What four words do you dread hearing the most when you are in the middle of a car journey with a young child?
I. NEED. A. WEE.
You get that tightening in the pit of your stomach because it always comes despite making your little one sit on the toilet at least three times before actually leaving the house, denying them a drink for two hours before the journey and it always always happens when you are on the motorway.
I learned the hard way when Daniel was little. I went through the wetting himself in the car moment (and we had to finish the journey with him naked apart from his tshirt wrapped around his little cold legs.
And the car smelling of wee for days afterwards despite drenching everything in Fabreeze. And Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfume Covet. Neither worked.
I’ve also had one of those moments when you become that poor sod on the side of the road, holding your tot by the backs of the knees while they relieve themselves on the tiny strip of grass verge up the side of the motorway while articulated lorries thunder up the inside lane.
And it was lashing down with rain.
And it was windy.
In fact the wind was so strong it was actually blowing Dan’s stream of wee BACK OVER ME.
Let’s just say I never want a repeat of that incident.
And so last night, despite using every tactic in my own personal parenting manual, Mia announces half way down the motorway that she is desperate for a wee.
I beg her to hold on as we’re nearly there. I distract her (oo look at the cows), we sing, we play ‘first one to see’ and, let’s be honest here, I promise her the earth – just hold on honey.
And god bless her she manages to hold on and we race into Dan’s school, straight into the nearest toilet cubicle.
She slams the door behind her (little miss independent), then seconds later the door is open again and she’s stood there with this ‘please don’t shout at me mummy’ face on.
She’s wet. Very wet. All down her jeans, over her socks and shoes and over the pristine floor that the cleaner has just mopped (and the cleaner herself is standing there right next to us with a bit of a glazed look on her face).
So we end up in the car park, Mia stood in the boot, me trying to peel her jeans off with forefinger and thumb and not get wee clothes on, well anything, and then realising I don’t have anything to put them in (plastic bags, big no no in our house) and my car is going to smell of wee again. Great.
This is not what I signed up for surely.
I can’t be cross with her though. As I sat her back in her chair with her top wrapped around her legs (haven’t I been here before?) she says: “I’ll really try harder next time mummy.”