bathroom in the playground. So I closed the cup and stuck it in my bag along with the remaining wipe and off we went. (Shhh don't tell the doctor.)

It was 85 degrees outside yesterday and many of Maya's classmates were also at the park. Their moms had bags full of Pirates Booty and Juicy Juice. I had that too, along with a plastic specimen cup, sans paper seal. I was all prepared for hunger, thirst and a random drug test. Maya ran around with two of her girlfriends and seemed to forget about her "problem" for awhile. They climbed, slid and hid underneath the jungle gym. Eventually the inevitable happened. "Mommy I have to go pee."

Great! There is no place more perfect to do this chore than a playground bathroom. Even better, Maya's buddy wants to "come too." Little girls (and boys) pee together all the time. Except...

Cut to me awkwardly explaining to her friends mom (a woman who I only know from school events and the occasional playground meetup) why I have to go inside the bathroom with Maya.

I suppose I do not need to tell you how this attempt ended. On the upside, her friend (after some prompting by her mother) opted to wait for Maya outside.

After we left the playground we took our cup on many other adventures. It went to the supermarket with us. It helped us walk Chloe. Finally it followed us back to the doctor's office where we asked for yet another new one (if you are keeping track this is cup number four) so we could just try again in the morning.

Throughout it all Maya was a trooper. She approached this new order of things with curiosity ("Mommy why do I need to use the cup?"), concern ("But what if I don't ever have to go?"), gross humor ("What if I went poop in the cup?") and finally the graceful acceptance that only a four year old can muster. The cup, and everything that went along with it,  just became a part of our day. (I did this task at least once a month the whole time I was pregnant and I do not think I ever became as comfortable with it as Maya did in a mere four hours.)

This morning, right before breakfast: success! (Before coffee no less! Good morning mama.) After dropping her off at school I packed my bag for the my day at the dojo: extra shirt, laptop, Ipod, water...and the cup. After finally fulfilling its purpose, I still had to bring it back to the pediatrician.

So what is in your bag today?