MOM’S DAY OUT
“Let’s go, Ezra!” his mother, Penny, cheerfully sang. She tried not to express how incredibly tired she felt. It had been over five years since Penny had enjoyed a full night’s sleep. She and her husband, Jack, would take turns getting up in the night to turn their wheelchair bound son over, ensuring he wouldn’t get bed sores and that he was breathing normally. They needed to watch him constantly as he was completely nonverbal and had very limited ways of telling them what he felt or needed. Ezra was only five. Penny didn’t like to think about how her life would look over the next thirty odd years. They didn’t have a ton of savings put aside for Ezra or his siblings, should they meet their demise. Penny tried not to worry, but she no longer needed an alarm to wake her halfway through the night. She usually lay awake contemplating the worst scenarios that burrowed into her head when all was quiet.
It was Monday afternoon and Penny needed to grab some groceries before dropping Ezra off at physio and taking her eight year old daughter, Esther, to dance. In the mornings, Penny held a part time position as a bakery clerk at the local mall, but was off early enough to pick up her son from part time morning kindergarten. “How was school today, Ez?” she asked her son.
The boy smiled and looked at his mother, but said nothing.
“Good!” Penny smiled back, “Glad you had a nice day.” She pushed him in his chair out to the car and loaded him into the van.
“How about some apples for lunch tomorrow?” Penny asked, pushing him through the produce section. “Or maybe oranges…” She squeezed a few of the navel oranges to check ripeness and stuck a few in her basket.
She saw Mrs. Philippa Colborne, across the way and instantly felt a twinge of jealousy. Philippa only had two children, both able-bodied and perfect. She didn’t have to take a part time job to pay medical bills. She didn’t have to purchase a modified wheelchair equipped van just to cart around her son who couldn’t even say “I love you…” Philippa looked totally carefree as she picked out an armful of perfect-looking avocados, dropping one on the ground. Penny smiled and shook the jealousy from her being.
“What about cereal. What’s the one your sisters like?” Penny asked the ever-silent Ezra. She threw a box of Cap’n Crunch into the basket. “It’s probably this one. I’m sure they’ll like it even if it’s wrong…”
Penny was suddenly regretting drinking a second cup of coffee this morning. She shut her eyes for a moment and pressed her thighs together. Her pantyhose felt tighter than usual. She debated leaving Ezra while she went to the bathroom, but it was certainly not a viable option. Penny could make it until she got home. She was a grown woman, for gosh sakes. She quickly grabbed milk, cheese, chicken, and a pack of pizza pops for her teenage son, Elias. As she was grabbing the last of her groceries, she heard a faux-excited cry.
“Oh my goodness, Penny?!”
Penny turned around, realizing Philippa had spotted her. She squeezed her legs tighter, trying to think of an excuse to leave the store as quickly as possible.
“How are you? I haven’t seen you in a million years!” Philippa exclaimed.
“Things are…” Penny shifted her weight slightly, trying to ease her ballooning bladder, “Things are great!” She fake-smiled and she could feel the laugh lines in her face appear and the skin under her eyes stung from lack of sleep.
Philippa smiled, in that way that you smile at someone you feel sorry for. It looked like she was about to say in a babyish voice, “You poor, poor girl.” But instead, she asked about Ezra.
“Oh, well, we’re off to physio after this,” Penny pretended to check her watch, coyly crossing one leg over the other, “Gee, we’re gonna be late. Great to see you, Philippa!” she lied.
“Great to see you too, Penny!” Philippa called, “Ring me anytime! I’ll have Ruthie invite Edith to her birthday party!”
Penny completely ignored the tripe the other mom spouted after her. She was focused completely on not wetting herself. When she came to the checkout, there was surprisingly no line. Just one elderly woman paying for an apple.
“That’ll be fifty-five cents,” the cashier said in a lifeless monotone.
The old woman’s arthritic hands pulled out a coin purse and dumped out a pile of dimes, nickels, and pennies.
Penny pursed her lips, breathing deeply through her nose in frustration. Didn’t this biddie realize Penny had places to go? Like the bloody bathroom?! Penny jiggled her legs, trying to keep from leaking. If this woman would only hurry up… she could stop at home and go before driving Ezra to physio. Penny looked at her watch again. Time was running out; she wouldn’t be able to stop at home before driving across town for Ezra’s appointment. She would make it. She would have to. The old woman in front had finally finished paying and Penny was silently praying that she would beat the afternoon traffic.
“Fifty-three eighty four,” the cashier mumbled.
