This is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life: A Story of Full Bladders and More

If he knew there were bags like this, Mbot might not mind so much if his bladder exploded. (www.bags99.com)

Sunday morning I awoke in the strangest way. The room was getting light. Somewhere in the distance, maybe from Mbot’s room, two little voices trilled away with what sounded like…simultaneous happiness?

It was intensely surreal. My body never awakesn me these days, and certainly not when it’s already light out. Someone else’s body always awakens me first, when the light itself is still asleep.

Is this what other parents experience? I thought. Is this why other parents don’t seem as tired as I always feel? I lay there in bliss except that my bladder was telling me that the cup was about to runneth over.

I have warned Mbot against holding it. He will not go in the morning until I tell him that his bladder is going to explode. The first time I did this, after I’d explained what a bladder was, I went on to describe how disappointed Mrs. Pursell would be if I were to bring him to school in a lunch bag labeled “Mbot, Exploded.” By that time, he had depanted himself and boarded the potty.

As I explained how, during circle time, Mrs. Pursell would be so sad because he could not participate, he began giggling, and also industriously raising the water level in the potty by about two inches. I told him that was good, because I would hate to go to school to pick him up, having forgotten that he’d exploded that morning, and wait for him to run out of the classroom, only to have Mrs. Pursell hand me the lunch bag. There wouldn’t be any point in staying after school to play, since his friends wouldn’t be very interested in playing with a lunch bag that smelled like potty.

I admit that, in the context of our adult world, brimming over with horrors from the Middle East on out, the story could be maudlin. But to a child, for whom explosions are exciting and bladder explosions are gross, it works.

I got out of bed, because I didn’t, on the first day of my calm, delightful, fully-rested life, want my bladder to explode.

By that time, Gbot had started to wail. Surrealism metamorphosed back into realism.

But I will cling to those first ten minutes of February 12, 2012. I will pull out that feeling¬† when I need a reminder that there will be other moments like that, and of–in spite of my tendency toward crankiness–how lucky I am. But I will have to be careful. How would Husbot explain to Mbot if my heart exploded?

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