Author's note: I was instructed to not use her real name in this story. So, for the sake of anonymity, her name has been changed to *Schmom.
Road trips to see my Grandparents in Florida were an annual event in my home. With my two older sisters, little brother, and myself underfoot, Schmom would spend days packing up our van with the essentials, including everything she’d need to entertain us for the long drive. It was supposed to take nine hours to get to their house but with all the potty breaks it would usually take more like twelve.
Then she heard about the travel potty.
It was kind of a no-brainer that this would benefit my parents so they quickly purchased it before our next trip to Florida. And then this happened ...
The trip down was almost exactly nine hours and, being the crazy kids we were, we were all more than excited to take turns peeing in the new little potty. And, after a week in Florida with my grandparents, it was time to go home. Schmom made sure we all did our business beforehand and then we got in the car and headed home to Georgia.
But the only person that didn't go potty was Schmom.
Now, all you parents out there know what it's like to take multiple children with you to a public restroom. It's a germ-infested, chaotic mess. I mean, we do what we have to but not if it can be avoided. This is why I don't drink anything on plane rides with my kids. If I have to pee on a flight, my options are to stuff four of us in the world's smallest bathroom or leave them with the creepy stranger that's been eyeing my boobs every time I feed the baby.
Anyway, back to Schmom.
About a few hours into the trip, Schmom was crossing her legs and ready to explode. It came down to choosing between finding a gas station and taking all four us with her into the bathroom, or -- yes -- using the kids' travel potty.
She had to go pretty bad and didn't take long to decide. She quickly pulled off the interstate, instructed us all to turn our heads, and squatted impressively low onto the child-sized potty to relieve herself.
And just as her bum hit the seat, we heard the paralyzing sound of a policeman’s siren. We turned around to see the officer getting out of his car and walking towards the driver's seat.
Schmom’s eyes got wide and I could hear her muttering frantic prayers that included offering up her firstborn child (This is when it’s nice to be the middle kid. Nobody ever offers up the middle kid). And I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sight of her squeezing out the last drop, pulling up her pants, and frantically scrambling to the front seat, just in time to meet the officer’s gaze through the window.
She rolled down her window and the officer asked her if everything was okay.
Mom (out of breath): “Oh yes! Everything’s great! **gasp for air** I’m just on my way back home with the kids and -- well, you know how THAT is.”
Basically, she blamed it on us.
Officer: “Okay, have a safe trip."
Mom -- uh, Schmom -- thought she was in the clear until one of us yelled from the backseat, “She was peeing!!!”
As the officer walked away with a grin on his face, we all broke out in hysterical laughter. Well, everyone except Schmom.
And that, my friends, is one of my all-time favorite memories from my childhood. You're welcome.
I'm sure Schmom remembers this story differently than I do. But what does she know? She was delirious from all the pee.
*Schmom = Mom