The following is an excerpt of a conversation, Part 5, the last installment 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.
As we drove off of the parking lot and headed on our way home, I listened to Lauren’s monologue about her body growing old and feeble right before she fell asleep. Even though the side roads were slushy, the main artery to the freeway was clear and dry. Thank God the highway was too, so we got back home in about 20 minutes. Lauren and I lucked out. If the traffic had been heavy or if there had been one wreck on the highway, our travel time could have easily doubled. Not that Lauren was aware of any of this. Once she fell asleep in the car, she was out. This, of course, made me nervous because holding your pee for close to three hours and then falling asleep in a moving vehicle can only spell disaster. One false move and that would be it. This only spurred me on to drive safely but quickly, avoiding sudden braking, potholes, bumps and any sharp turns as we made our way home. As soon as I turned onto our street, I began waking Lauren up.
Mona (gently shaking Lauren with my right hand while driving with my left): Baby, wake up! We’re almost in front of the house.
Lauren: Whaa…unintelligible mumble. (Lauren turned away from me and fell back to sleep.)
M (louder and more adamant): Lauren! You have to get up! We’re in front of the house.
L (still half asleep): What? We’re home? Oh. Okay. That was fast.
M: Yes. Now run for it! Go!
By this time Lauren was out of the car. She ran through the grass and I saw her disappear through the front door. David and Ryan were home, so I gambled that the door wasn’t locked. Thank God we’d made it home in time! It took a couple of minutes, but I grabbed our bags and belongings, locked the car and got inside as quickly as I could as well. The temperature was dropping rapidly!
I found David sitting in the living room watching sports. He had the fireplace going and the house felt warm and cozy. I put my things down, took my coat off and sat on the hearth.
David (pausing the TV with his remote): So how did it go? Did y’all have a good time?
M: Oh yeah. Except, of course, Lauren wasn’t properly clothed, so she was freezing most of the time; and, also, she apparently had to pee the whole time we were there. But other than that, we had fun!
D: Why was that?
M: You mean other than because she’s Lauren? It’s a long story … but, hey, I think I might have gotten a blog post out of this trip! I’ll let you read it when it’s done. At least we made it home in time. By the way, I don’t hear her. She did go the bathroom when she came in, didn’t she?
D: No. I don’t think so. She came in and went straight upstairs to her room. She didn’t even say hello. I think she’s taking a nap.
M (I’m quickly walking toward the stairs): Oh no! Lauren! LAUREN!
D: Leave her alone, Mona! She’s tired.
M: Are you sure she didn’t go to the bathroom first?
D: Not down here. She might have gone to the upstairs one.
M: No. She never uses that bathroom. Instead of constantly fighting with Ryan, she decided to just let him have that bathroom to himself. She said months ago that he was gross and she was only going to use the downstairs bath from now on. Trust me, she didn’t use the bathroom upstairs! (I’m now standing at the foot of the stairs looking up.) LAUREN?!!!
D: For God’s sake! Just leave her alone!
M (now turning my attention toward David): Look. You don’t understand. She’s been holding her pee for over three hours now. I know this because she told me. So, I need to get her up before she wets the bed. What the hell! I can’t believe she didn’t go when she came in the house! I know she’s an adult and everything and shouldn’t pee in her sleep, but I’m not taking any chances. I don’t think her mattress has any kind of protective liner covering it. The last thing I want for her to do is accidentally pee her bed! So unless you want to scour out a wet mattress, I suggest you leave me alone!
D: Oh. (At this point, David unpaused the television and resumed watching his football game.)
M (screaming at the top of my lungs): LAUREN! LAUREN MICHELE!
L (in a whiny, sleepy voice): Whaaatt? I’m sleeping.
M: Lauren, I need you to come down right now. PLEASE!
L (still whiny): But why? I’m so tired!
M: JUST DO IT. NOW!
A few seconds later, Lauren came bounding down the stairs, quickly turned the corner and ran for the hall bath. By this time, I’d sat back down. David and I gave each other knowing looks and burst out laughing. Once Lauren came out of the bathroom, she ran right back up the stairs without ever looking in our direction and went back to sleep.
I still can’t believe she held it for as long as she did. I am now convinced that she really does have a legitimate super power – able to hold her pee longer than any other human being on the planet, she’s − SUPER BLADDER!
No. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! There are just some things that will not happen for as long as I have breath in my body. My daughter will not ever be known by that name! She’s just going to have to come up with a much better super power.