We’ve all heard about Bucket Lists: a catalogue of things we would like to do before we arrive at our Sell-By date. However, I have found that parenting comes with its own unique list… a list I call the Un-bucket List. This list includes things we never thought we would do, but ended up doing as parents. Here’s a sample from my Un-bucket List:
- Sucking another human’s snot out with a flexible straw.
- Pre-chewing another person’s food, then plopping that food in their mouth.
- Eating that same food after it’s been rejected.
- Smelling another human’s butt to determine if a deposit has been made
- Wiping that human’s butt once the deposit has been confirmed.
… and other accomplishments under the guise of “it’s ok, we have the same germs.” Today’s Ringside Parenting story tells the tale of a recent addition to my Un-Bucket list… an addition that will be difficult to swallow.
We prepared for our hour and a half drive to Sea World with the usual pre-trip checklist: tumbler cups full of water for the adults, diaper bag, snacks, stroller, toys, and a kid’s movie in case of emergencies. It was a lovely Florida summer day and both the skies and roads were clear… until we arrived at the entrance to the park. At that point our free-spirited ride turned into a crawling caravan waiting to get into the parking lot. Elias had recently conquered the potty training challenge and was doing an exceptional job of holding it, until the back and forth lurching of the van tipped his little bladder beyond holding point.
“Tengo que hacer pipi!!” he warned us loudly. I scanned our surroundings: nothing but lines of cars waiting to get in, some of them abandoned by their drivers who created their own parking spot.
“Can you wait?!”
“No papi… I gotta go NOW!” he screamed, grabbed his crotch and grimaced.
Like a front line field medic with nothing but her wit to keep wounded soldiers alive, Yarei moved into action and took one of our big tumbler cups, open the window and flung out the water. In one swooping move she unbuckled him, stood him between the seats, and let sweet relief pour into almost half the cup. After looking in front and behind us for spies, she quickly discarded of the contents in a nearby plant. Crisis averted, we decided we too would abandon our van and begin our Sea World adventure.
Fast forward 4 hours and we returned to our van. I cranked up the AC, set the kids to ‘auto pilot’ with a DVD movie and began the journey home. An hour into the drive, Elias burst out, “MAMI! Tengo que hacer pipi!” Having seen the effectiveness of the pipi-cup, Yarei decided to avoid a stop and just had Elias relieve himself in the same way. Always content to try something new, he happily complied, but this time about half the amount came out. The cup was secured in the middle console cup holder, but I still eyed it suspiciously, as if its contents knew they were not where they were supposed to be.
Once home we began the mad rush to get the exhausted kids into bed before they reach total melt down. Back and forth Yarei and I marched like worker ants as we took turns bringing in sleepy children and van cargo, which seems to multiply on the way back. Finally, after deactivating the little time bombs, I let out a sigh of relief and headed back to the kitchen to quench a thirst that had been building up since we got home.
Now, I don’t know about your house… but we are an omnipresent- water-drinking house. Partially empty water cups are left everywhere and shared by everyone. It’s a type of water Eden… until innocence was lost.
I entered the kitchen to a typical post-trip scene: left over snack containers on the table, diaper bag on the chair, a lonely kid shoe on the floor, and the travel tumblers along with other cups of water on the counter. Finally quiet time, where a thirst-quenching cup of water can be enjoyed without interruptions.
I reached out for a yellow tumbler cup and raise it to my parched mouth. As the liquid glided down my tongue it stopped midway and put a choke hold on my throat. My eyes flared as the synapses between taste buds and brain jolted into a frenzied attempt to decipher what I just ingested. Time grinded to slow motion as my brain rerouted all body resources to determine if the unthinkable had just happened. The kitchen swirled around me and went dark like a dimly lit cave. Before me appeared an ancient table made of thick, black wooden beams adorned with burning candles on each corner. Upon it lay a wide variety of cups – plastic cups, sippy cups with curly straws, golden goblets with safety lids, and metallic chalices with rubber grips. And next to the table stood an even more ancient Templar Knight with a long white beard, resting on his shield. He looked up from his immortal sentinel pose and simply stated:
With a wave of his gauntlet the cave vanished and I was back in my kitchen, gagging and spewing what had now been fully registered as Elias’ pee.
Yarei walked in shortly after and witnessed an odd contortion on my face followed by an unintelligible gurgling sound.
“Oh, by the way… don’t drink from the yellow cup,” she stated matter-of-factly as she placed a can of garbanzos in the pantry. “That’s where Elias did pipi.”
Thus was added the most unthinkable item to my parental Un-bucket list. And if you think this story is ingest… urine for a big surprise.