Penny felt a pang of desperation and crossed one leg over the other. She handed him her credit card, slowly regaining control. She signed the credit slip and quickly headed off to the parking lot.
“Oh Ez… Mommy might not make it,” she whispered to her son as she loaded his wheelchair back into the van. When he was secure, she quickly let herself into the front, holding herself as she started the car. Penny winced and began breathing rapidly. “Come on!” she said to herself. She pressed her thighs together, holding herself with her right hand. Thankfully, the highways were completely clear. It was nearing three o’clock though, which meant Penny needed to find a bathroom before traffic started to get bad. Penny looked around for a gas station, but there was nowhere convenient to pull over on the stretch before Ezra’s physio. She held tighter, fingering her urethra. Penny tried to focus on breathing, but nothing helped. Her bladder was hitting its critical point. She knew if she didn’t find a bathroom in the next few minutes, she would have to explain to Jack why the driver’s seat of their new van smelled like a public bathroom. Penny’s legs were trembling, but they were nearly at the clinic. She could make it! Couldn’t she? Penny held tighter, but she wasn’t able to hold back any longer. She leaked about an ounce of urine, soaking the gusset of her black lace panties. Penny groaned. It felt so good to let go for just a moment – and it may have been just enough to keep holding on. She exited the highway and pulled into a small business park where Ezra’s physio was.
Penny unlocked the door of the van, adjusting herself. She could feel the wetness between her legs, checking that her skirt wasn’t soaked through. Penny couldn’t deal with potential judgment from doctors and therapists who saw her on a biweekly basis. There was no sign of damp spots on her skirt, but her opaque, cream-coloured pantyhose felt stuck to her legs. She looked down at them as she got out of the van, but thankfully they weren’t obviously wet. As Penny walked around to unload Ezra and his chair, she realized that gravity wasn’t a kind mistress when your bladder is near bursting. She looked around to make sure nobody else was in the parking lot as she potty danced, waiting for the wheelchair lift to bring Ezra down to ground level. It seemed to take forever. Penny shoved her hand in her crotch, feeling another trickle escape. She shouldn’t have given way to that spurt earlier – she had broken whatever seal had been there before to keep back the desperate oceans inside.
Her knees shook as she jammed them together, pushing Ezra to the office with great difficulty. Once inside, a friendly receptionist that Penny knew as Melody greeted them. “Hi Penny! Hi Ezra!” she cheerfully said. Her sugary coating was genuine and Penny envied the receptionist’s ability to be kind unconditionally. Melody was always talking about the volunteer organizations she was part of and about what her lovely twin boys with Down Syndrome were up to and about how many people with disabilities had joined her evangelical church ever since the twins became preachers.
“Hi Melody. I’m here to drop Ezra off…” she paused for a moment, considering whether it was too awkward to ask, but then discredited her first thought as she was about to completely lose it. “Would I be able to use your bathroom?”
Melody smiled, “Oh I’m so sorry, it’s actually being renovated right now.”
Penny gasped and tried to hide the enraged and horrified look on her face. “Oh,” she collected herself, “I guess I’ll just go when I get home…”
“Sorry about that,” Melody said, “There is one at the coffee shop next door but I think they close at two…” Melody worriedly bit her lip. It suddenly became obvious to Penny that Melody was getting as desperate as she.
“Well, I’ve gotta jet. Need to drive Esther to dance class…” she kissed Ezra on the forehead. “Have fun, sweetheart. Thanks Melody!” Penny stormed out of the building and looked around the business park. She squeezed her thighs together, knowing she wouldn’t make it another minute.
It had been years since Penny had been forced to go outside. Not since her binge drinking days of early college had she peed next to a trash can like a wild animal. She hurried behind the building in the alleyway and hiked up her skirt. Her legs were tangled together in desperate attempts to stay dry. Her underwear were soaking, but she needed to preserve them… She tried to yank them down along with the cream-now tan-coloured pantyhose. Penny felt a twinge of pain in her urethra and broke the hold. A hard pulse of urine rushed through her already damp underwear and stockings. Her legs felt as if she’d just jumped in the ocean – the pantyhose were stuck to her once muscular thighs. Penny bent her knees and squatted, closing her eyes and enjoying the moment as she emptied her once very desperate and tense bladder. It felt almost as magical as her first night with Jack, before they had kids. Penny’s hand made its way gingerly to her crotch, gently massaging herself as she continued to pee on the pavement.
Once finished, she peeled off her soaked tights and underwear, slipping them into a plastic bag she had in her purse and drove back home to pick up Esther. Penny felt incredibly relieved.
When Penny got home, she found Esther angrily waiting in the doorway, decked out in her black leotard and tutu.
