It was Garfield’s first day of grade two and he was about to start a new school on the fancier side of town. Mummy had just married Dallas, who was a lawyer and had a lovely home for them to live in that looked out over the sea. Garfield liked it much better now that he didn’t have to share a bed with Mummy. He had a whole room to himself and toys spread all over the floor. Garf had spent the whole summer exploring the yard and playing with all the new toys Dallas had generously bought for him. Dallas offered to sign his step-son up for t-ball and soccer, but Garf wasn’t much for team sports. He was more of an imaginative, bookish loner. Dallas didn’t fully understand Garf’s shyness, but he accepted the boy without an argument.
“Are you ready for your first day, Garfie?” Mummy called, cheerfully. Garf could tell that she had already broken into the champagne. He remembered a time when every day wasn’t a celebration and she never touched things like champagne.
“Yeah,” he replied, shakily. He had butterflies in his tummy. What if the other kids didn’t like him? What if nobody wanted to be friends? What if the school work was too hard and everyone was way smarter than him? He dawdled and gripped the banister tightly as he made his way to the bottom floor.
“Come on, Garfie, we’re gonna be late!”
Garfield’s tummy grumbled. He could feel the orange juice and fried eggs he’d had for breakfast angrily sloshing around in there, but he said nothing. He knew Mummy had work today and couldn’t look after him at home if he felt sick.
“There’s my handsome boy! Are you excited for school, sweetheart?”
Garf stared at his shoes shyly.
“It’s gonna be okay, sweetie. I know it’s hard making new friends but I know you’ll do great. And I know you’re nervous, but just take it one step at a time. Focus on breathing. You’re fine.” Mummy gave Garf a big hug. “I love you, sweetheart.”
When they got into the car, Garf still wasn’t feeling great. He closed his eyes and tried to think of happy times, like reading a story with Mummy or finding cool places to drive his trucks in the yard, but nothing worked. Garf tried breathing for a little while too, but the butterflies wouldn’t cease. “Mummy…”
“Mummy I don’t feel very good…”
“We’re almost there, but we’ve got time to stop.” Mummy pulled over the van to the side of the road. There were lots of kids with backpacks walking to school. Garfield opened the door of the van and let in some fresh air. His tummy felt a little better, but he still felt nauseous. Mummy came around and picked him up out of the seat. “Let’s sit down for a little while. We’ve got time before we need to find your classroom.”
Garf sat on Mummy’s knee and she stroked his hair for a little while. He snuggled in closer to Mummy. His tummy wasn’t feeling much better, but maybe a cuddle would help if nothing else. Mummy felt his forehead, but he didn’t have a fever; it was just nerves and carsickness.
“Looks like you’re not coming down with anything. I think you’re just a bit carsick,” Mummy said. “Does your tummy feel a little better?”
Garf snuggled closer.
“Come on, sweetheart. I don’t want you to be late…”
“Okay Mummy,” Garf weakly mumbled. He got up from her lap and promptly threw up his breakfast onto the sidewalk. Thankfully he was far enough away from the kids walking to school that nobody saw.
“Garfie! Are you okay?” She took a kleenex from her purse and wiped the excess vomit from his mouth. Tears of embarrassment were running down his face.
Garf shook his head and went in for another hug. “I’m scared of school and I don’t feel good!”
“I know, I know,” Mummy replied. “Sometimes we have to do things that are a bit scary and sometimes we get so scared that we feel a bit sick, bit it’s all going to be okay. I promise. Today’s a short day too. I’ll be back for you before you even know it!” She buckled him in and they drove the rest of the way to school in silence.
When they got to the school, Garf was feeling a lot better. He was ready to conquer the day and make new friends. He held Mummy’s hand and they asked the office ladies where Mrs. Byron’s grade 2 class was. They were both slow and old and their hair looked like noodles tied up in buns atop their wrinkly heads. Garfield definitely felt a little scared of them at first, but they were nice enough. Mummy guided him down the hallway and squeezed his hand. “Don’t worry,” she whispered.
