My mother has a bladder the size of a pea. You’ve heard the story of the Princess and the Pea? This is the other version.
In addition to having the smallest bladder known to mankind, my mother also has little-to-no bladder control. She jests at having to wear Depends to a funny movie, but trust me, they are required. The woman has been known to wet herself with a sneeze.
When my mother laughs she starts with a chuckle, which quickly breaks into a staccato-like snort and then -- to prevent any dribbles from escaping -- she crosses her legs and squats as if sitting on an imaginary chair. When she really gets into a snicker-fit she will pull a Michael-Jackson-like move and grab herself while yelling “make it stop, ... I’m gonna pee myself.”
Case in point: At 18, I had completed the final stage of my Ontario graduated license and was looking ahead to life on the open highway. Get your motor running – it was our first girls’ trip to Ottawa with me at the wheel. As we had done before any road trip growing up, my sister, my mother and I all made a quick pit stop to the ladies room before boarding our chariot.
My mother would be sure to remind us that there are no stops on the 401 if you have an emergency. To emphasize the word “emergency”, she would jest at bunny ears in mid air. My sister and I would roll our eyes at each other. Mom was the only one who ever encountered said “emergencies.”
Mom took over the controls at the outskirts of Toronto to fly us through the toughest traffic. At the precise moment I noticed our pilot had downed her first 500ml bottle of water, everyone in all four east-bound lanes of traffic came to a grinding stand-still halt. I’m not sure if it was the drained bottle of water that was now piling up in her teeny-tiny bladder, or the anxiety of being stuck on the 401 for an unforeseeable amount of time with no available toilet, but as our car screeched to a stop, my mother suddenly experienced her first “emergency.”
Always quick on my feet, and not wanting to be the one to clean up a mess, I called for a Chinese Fire-Drill. My mother and I undid our seatbelts, opened our doors and ran around the hood of the car. Mom flew into the backseat while I regained the controls. Mom frantically searched for something, anything that would retain liquid. I passed her an empty Tim Horton’s cup and told her to fill it.
Before I even finished my suggestion, mom had whipped down her pants and I heard a tinkling sound, scratch that, it was more like the sound of floodgates opening . . . . followed by a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the relief was promptly followed by loud hysteria.
While attempting to keep one eye on the road ahead and one eye on pee girl in the back of the car, I heard my panic stricken mother yell “It’s gonna overflow.”
I demanded she clench her lips and cut off the flow, but she couldn’t. As she eloquently put it “ I have no control.”
I instructed her to open the car door and dump what had been collected thus far. Mom did exactly that, before continuing to refill the cup. We argued over why she wasn’t able to exert a wee-bit of muscle control, when I was interrupted by a loud, deep sound. It sounded like a truck horn.
In my rear-view mirror, the driver of the transport truck behind us, was waving and laughing hysterically. I guess he got a good show.
Mom turned around and dumping her final contribution out the door before acknowledging her audience.
A Jack ‘n Jill was the only stocking stuffer Santa brought her that year. That and a pack of large depends.