“Where were you? I’m going to be late, you know?!” Esther demanded.
“I’m sorry, princess. You know I have to drop of your brother first…” Penny explained.
“Whatever. We need to go now. I don’t wanna be late,” Esther huffed.
“Honey, just give me a moment to collect myself,” Penny pleaded.
The eight-year-old rolled her eyes. “Mommy, we’re seriously going to be late and all the other girls are going to be mean to me!”
Penny felt her heart sink. She wanted more than anything for Esther to be happy, but she also wanted to grab a fresh pair of underwear before heading out to watch her daughter practice ballet before driving back to grab Ezra. “Okay, sweetpea. Let’s go.”
Esther grabbed her water bottle and backpack. “Bye Daddy!” she shouted in the direction of the kitchen. There was no reply.
“How was school today?” Penny asked her youngest daughter.
“It was good…” Esther started, squirming uncomfortably in her seat. She took another swig of water. “Me and Addison played tag with the boys at recess. I traded one of my lunchables pizzas for some fruit snacks…”
“That sounds pretty fun,” Penny replied. She looked over at her squirming kid. “Esther, do you need to go pee?”
Esther shook her head, but Penny knew better. “I think you should try and go before you start class. I know it’s hard to take everything off and put it back on again, but…”
“I don’t have to go, okay?” Esther spat, crossing her arms. “…Or, at least not very badly,” she whispered.
When they got to the dance academy, Esther looked much less uncomfortable, seeming to forget that she even needed to use the toilets. “I’m gonna go stretch with Addison and Flossie,” Esther excitedly told her mother before running off into the gym.
“Don’t forget to go-” Penny called, but it was too late. Esther was already distracted by her friends. Penny sighed. Esther was incredibly dedicated to dance. She practiced every morning and every evening. She begged her mother to take classes five days a week instead of just two, but Penny and Jack couldn’t afford it what with their other expenses and having three other children. Esther threatened to get a job at McDonalds, but when she realized they only hired thirteen and up, she gave up on that dream. Esther was also incredibly good at hiding how she felt from others if need be. Last Christmas, her dance company had put on a small production of The Nutcracker. Esther was desperate to pee the whole show, but didn’t draw any attention to herself out of respect for the audience. Of her siblings, she was most definitely the most disciplined. Penny was sure that her daughter would make it through class just fine.
Their Russian teacher, Miss Ksenia gracefully walked into the room. “Girls, girls. We start with First position…Second position… Fifth position… Arms up girls!”
Esther’s legs were wiggling, which was not usually the case.
“Esther! Legs straight!” Miss Ksenia demanded.
Esther stopped immediately.
“First position… Second position…”
Esther spread her legs apart and winced, her hands finding their way to her crotch. She looked sheepishly at her mother.
Penny shot her daughter a look of encouragement.
Esther’s arms shot back up, her legs snapping back into a tight hold.
“Good, good, good. Today we are to practicing splits,” Miss Ksenia said.
Esther shot her mom a worried look and pressed on her privates again, crossing her right leg over her left.
Penny bit her nails nervously. She had never seen Esther this desperate before.
“Esther, you are knowing how to do split.”
The eight-year-old went pale.
“Please to demonstrate.”
Esther squeezed her legs together, “Please, I really need to go to the bathroom!”
The other girls looked at each other, mildly shocked that anyone would ask to leave class. Miss Ksenia was very strict. “She must really need to pee,” she heard someone whisper.
“First split, then go to toilet,” the teacher demanded.
“Please!” Esther begged, tears welling up in her eyes.
“If you cannot wait to going toilet, you cannot dance like ballerina,” Miss Ksenia threatened.
Esther’s legs were shaking as she spread them apart. She tugged on her leotard, pulling it tight to her crotch to help her hold on. She felt herself leak as she began to lower herself. The pee blotted her tights like a Rorschach. Esther bit her lip. Her whole body was shaking. “I… I can’t…” she started to cry and tried to shift herself out of the position, but it was too late. She had tempted fate by ignoring her body. Her pee gushed out between her legs, pooling on the wooden gym floor. Esther covered her face in her hands, frozen in fear as she heard the echoing giggles of the other girls. She was suddenly gasping for air as the world went dark. She could feel urine still gushing out and splashing on the floor, covering her ballet shoes. She felt her mother’s embrace as her bladder finally emptied itself.
“It’s going to be okay, Esther,” Penny told her.
Esther couldn’t say anything; there was a lump in her throat. All she could do was cry.
“Don’t worry. Everyone has accidents,” Penny explained. “Even moms.”