Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Barf Bag

I know, an unappetizing title for this blog post. I actually have two reasons for it.

First, I've been rereading Louis Sachar's Holes, and there's a character named Barf Bag in it. I rarely reread books, but I enjoyed that one so much, I decided to give it a try, and it's nearly as good the second time around. Part of the reason I'm rereading it is to get a feel for how he put it together, as November is fast approaching, and November is NaNoWriMo.

That's the crazy acronym for National Novel Writing Month, where over 50,000 people try to write a novel of 50,000 words or more in a month. In 2008 I did it, too, and it was a wonderful feeling. In 2009 I only managed 35,000 words, but that was still a great feeling. I'm trying to decide if I should make a go of it in 2010. Will I have time with two little kids? Can I get a novel planned in a few weeks? I have one in mind, so we'll see. Do you want to give it a try with me? Please?

The second reason to mention barf bag is that we're on vacation.

Sounds bad, doesn't it? I'll explain.

I took the kids and traveled back to the Midwest to visit friends and family. Now that Desert Boy is toilet trained, it makes traveling easier. For the most part.

On the plane he had to pee. So I took him and Emma to the cramped little lavatory. Then he had to go again, but Emma was sound asleep in my arms, so I sent him back on his own. A mom was sitting next to the door, and bless her heart, she let him in and ignored everything that went on as he left the door open behind him.

We were in the final descent when Desert Boy informed me he had to pee again. I remembered back to a random thought I had had pre-travel, when I had decided to put him in a pull-up for the plane flight. But that random thought had fluttered away as quickly as it had fluttered in. He wasn't wearing a pull-up, he was wearing baseball underwear, with little absorbing power.

I told Desert Boy he would have to wait a little bit, and since he usually gives me a 10-minute warning, he was okay with that.

We got closer to the ground, and he told me again that he had to pee. I told him he'd have to wait a little bit longer. He made a face, but didn't protest.

We landed and taxied forever. Finally we got to the gate and I let him out of his car seat. He stood up in the tiny space between the seats.

"Mama, I really have to pee." His eyes were bigger than usual. Uh oh.

This was an emergency. People were already standing in the aisle, so I couldn't even take him on a mad dash to the lavatory and beg for forgiveness. If I didn't do something immediately, I was going to have a wailing kid with very wet clothes and a smelly puddle on the plane.

My mind flashed to a bottle. If I just had a bottle, he could pee into it. That's what we use on long trips in the cave. (Note: Do not also take lemon-lime gatorade into the cave if you also take a pee bottle. They are the same color in the glow of a headlight. Just saying.)

I had a bottle, but it was half-full of water and buried in my bag, and by the time I pulled it out and dumped it out somewhere (but where?), it would be too late.

I had no ziplocks.

Emma's diapers were buried.

But I did have a barf bag, conveniently located in the seat pocket. I whipped it out, told Desert Boy to pee into it, and did my best to provide a modicum of privacy as people shuffled their way off the plane.

Desert Boy peed, and peed, and peed. He peed like three inches in that bag.

By the time he finished, everyone else had gotten off the plane. A flight attendant asked what he could do to help me off. I was so tempted to give him the barf bag of pee, but I resisted. Barely.

We made it off the plane and had to wait for the stroller, and lots of other people were waiting for their bags. I managed to focus all my attention on the kids and ignore the little white bag I was gingerly holding. I also tried to avoid eye contact with other passengers. I didn't want to know what they were thinking.

We finally got to the terminal, and I made a beeline for the nearest garbage can. I released the barf bag, and heard the plunk as it sank all the way to the bottom. If any of the passengers waiting were wondering what I had just deposited--or why the garbage can was smelling a little rank--I didn't stick around to find out. It was time to get out of there.

We had just survived another pee adventure, and that made my day a good day.


jendoop said...

The only thing I would be thinking if I saw that is how ingenious you are! Those are the real life smarts you need to survive motherhood. I'll have to remember that trick. Hopefully Desert boy won't go around peeing in people's paper bags now ;)

I Am Woody said...

Whew! Disaster averted!! Quick thinking, my friend:)

Anonymous said...

I once had to carry a clear plastic bag of toddler vomit from a front row in a filled auditorium of @ 1,000 people,down the aisle to the back of the room. As I was leaving, a nice man with a mop & bucket was on his way to clean up the mess...but I showed him my bag and said all was fine. got to love it!

Good going DS!

A said...

There's your novel, or at least part of it, right?

We've been close to the same situation, but have always just missed disaster, and I don't know I would have been as smart as you!

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