Friday, December 18, 2009

Why girls shouldn't pee standing up.

I was having a conversation with a friend and she brought up something about her daughter having tried to pee standing up. Well, that brought a flash back to the following story. Out of extreme curiosity about how boys peed standing up, I tried it. I had no brothers so I simply had to use my imagination. Well, it worked poorly and ran down my legs. What a horrible mess. But the curiosity and the freedom of that act stayed with me into adulthood.

A few years ago my husband and son and I had been doing some hiking. It was always a big pain when I had to go pee outside because I had to go fairly far off trail to find good coverage, squat, and fight all sorts of factors to keep myself upright and dry.

But one day, I found on the internet, a quite ingenious device. It was called the Travelmate and it looked sort of like a medicine spoon with holes at both ends. The purpose was for women who were kayaking or hiking to have a more modest and easy way to pee in the woods. I was thrilled. I was so excited, in fact, I ordered one for myself and one for my mother. I knew she had secretly dreamed of being able to pee standing up as well. That, and she LOVES gadgets.

The package insert explained that I would need to practice. And practice I did. It felt quite silly and it was really hard to release those muscles after years of training to only do it in a squat or sitting position. One simply pressed the "spoon" end of the device up against the appropriate place on her body and aimed. Then she had only to tap or shake just a little to keep from dripping.

I was beside myself with excitement when we got ready for our next hike. My Travelmate device was snugly and discreetly tucked away in my front pants pocket. We hit the trails. I was sure to drink plenty of water since peeing outside was no longer going to be a harrowing ordeal for me. Before long, I felt the inevitable urge to water the trees. (I had heretofore only been able to water the grass, poison ivy, and dead leaves.)

I walked just a little ways off the trail and confidently applied my urination device whilst keeping my rear end covered and maintaining both dignity and balance. In a moment of excitement I willed myself to just let it go. Unfortunately, in my eagerness to be one of the boys, I had not placed the device snugly enough against my body to get a good seal. I had a stream of urine leaving the end of the tube and running all over my hands and down both legs. I used the hand sanitizer in my other pocket and sheepishly returned to my waiting family on the path.

Neither my son nor my husband would walk near me the rest of the hike. And wet jeans just weren't comfortable at all. I kept the device with plans to make a better go of it next time. But I could never bring myself to try it again. After a couple of years, I threw it away in disgust. Who needs a medicine spoon with holes on both ends? Too bad I tossed it. A friend of mine suggested it might be helpful during labor.

When I looked the device up on google, I was surprised to find there are all sorts of devices which might be more user friendly these days. Enjoying browsing. If you use one... please let me know how it goes. Here is a link to the Travelmate device so you can buy your own

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hannah Plans to Assault the Doctor

Yesterday we had two well-child checks and my prenatal visit. As we got ready to leave, Hannah crossed her arms over her chest and declared with a pouty lip, "I'm not want to go to your puntment."

That's okay, I explained, we were going to her "puntment" right then. She uttered back something about not liking doctors. (Keep in mind the child has never had a shot in her life.) I tried to soften the blow by demonstrating how he'd take a stethoscope and put it on her chest to listen to her heartbeat. In shock, she blurted, "BUT I'm not have a baby."

Um, well, that's true. Babies aren't the only people with heartbeats...

She seemed resigned to the trip so I finished strapping her into her five point harness and we drove down the road. After a few minutes of silence, Hannah remarked that it was raining and wondered if she could take her umbrella into the doctor's office. I was relieved she was no longer insisting she wasn't going to go and readily agreed the umbrella would be a great thing to take in.

There were about ten more minutes of silence. Then seemingly out of nowhere, my sweet girl who likes to dress in beautiful clothes and secretly rearrange all the ornaments on my Christmas tree, says in a slow, deliberate monotone, "I don't like doctors. I will poke him with my umbrella."

We had a talk about how that wouldn't be nice at all and how we weren't going to hurt the doctor. When we arrived, she was terribly disappointed, "Awwww man, it's not raining anymore...." I explained it was still okay to take the umbrella in but we were going to leave it in the waiting room so the doctor would stay safe. Luckily this doctor runs on schedule so there wasn't enough time for her to plot an alternative attack.

I suppose Hannah deemed the "puntment" non-poke worthy. Dr. Schindler was on his best behavior when I warned him of the potential danger of my umbrella wielding three-year-old. Plus she got stickers so the situation was somewhat redeemed. But on the way home she realized she'd been robbed of the experience of peeing in a cup. Ahhhhhh, it's a hard life being a three year old.