This afternoon I wound up in the emergency room with my three-and-a-half year old for two and something hours. It ended with us walking out, him with a purple popsicle and me appearing to have wet myself.
Why, oh why.
It was all the fault of cursed potty training. My son is still not trained, and we've had quite a time of it, trying to educate him on the miraculous ways of the toilet. And we've tried, I tell you. Oh, we've tried. There are blog posts to prove it: there was the time with the water bottle strapped to the stuffed rabbit, and the time with Elmo and the maddening "potty time" song, and still, nothing. Except a few more gray hairs on my head.
He was supposed to have been trained in time for preschool, but obviously that didn't happen. Thankfully he hasn't had any accidents there and so, with a little luck on our side, it's all been okay so far. And since then, we've tried, on and off, to make progress, with little success.
Until a few days ago, when he suddenly decided he was ready to use the potty. He unexpectedly announced "mummy, I peed in the potty!" as I was on the phone to my brother in England. I hung up, shrieked, hugged him, and brought out some treats to celebrate. We had one whole day without diapers. It was the beginning of the end.
Then this morning, assuming we were still on track, I got everything reading as usual - the potty, underwear, and reward treats.
But it wasn't to be. He sat on the potty, but he wouldn't pee. I implored him. I sat with him, read to him, passed him drinks and treats and books and toys. I put on a movie and pushed his potty in front of it.
By two in the afternoon, he still hadn't peed, and the diaper was back on. Suddenly he was curled up on his bed, telling me his tummy hurt. I started to panic. I told him, he really needed to pee, right now, that this was serious. I told him that if he didn't pee, we might have to take a trip to the hospital. But he wouldn't, or couldn't, I'm not sure. He clutched his stomach and writhed around on his bed yelling and crying. He told me it hurt to try.
I called my mother-in-law and asked her to come over to watch my younger son. By the time she arrived, M was crying hard and still unable to pee. I lifted him into the car and sped off to our local hospital.
I staggered into the emergency room with my sobbing three-year old in my arms (did I mention he is not small) and went straight up to the counter. The woman wasn't bothered by the loud sobbing or the steam rising from my ears, she simply raised a finger as if to indicate I should be patient. To which I said, loudly "Excuse me!".
"Please wait behind the line." She said.
"Um. What line?"
"That line." She said, pointing to half a line about ten feet behind me.
"You're being serious?" I said.
Because. You know. Screaming child. And, could be serious. Perhaps a burst appendix. Or a bladder infection. Or a bladder that's about to burst. But okay. I'll stand behind the line. Even though there's no one in front of me.
My chin was beginning to wobble and my eyes were welling up.
My back was aching under the weight of my forty-something pound son, and he wouldn't let me put him down.
The pointy-finger lady ushered me into a room, where my son's temperature was taken and some questions were asked, and we were put in a queue to fill in some paperwork, and then be put in another queue to see a doctor.
"We'd better call Daddy on that payphone over there." I said to M, noticing my phone battery was dead.
I picked up my blubbering boy and walked to the phone to call J.
As we returned to our seat in the waiting room, M whispered something in my ear.
"I'm sorry, honey, what was that?"
"I think I'm going to pee now, mummy." He said, eyeing the waiting room cautiously.
"GREAT!" I practically yelled."Pee away darling!"
And he did. Unfortunately his diaper wasn't sufficient to hold the three litres or so his bladder had been housing. I began to feel a warm patch on my legs.
"Uh-oh, time to go to the bathroom."
As I got up, I realized, my jeans were soaked. And not in a good place. But in a place that looked like, maybe, perhaps, I had peed myself.
"Okay, let's go." I said briskly, as only a mother could say.
As we walked to the bathroom, my son looked up and said, brightly "I feel much better now mummy!".
"That's wonderful, darling." I said, as everyone in the waiting room stared at my crotch.
A few completely pointless hours later, we left the hospital. M proudly slurped his popsicle and told me "I fixed myself!".
I drove home, feeling relieved and thankful that we were leaving the hospital with only a very minor concern.
On the way home, I told my son "please don't ever do that again, honey."
And then, there was wine.
(I suspect soon all my posts will end with wine.)