Friday was a perfect demonstration of why I only have two children and why there will never be more. Cute and precious as they are, a third one would absolutely do me in!
The adventure for the day was getting Dear Daughter back to the doctor's office for a follow-up urine check to ensure that the infection was FINALLY clear. I wonder how many of you have ever helped your four-year-old daughter pee in a cup? If you have, you know what fun this can be. They wouldn't allow us to bring a sample in from home; it had to be done there in a sterile cup, which they would provide. I scheduled it at 11:00 am so that we could meet up with Dear Husband for lunch, and he could keep Dear Son out of the doctor's office while I took Dear Daughter in to perform her preschool pee- trick and try to get some in the cup in the process. I refused to bring Son in with us. I'm convinced Daughter's first trip to the doctor for the original UTI is where the germs attacked in the first place and started our string of mystery illnesses that spanned the entire past month. Another reason I didn't want to drag Son in the office with us is that standing in a restroom trying to hold a cup in just the right place while waiting for a four-year-old to pee into it (and on my hands and on the floor and on her clothing) is stressful enough without having Son standing in there with us--playing on the floor, grabbing the "grab bar" by the toilet, playing with the flusher lever, peeking in the toilet, opening the door and leaving us standing their in some very precarious positions in plain sight of whomever was fortunate enough to get an eyeful, etc.
Friday morning I hurried the kids out the door right after breakfast in hopes that we would get a couple errands done before we made it to the doctor's office. I was happy that Daughter used the bathroom before we left so we would be good for a couple hours. I figured I would have her sip water for an hour and a half before she was scheduled for the pee-trick, thus improving the odds that she could pee "on demand." I didn't want to be standing in the annoying and awkward pee-catching pose for 15 minutes.
There we three were, ten minutes down the road when Dear Daughter announced she needed to go "poopie." I quizzed her about this as she stated she needed to do this before we left, and I thought she had completed the task. "No," she says, "I only went pee pee! Now I need to go POOPIE!" Okay, okay. This was going to throw a kink in our plans. I thought hard about where we could stop for her to go. I despise public restrooms, and I would have no choice but to stop somewhere and unbuckle both kids from their car seats and drag them both into the restroom. I was planning on going through the drive-through window at the library for some books I had on hold. Instead, we parked and walked in to use the restroom first. The library restrooms are much cleaner than any other public restroom could hope to be (I learned this phenomenon first hand when I was pregnant and had the location of every toilet in the entire city and a 50-mile out-of-town radius memorized), so I was glad I thought of this option.
Fifteen minutes later, all three of us were headed into the over-sized handicapped stall. I lifted Daughter up onto the tall toilet and held her arms so she wouldn't grab onto the icky toilet seat. I stood there holding her like that for several minutes while her little brother and I both watched her expectantly. The pressure gave Daughter stage fright, and then she couldn't do her business. That's when she said, "I guess I don't have to go after all!" I was not happy. I replied with something to the effect that we were going to stay there as long as we needed to for a turd to join us, as I was NOT doing this again when we got ten more minutes down the road.
Finally, we completed the task, and 10 minutes after that I was buckling the kids back into the family mobile and trying to decide which errand would have to be canceled now that we had spent precious time on an un-scheduled "poopie." At this point we were 45 minutes from the time that Dear Daughter was supposed to produce a sample for the cup. I wondered how she would achieve this after being to the bathroom twice already in the past hour. I envisioned us sitting in the waiting area through Husband's entire lunch break waiting for Daughter to drink a 20 oz bottle of water in order to produce some pee.
I nagged Daughter incessantly to "take another drink" as we finished the one errand we had enough time for, and met up with Dear Husband who traded cars with me and took Dear Son off my hands. The nurse in the doctor's office gave us a "hat" to insert in the toilet to collect the urine this time. I was quite thankful for this and wondered why they hadn't offered one the other times. I repeated the task of lifting and holding Daughter on the toilet. And there we sat. And sat. And sat. I was about to give up and go back to the waiting area with Daughter to coax her into drinking more water when it finally happened.
