So we packed up the kids in a fired-up hurry and drove four and a half hours so I could spend like three hours with my friends before a winter storm hit and everybody had to get off the roadways and go home and we were iced in at my mom's until we left the next morning. But that's beside the point.
Anyway, as any good parent knows, you always - ALWAYS - have your kids go pee before getting into the car, especially on a longish trip. So as we were packing up to go home, I personally stood beside the toilet to ensure that each boy left his contribution there before buckling in.
But my almost-five-year-old, Cameron, has an incredible knack for taking like two ounces of liquid and turning it into like twenty-thousand ounces of pee. So about an hour into the trip, he whined from the back seat, "I need to peeeeeeeee."
There was an urgency in his voice that only somebody who's about to piss themselves could muster, so I knew he was serious. But we had a problem: all the other boys, including the baby who tends to scream bloody murder during long car rides, had just fallen asleep. And if we stopped the car, they'd all wake up, and the rest of the ride would be about as unpleasant as a road trip with children could be.
"Can you hold it?" I asked hopefully, already knowing the answer.
"Noooo!" came the desperate reply.
As much as the dudes sometimes put me through, there's one definite bright spot to being the mother of boys: it's that, in a pinch, you don't necessarily have to have a restroom handy ... as long as you have a container capable of securely holding pee.
You see where I'm going with this, right?
I unbuckled and leaned across the middle minivan seats, carefully wedging my body between Coby who was slumped over asleep and Corbin's car seat, into the very back where Cameron was sitting. My eyes searched frantically for a suitable pee receptacle - and finally I spotted this:
Yes. A McDonald's milk container from earlier. That would do the trick.
I held it strategically in front of Cameron. "Just pee in here," I instructed. "I'll hold the bottle."
He looked at me doubtfully.
"Doooo iiiiiit," I hissed.
So he stuck the goods right into the bottleneck and did his bidness. I figured that since it hadn't been that long since he'd peed, he wouldn't have much in there. But I started getting apprehensive as the pee level crept steadily upward toward the top.
"Aren't you done yet?" I kept asking nervously. Oh my Lord it's going to overflow and what am I going to do if it overflows there will be piss all over this seat and the floor and the whole van will stink and it will be a disaster and is that roll of paper towels still stashed in the trunk because -
"I'm done!" Cameron announced.
Whew. No overflow.
But when I looked at the bottle, I froze. Because there was seriously urine right. Up. To. The. Top. Like, if I tipped it even a fraction of a millimeter, it would be spilling out all over the damn place.
And as a bonus?
I couldn't find the lid.
"You're going to have to pull over," I said to Curtis.
"What?" he yelled from the front seat, over the radio, as the van went bumpity bump over what I swear was every single little crack in the road, and the pee precariously swished from side to side.
"I need you to pull -"
"Oh for God's sake, never mind!"
So here I was: practically laying on my stomach, stretched across two rows of seats, with a lidless jug full of urine that was literally one wrong move away from being all over the place. To get back in the front seat, I needed to return to an upright position and then back up - but that wasn't happening without a massive spill unless I was very, veeeeeery careful.
Realizing that I had no choice, I slowly started retreating back into the front seat.
And then felt warmth trickling over my fingers.
Do you know how difficult it is to know there's pee - someone else's pee, even - all over your hand, and yet restrain yourself from taking any instinctive measures to correct it? You know, like throwing the bottle as far as it will go and jumping around like a spaz and screaming oh my gawd GROSS! and wiping it on your jeans or the nearest absorbent surface? I had to wait to do any of that until I was safely back in my seat. And even when I was back in my seat, I was still sitting there holding a bottle of pee with urine-saturated fingers, unable to do anything else but moan, "There's pee on my haaaaand!"
And then, miracle of miracles, my gaze lighted upon the most wonderful sight of all ...
... THE LID.
I don't know how it had gotten into the front floorboard of the van, but there it was, in all its pee-sealable glory. So I snatched it up, sealed the bottle tightly, and tossed it into a bag of trash. Problem solved.
Cameron may have had to piss in a bottle, and I may have had to clean the resulting spillage off my hands using baby wipes and hand sanitizer, but my initial mission was accomplished: no pit stops, and no cranky woken-up children.
Still ... y'all remind me of this the next time I want to take a road trip.