Stranded on I 95

Posted by Danny

This post is dedicated to my daughters who I’ve cracked on mercilously through the years for inconvenient bathroom stops.

I was trapped!  Heading down I-95 North to West Virginia, it was 9 pm and I was alone.  The kids rode with the grandparents earlier that day.  I was ready for the six-hour drive, my  i Phone newly filled with 1,900 of my favorite songs.  Kenny Chesney keeping me company.

I knew the urge to tinkle was coming, but I didn’t realize the traffic that was in front of me.  Nor did I understand the lack of exits between Richmond and Fredericksburg, Va.  I was in a hurry.  I’d heard bad things about stopping at rest areas at night, besides, the next one was 43 miles away.  There seemed to be no other option. 

I eyeballed my McDonald’s cup.  Yep, I still had the lid.

I didn’t realize how difficult it would be while in transit.  Moving, while moving, is nearly impossible.

I drank the last bit of Diet Coke and strategically placed my fountain drink holder.  Stop , then go – there were brake lights everywhere.  I glanced at the cars around me.  It was dark, the semi driver next to me couldn’t possibly see.  I’m sure he’s done the same thing, he drives for a living!

Almost…then a horn.  I’d forgotten to press the gas and was lagging behind the car ahead of me.  I sped up, my bladder contracted.

Think about something relaxing.  A day on the beach – not helping!  I don’t do that on the beach.  Picture the bathroom – yellow walls, a window, a tan tile floor.  Whew… relief.

Oh no, the cup is filling yet I’m not empty.  Can I stop mid stream?   


Oh man. 

No wonder girls pee in their pants.  Sometimes there just isn’t a better option.

Excelling at Grief

Posted by Danny

In first grade at my kids’ school, the children draw a picture of their family.  It’s a school  fundraiser.  You can get the pic put on a magnet, coffee mug, or an apron.  I think for $20 you can have it tatooed on your thigh.  The options are limitless.

Our tradition is to get the art on a notecard and then frame it.  We hung all three girls’ family pictures in our bathroom – over the toilet.

Last February when Lisa died, I would examine the drawings every time I stood in front of the toilet.  And for me, that was often.

I especially looked at the renderings of Lisa.  When I saw our family, standing there so innocent and happy, the gaping hole that was left was keenly apparent.  It was as if when I saw the scene someone had taken white-out to my wife.  I could see such a huge void between me and the girls. 

I wondered on many occasions how long it would be before I could pee without the emotional pain of looking at those pictures.  I wondered when I would go to the bathroom and not become focused on the three Lisa’s surrounding me.  Would I be able to look at those pictures and not be flung into my deep place of sadness?

This afternoon I went to the bathroom and as I was finishing up, I glanced at the pictures.  A smile came to my face.  I realized that at some point, I’m not exactly sure when, I began to enter my bathroom without being focused on our loss.  I looked at our family, zeroed in on Lisa, and thought of the woman I loved, not the one I missed.

It was a good moment.

But grief is strange.  My victory in the bathroom seemed to be overshadowed by a three mile run down Ridge Road.  I sobbed so hard that a lady walking her dog crossed the street to avoid the weird-o heading toward her.  I  think the grief hit because I didn’t cry in the bathroom.  Perhaps it was guilt that I could look at her and not always feel sad.  Perhaps it was the realization that I no longer expect her to be laying beside me in the bed at night.  Or maybe I just missed her as I do at some point in every day.

I’m so good at grief, I can find it even in the healing!  At least I excel at something.

Gotta Go Right Now!

Posted by Danny Tanner

Why do girls pee in their pants?

I’m not using names, but hypothetically, we could have had an incident at Boston Logan airport today.  And it could have been caused by extreme laughter.  If laughing makes you pee, it’s a wonder my kids aren’t leaking all over the United States.

This isn’t the first time.  Lisa used to get so mad at me when I’d tickle the girls hard enough to make them pee.  That wasn’t my goal, and there was absolutely no forewarning.  Lisa would say she could have seen it coming.  How?  I saw nor heard anything that would have clued me in to that possibility.  Once they passed the stage where they grabbed their crotch at the first inkling of a “gotta go” moment, I lost my ability to tune in to the foreshadowing of this event.

I don’t really understand this phenomenon.  If I need to pee, I feel it coming.  I stop all action and move toward the nearest bathroom in a rapid manner.  Sometimes it feels like I’ve cut it close, but I think it would take a lot of water or a number of pitchers of beer to make me wet myself. 

I also don’t remember peeing in my pants as a kid.  I don’t remember my brother peeing in his pants as a kid nor any of our friends.  Jesse has never peed his pants in my presence.  Why does this happen to girls?  Is it like a champagne bottle?  The cork pops and it just starts pouring out?

Many years ago I remember a group of women from work going on a retreat to the beach for the weekend.  Apparently they were walking down the beach in the edge of the water.  One sweet, sweet lady suddenly stepped into a hole.  It startled her and she got tickled and immediately peed in her pants.  This would not happen to a guy.  We might pull our pants down and tinkle in the ocean, but I assure you it would be intentional.

The first time one of our girls wet her pants at an age old enough to know better, Lisa told me it was quite normal for women.  She recalled a friend from college returning home to the ADPi house mid-date one time with her coat tied around her waist.  When Lisa asked her why she had returned home so early, she said she was cold and wanted to put something warmer on – that was the story in front of her the fraternity boy she was courting.  I guess you’d be cold too in November with a soaking wet lap.

I’m trying to become more in tune with my feminine side so I can better relate to the girls.  When I get off this plane, I’m going to go home and try to pee in my pants.  Maybe then I’ll understand.

Privacy Please!

Posted by Danny

We have five full bathrooms in our house.  Five.  Two upstairs, one in Jesse’s room, one in my room and one in the basement.  Why then does the family congregate in my private space?

When Lisa was in the bathroom, no one bothered her.  She might as well have been in Kosovo – she was UNAVAILABLE for questions,  comments, visits, or interactions with other humans or animals.  You did not knock, you did not barge in.  It was her time.  That is apparently not the case with me.

The other day I was having some “Newsweek” time in the bathroom.  Suddenly the herd entered which is not unusual – two of my children with critically pressing questions that had to be answered immediately.  The door opened.

“Can I have some water?”

“Me too.”

“Let’s get this straight people.  Two things:  Number 1.  If you ever want water, you can have it.  It is free.  Just walk to the kitchen – morning, noon, midnight – winter, spring, summer or fall – and drink all  you want.  Whenever you want.  You do not need permission for water.  You do not need to interrupt anything I’m doing to ask for water.  Have at it.  Number 2.  DON’T COME IN  THE BATHROOM DURING NUMBER 2!  Thank you and please close the door as you are leaving.”

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