The hallway felt big and Garf felt very small in comparison with all of the other kids and teachers. He wondered if anyone had ever gotten lost in this school. He wondered if any kids had gotten so lost that nobody ever found them. That gave him shivers and with those shivers came the sudden, but strong urge to pee. He scrunched his legs together and walked a little slower.
“You don’t need to be nervous, honey. Nobody’s going to be mean to you here,” Mummy said.
“I… I know,” Garf stuttered. He was concentrating on holding, and also looking for a boy’s room. He saw one for girls at the end of the hall, but no such luck. He wondered if he could hold it until he met his new teacher.
“Here’s your classroom, sweetheart. I’ve got to head to work. Just remember, be yourself today. I love you!” Mummy told him and gave him a hug. Garf hugged back and quickly readjusted his legs as the urge to go became stronger still.
“I love you too, Mummy.” Garf walked into the classroom and looked up at his very tall, red-headed teacher.
“Hello there!” she knelt down next to him, “I’m Mrs. Byron… and you must be Garfield.”
Garf danced from foot to foot, trying to calm his bladder. “Mm-hmm.”
“You can put your bag in the cloakroom on the hook that has your name written above it… and then over there next to the blonde, curly-haired boy is your desk!”
“Th-thanks,” Garf whispered almost inaudibly.
“It’s okay to be a bit shy on your first day, Garfield. But the kids in this class are very kind and I know they’ll want to meet you.”
Garf nodded and half-smiled. He was more worried about making it to the bathroom on time than making any new friends. He hung up his coat and backpack underneath his name and then squeezed his privates, trying his hardest not to let loose. When he came out of the cloak room, he went up to Mrs. Byron, trying to get the courage to ask for the bathroom, but immediately, the room fell silent and he was wiggling at the front of the class next to the teacher.
“Class, this is our new student, Garfield. He’s just transferred from Southgate and he probably would like some new friends to play with at recess. Garfield, what do you like to play?”
Garf wiggled and danced from foot to foot. He was in full pee-pee dance. “I, um, I like to play… trucks. And I like, um, hide and seek, and, um, lots of games I guess,” he mumbled. He kept wiggling and dancing. He didn’t want to ask for the bathroom in front of the whole class.
“You may take your seat, Garfield. We’re going to do some quick math questions.” Mrs. Byron handed out addition sheets starting with the row farthest from Garf’s seat. He was really wiggling now. He could feel himself losing the battle. Both of his hands were in his crotch, holding on for as long as he could. He was getting so worried about peeing his pants that he considered just running down the hallway to the girl’s room. When Mrs. Byron got to Garf’s seat, she lay the paper on his desk and very quietly asked, “do you need to use the restroom?”
Garf nodded sheepishly and Mrs. Byron gave him the pass.
“It’s down the hallway and past the office on the left side. And if you need to go, just ask before it’s too late,” Mrs. Byron smiled.
Garf could barely get out of his seat. He held himself as he sauntered out of the classroom and down the hall past the office. He could feel his grip slipping a bit and a little bit of pee seeped into his undies. But that was okay. When he got to the bathroom, the stalls were all taken and there were only urinals. Garf had never used one before and he was scared. On the verge of peeing his pants, he decided to try it only to find that he was clenched too tight to pull them down. Garf kept dancing and holding, trying to find a way to pull his jeans down without peeing everywhere. He could feel the pressure building and building and he was running out of time. He let a little more pee out into his undies, this time by accident. He held his crotch tighter, but couldn’t loosen his jeans at all.
Garf had an idea. He undid his button and the fly of his jeans and reached to pull out his wiener, but there was no hole in his new undies… and it was too late. He started going and he couldn’t stop the flow. His pee leaked through his new undies and into his jeans, all down the middle of his legs and into his socks. He just kept going. Garf was shocked. He didn’t know what to do or where to go. He just sat on the bathroom floor crying in wet pants.