Yo Ho, Yo Ho, This Pirate’s Got to Pee!


Arrgh, me mateys, Disneyland! It’s probably our favorite family vacation. We always have a great time and end up with at least one funny story to tell. This year’s funny story came about because I didn’t enforce my number one rule at Disneyland: Everybody goes whether they “feel” like it or not. This simple rule has prevented bathroom mishaps quite a few times. It has also avoided the dreaded, “I have to go, right now!” that always happens thirty minutes after everyone else went in. (And, it seems to happen when you’ve already waited thirty minutes for Peter Pan, and you’re almost to the front.)
My five-year-old has tiny bladder extraordinaire. (See Pay it Forward Pay Day to see when her tiny bladder helped us out.) Since I have three girls and one boy, the majority of the bathroom duties go to me. What with my mother-in-law who was in wheelchair and needed some assistance in the bathroom, my oldest girl and my toddler who needed a diaper change, I didn’t notice when my five-year-old failed to use the restroom on one visit there. Daddy would pay for it later.
My toddler had fallen asleep so my hubby took our three oldest to ride Pirates of the Caribbean while I waited with the stroller. The line was short and we were planning to eat in that area, so it seemed perfect. We weren’t counting on the great potty emergency of 2013.
The line was only fifteen minutes at the most, but the ride is a good fifteen minutes itself. My family got on, and right after they went down the second hill, my five-year-old tugged on my husband’s sleeve and said, “I have to go, right now!” I don’t know if it was the hills, the scary skeletons, or the sound of constantly running water, but all of them probably combined to make her realize she had a bladder fuller than Davy Jones’ locker.
What do you do when your child has to go? And it’s another ten minutes to the end of the ride? Ten minutes are very long when your bladder is the size of a peanut. My husband might have briefly considered just dangling her bare bottom over the of the boat, letting her use the facilities the same way the nautical naughties the ride paid tribute to would have, but he wisely chose not to have a less than Disney day with Disneyland security. Instead, he went for the positive affirmation: “You can hold it, honey. You can do it.”
My five-year-old dutifully repeated, “I can hold it, I can do it.” This became her loud sea chant for the rest of the voyage. She also danced a little-girl-has-to-go jig in her seat, complete with wiggling and holding that would have fit right in with the salty dogs she was surrounded by. The poor people in the boat with my family had to watch her wriggle and hear her repeat “I CAN DO IT! I CAN HOLD IT!” while they attempted to pay attention to the red ‘un and Captain Jack. They were probably all wondering when they’d have to pick their feet up for a warm and yellow leak in the boat. I can just hear them all say, “Hurry, walk the plank!” as they jumped out to a wetter, but cleaner, fate. It’s a good thing the ride ended or the crew might have had a just cause for mutiny, and my hubby and kids might have found themselves marooned, forced to beg the dog that will never come for the keys to the prison cell.
Alas, my little pirate lass was able to fulfill her mantra. Just barely. I got a text from my hubby that read, “Meet me at the exit in five minutes. (Five-year-old) has to go, now!” He ran out with her, and I took her by the hand and ran with her to the nearest bathroom. She couldn’t even lock the stall, but she made it, by the powers, she made it.
Every bathroom visit after that, I reminded this lass to stick to our pirate family code: Everybody goes. Luckily, she doesn’t know enough pirate lore to tell us, “They’re less like rules and more like guidelines.” Otherwise, I might have ended up having to swab her deck with the wet wipes I’d brought for the toddler and break into our emergency treasure (change of underwear and shorts) stash. At least now, we have another way to sing the song: “Yo ho, yo ho, our pirate’s got to pee!”


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