The following is an excerpt of a conversation, Part 4 of 5, with mainly my 25-year-old daughter Lauren on Monday, December 28, 2015, as we walked, shopped and dined in downtown McKinney, Texas − or as I like to call it, The Square. The day was cold and blustery. The week before and through Christmas, we’d had unseasonably warm temperatures ranging in the mid to high 70’s. The day after Christmas (Saturday), a strong cold front blew through, which spawned several devastating tornadoes in the North Central Texas area. By Monday, the temps had plummeted to highs only in the mid 30’s. With a day off from her work, Lauren and I decided to spend the day doing what we like to do best, shop and dine.
Conversation with Lauren after we left the last shop of the afternoon. It’s now 5:30-ish and we are taking the long hike back to our car:
Lauren (as we’re leaving the store): It’s freezing out here and I need to pee soooo bad! (Lauren’s starting to jump up and down.)
Mona: Do you want to go back to the restaurant? I think that’s about the only thing that’s still open.
L: No. The restaurant is back that way and our car is this way. The car’s closer. I just want to get home. Come on.
M: How long have you needed to pee?
L: Since we got here.
M: Since we just came outside?
M: You mean since we got here? On the Square?
M: Oh, Lauren, that was like two, two and a half hours ago!
L: Yes, I’m aware of that fact.
M: Well, why didn’t you just go when we were in the restaurant?
L: Well, I was going to, but I forgot.
M: You forgot you needed to pee?
L: I was distracted.
L: Yes. Distracted.
M: I’ve never heard of someone being so distracted that they forgot they needed to pee. Clearly, you’re not on your ADD meds. Look, why don’t we just go back to the restaurant?
L: No, I don’t wanna.
M: Why not?
L: That would be too embarrassing. I don’t want to have to explain that I forgot to go when I was in here earlier.
M: I don’t think they want an explanation or that they’d even care. And don’t you think it would be more embarrassing if you accidentally wet yourself?
L: It’s fine! I’m fine! I can hold it! Just get me home.
M: Oh, for Pete’s sake!
L: Did you just say “Oh for Pee’s sake?” That’s rude!
M: No. I said “Pete’s sake. With a “t.” Now you’re starting to hear things because you have to go so badly. Look, let’s just go back to the restaurant. It’s not that far away.
L: No, Mom! I’m not going back to the restaurant and that’s final!
M: Okay, but you really don’t want to wet yourself out here.
L: I don’t know. I’m freezing and if I pee, it might be warm and feel good.”
M: Gross! And I can’t believe you just said that! And don’t do it, because it might just freeze on you, which besides being really gross, it would be … not warm.
L: But then it would melt once I got inside your warm car.
M: Really? You’d let your pee get all over my car?!
L: It’s not like I’d want my pee to get all over your car, but I don’t think I’d have any control over it once it was outside of my body.
M: You know I’m going to blog about this, right? And don’t pee inside of my car! Or on yourself before you get inside my car!
L: Whatever. I don’t care about anything else right now except getting home!
M: Are you sure we can’t find some place around here for you to go? Even when we get to the car, it’s still at least another twenty minutes before we get home.
L: Where Mom? It’s late and all of the stores have closed. Just get me home. I promise I won’t pee myself. I won’t pee your car. But have you ever been freezing cold and had to pee all at the same time?
M: Yeah. Not good.
L: Well that’s where I am at this moment. And you’re right. It’s not good. And talking about it isn’t helping! Ah, there’s the car! Let’s make a run for it!
(Inside our warm car)
L: Aargg! (Lauren’s now squirming in her seat!)
M: What’s wrong? Did you just …
L: NO! It’s just that I’m tired of this war between my mind and my body. My mind is all like, “I’m Peter Pan.” But then my body’s all like, “I’m Ebenezer Scrooge.” My mind says, “I can fly.” But then my body falls down and breaks things … like bones. My mind says, “I can do this! I can work fourteen- hour days!” But then my body says, “ARE YOU CRAZY? WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME!” and threatens to shut down completely. But my one super human power is that I can hold my pee longer than anyone else. And I’m damn proud of that!
(In my head: Did my daughter just say ‘damn?’ In front of me? Maybe I should ignore that little slip up. She is, after all, twenty-five and she really can’t focus right now. Or perhaps she’s hyperfocused on not peeing herself, so she probably doesn’t even realize she said ‘damn.’ Because, clearly, she hasn’t taken her ADD meds today, which, in part, is probably why she forgot to go in the restaurant. How do you forget something like that? Even without your meds? I guess it really doesn’t matter. The point is that she’s rediscovered that she needs to pee and we still have about fifteen more minutes before we’re home. So the real question is: can I get her home in time? How the hell do these things happen? Anyway, probably best not to mention that she just said ‘damn.’ I don’t want to upset her in her present state. Besides, I need to focus and make sure I remember her monologue so I can write all of this down when we get home. How does she even come up with that stuff? Peter Pan and Scrooge? Wow. And the road. I need to focus on the road!)
M: Don’t worry, Lauren. We’ll be home as quickly as I can get us there. Hold on! (I step on the accelerator.) But, listen, I just have to say one thing: You really shouldn’t be holding your pee for long periods of time like this or you’ll find out that your super human ability will very quickly be replaced with incontinence. That is totally not a good thing. Don’t make yourself old before your time. And while this sounds contradictory, I think you need to quit listening so much to what Peter Pan says and start listening more to Ebenezer.
L: Sure, Mom. (She said this right before she fell asleep in the car.)