There always comes a time in every parent’s journey where something unplanned happens. As a super worrier, hyper planner and research lover, it doesn’t happen to me often. But, of course, it happened this weekend.
We decided (thunderstorm forecasts be damned!) to go to the beach and since we got there at about 9 am, we had plenty of time to play before the weather and waves turned nasty. O has been potty training at home but we’ve never done anything out of the house where a bathroom wasn’t very easily accessible (the mall or a restaurant, for example). Being the prepared mom I am though, I found these awesome portable, disposable lifesavers called Potty Flip. I think I actually bought a big set of them on sale when O was around 12 months old knowing I’d need them eventually. So, after having our beach fun, we got the car packed up and asked O if she needed to go. She used the Potty Flip for “number 2” (awesome!!) and it worked out great. I gave her a handful of trail mix that included 2 m&ms as a treat because I forgot to bring stickers and yes, we’re using the classic bribery method of training. I do a little I’m-an-awesome-and-totally-prepared-mom dance as I get in the car.
Well, everything is great until about 15 minutes later when O asks for “some more treat.” I tell her that we were done with treats for now but offer a cheese stick if she was feeling hungry. She passes on the nutritious food option. Guess what happens next. Never underestimate a preschooler’s brain. O puts 2 and 2 together and says, “I have to go potty!”
Clearly she’s asking to get another treat. But maybe she really has to go also. Obviously giving in and tossing her some candy in the hope that satisfies her for a while is not going to work (unfortunately). There is nothing around us but traffic. My husband and I look at one another. Neither one of us says a thing but I can tell his brain is churning out every scenario on the planet just like mine is. Do we stop on the shoulder and have her squat in nature? (ew). Do we just keep driving and pray for no mess? (at least we have towels).
O cannot hear our brains and repeats herself. Mimi (Grandma) senses it may take longer for us to compose words than a 3 year old’s patience (or she sees the terrified look in our eyes) and says, “Ok, I hear you have to go potty. Let’s try and hold it for a few minutes and Mommy and Daddy will find a place to stop for you.” Oh thank god! … Wait, oh no… we might as well have just told our daughter to go surf an eggplant because “holding it” is a totally foreign concept. As I’m cursing myself for not having thought about explaining this ahead of time and trying to find a way to phrase it in an understandable way now, we see a sight I never thought I’d be so grateful for: golden arches.
In case you’re wondering, yes she was able to hold it. Yes, she really did have to go (a little). And yes she got another little treat.
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