With task completed, we made it to the restaurant in time to meet up with the other half of the family. With lunch over, I decided to make a quick stop at the Food Mart before we went home. Dear Son is such a Daddy's boy that he began screaming when his Daddy left us to return to work. I told him we were going to the Food Mart, hoping he would think that sounded like fun. He didn't even pause between ear piercing wails about "Daddy." I told him we would get some chocolate at the Food Mart. He paused and considered this for a split second before continuing the wails. Thinking fast and impulsively to quiet him down, I promised him a chocolate easter bunny from the store. That actually did the trick.
When we got to the Food Mart, Son INSISTED that I had to hold his 32-pound-self the entire time in one arm while I pushed the cart with the other one. I don't know this store as well as our local one, so I had to make two laps around the store like this before I finally located the dairy section. As I was doing a neat little move to bend down for a couple bottles of milk while still holding his 32-pound-feels-like-50-pounds self in the other arm, Son suddenly yelled out loud and clear, "Turd milk!" I didn't know what he was talking about at first, and Son has this not-so-endearing thing he does if you don't acknowledge what he says IMMEDIATELY: he repeats it louder and more emphatically as many times as it takes for you to acknowledge (accurately) what he said. My confused pause was enough to trigger it, and this time he yelled much more loudly and emphatically, "TUUURRRRD MILLLLLLLLLLKK!" I frantically looked around us to see if I could figure out what he was talking about, during which time he screamed it again. Half the store was staring at us. That's when I realized Son was talking about the chocolate milk. As I described in a previous post, Dear Son learned to generalize my Play-Doh faux pas and now refers to anything brown in color as "turd." The only way I could get him to stop screaming "TURD MILK!" was to point at it and say "Yes, 'turd milk'!" Dear Son was not satisfied with this response. Apparently I said it too peacefully and quietly in a "so-what" fashion that he didn't like (I was trying to be inconspicuous, which was really silly by this time as the whole store was frowning at us). Next Dear Son yelled even more loudly, "PLEEEEEEASE! TURRRRRRD MILLLLLLK!" I finally quieted him down enough to convince him that I had some chocolate syrup at home and would make him some "turd milk" later. I left the store quickly after that, but fortunately did not forget the chocolate Easter bunny I promised him.
When we got to the car, I realized as I removed part of the wrapper that this was not the best bribe after all. I envisioned melted chocolate all over Son's hands and then the seats. I tried to convince Son to leave the wrapper around the lower half of the bunny to hold onto it so the chocolate wouldn't melt all over his hot little hands. I knew he would not settle for this suggestion, and just as predicted, he screamed about the situation until I relented and took the wrapper off completely. The next 15 minutes were blissfully quiet, except for chomping and slurping noises from the back seat, where both the kids were completely enraptured in their chocolate bunnies. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw their hands and faces covered in chocolate, but I figured it was worth it if they could just stay occupied (and QUIET) another 10 minutes until we got home. No such luck. Son finished up his chocolate and suddenly got very upset about the mess all over his hands and face. I considered ignoring it and dealing with it when we got home, but his pleas of "Washcloth!" only grew from a patient request to a screaming demand until I thought I would go completely mad! I tried to explain to him that I didn't have a washcloth, which only upset him more, and the screams grew louder. I finally remembered the container of wet wipes somewhere in the family mobile. I hadn't seen them since that day we were out for errands and Son decided to have a big stinky diaper, which we changed in the back of the family mobile. And by the way, have you ever noticed that Wet Ones are not nearly as large and thick as baby wipes? It took at least three times the number of Wet Ones to clean that mess up!
I finally pulled over to tear apart the family mobile and find the Wet Ones so that Son would stop screaming. Six minutes and six Wet Ones later, he was satisfied that his hands were clean enough for us to drive the last 10 minutes home.
By the time I finally got the groceries unloaded and put away and Son down for his nap, it was 2 o'clock, and I was exhausted and amazed at what it took for the otherwise relatively simple task of collecting urine in a cup. I love my kids more than anything on Earth. There's no question about that, but it's days like this that remind me why we decided from the beginning that two is enough!