Apr 19 2011

Thanks to a friend named Abbie (not to be confused with my Abby), I was thinking about some of the weirdest things I’ve ever done for my kids.

Abbie and I were discussing creep-out levels, because she started it.  See me placing blame?

I’m placing blame as a proactive defense for the gross things I’m about to reveal.

Oh, sigh.


It’s all me.

Poor Abbie merely mentioned the phrase “creeping you out,” and then I escalated the creep level all by myself.

I was telling Abbie that she’d have to do something really epic if she ever wants to truly creep me out.

For example, I once helped my screamingly constipated baby get his poo out by gently scooping off the emerging poo with a rubber baby spoon.

Gross?  Yes.

Medically approved?  No.

Effective?  Yes!  Happy, pain-free baby.

And now you can see that my creep-out level is very, very high.

This is the point of every post where I wonder what in the world I’m doing.

Just thought you’d enjoy sitting here with me for a minute.

How’re you doing?

You doing OK?

You ready to move on?

Take a deep breath.  That’s what I’m doing.  They say it helps with nerves.

So, as I said, the whole creep-out thing got me to thinking about some of the weirdest things I’ve ever done for my kids.

I settled on this:

I think the weirdest thing I’ve ever done was for Abby when she was 3 years old.

We were on an airplane.

We were descending, and the Fasten Seatbelt sign had been on for probably 5 minutes.  That meant, by my inexpert calculation, that we had around 25 minutes until we were on the ground.

That’s when Abby announced that she had to go potty.

Of course she did.

I asked her if she could wait.

Of course she couldn’t.

We waited anyway.

I had her wait 2 minutes.  Then 2 more.

Then 2 more.

She went from talking to crying.

Then from crying to wailing.

It became clear she really, truly couldn’t wait.

My dilemma:

  1. Be the passenger who disregards the seatbelt sign and compromises the safety of my child to get her to the potty.
  2. Be the passenger who lets her kid wet her pants in the airplane seat.
  3. Come up with an alternative.

Door #3 felt like my only real option.

I told her to hold on.  Mommy was thinking of a Plan.

Just like my brother and I used to groan whenever my parents told us we were about to have an Adventure, so my kids groan whenever Mommy has a Plan.

Even at 3, Abby understood the implications of The Plan.  She whimpered quietly.

I took all 3 barf bags from the seat pockets in front of us, and I used them to line her seat, scooching them firmly underneath her bum without removing her seatbelt.

I took off my sweatshirt, triple folded it, and put it under Abby and on top of the barf bag seat liners.

I put Abby’s jacket over her lap and scooched down her little pants.

And then I told her to pee.

Pee?  She looked at me like I’d lost my mind.

Oh, sweet baby Abby, your mother lost her mind long ago.  Wait ’til you see me with more than one kid.

Yes, pee.

On my sweatshirt.  In the middle of a crowded plane.

No one was looking.  I swear.  Window seats are awesome.

After she was done, I pulled my sweatshirt out from under her, replaced her pants to their upright and locked position, and moved the barf bags from the seat and into my garbage bag.

We deplaned 25 minutes later.

Me with my urine-soaked sweatshirt tied around my waist, my child in one hand, our bags in the other.

Abby with a smile on her face.

I told the flight attendants to check the seat.  “My daughter may have had a little accident.  I think we caught it in time, but the next passenger might appreciate it if you make sure.”

Like most of my parenting decisions, I did the best I could at the time.  And I will forever question it later.

Just makes you want to book a flight somewhere, doesn’t it?

I dare you not to think of this the next time you’re on a plane.  Special present from me to you.  You’re welcome.