September 24, 2009
I chaperoned a field trip for sixteen four-year-olds today, and holy hell, what freaking craziness.
Now don't get me wrong here, I love four-year-olds just as much as the next guy--their tousled hair, the way that boys aren't afraid to hold hands with other boys, the fact that they tuck their t-shirts into their underpants--but honestly, I only volunteered out of fear. Pure fear that James might sh!* his pants in the middle of a remote apple orchard and never make a full recovery.
I mean really now, my kid's been sick for the last couple of days and he's accidentally pooped his pants twice. He's definitely on the mend, but I still don't have total and complete faith in the strength and wisdom of his bowels--especially among thousands of pounds of apples.
Go ahead and call me a helicopter parent for tagging along, but my son's got a reputation to uphold among his peers, and because of that, the only lap he should be pooping on is his mother's.
Seriously guys, James'll be going to school with these kids for the next fourteen years of his life, the last thing I want is for his quote in the senior yearbook to read, "Dude! Sorry I shat in your shoes."
After all, that was my senior quote--and in this family, we really value originality.
Anywho, I went on the field trip, and it involved a long and bumpy hay ride through a dirt road in the woods. As I was climbing onto the wagon I muttered a little prayer. I was like, "Dear Lord, please don't let these bumps make James explode, but please let the bumps make me explode." What can I say? I'm sick of being pregnant. But looking back, I probably should have been more specific with The Man Upstairs.
Once I settled onto my bail of hay I looked around and noticed that literally all of the adult eyes were planted on me. Apparently, the mere prospect of some woman's water breaking behind a tractor is even more intriguing than a night at the three-ring circus.
Now a woman's water breaking while her son has a raging case of projectile diarrhea? That, my friends, would blow 'em clear out of the water.
And here comes the good part--there was no water breakage, but between you and me and no one associated with James's class, I legitimately peed my pants before we even got to the goat pen. Every time we'd hit a rock, or a divot, or a weed, another four-ounces-or-so would spew out of my bladder and onto the seat of my pants. James's teacher would turn to me and say something hopeful like, "Any contractions after that bump?" And I'd smile to every adult on the wagon and say, "Nope, nothing," as my Hanes Her Way High Waisted Briefs became more and more water logged.
As we passed the sunflower field and I whizzed for the third time in three minutes, James pulled my ear toward his mouth and regretfully whispered, "Mom, I think I pooped in m'britches a little bit." And I was like, "No big deal, buddy. Mommy accidentally tinkled on this hay bail. A lot."
I've never, in my life, seen such a look of reassurance on any child's face. I knew his secret and he knew mine--and those secrets were locked up tighter than tight in the sacred vault of the mother-son relationship.
My intuition told me that my boy would need me today--and he most definitely did. So mothers, never doubt your instincts. And never hesitate to pee in your pants for sake of your child's self-esteem.