Well, I just peed my pants in public. Is this another sucky parenting rite of passage everyone forgot to tell me about? That sneezing, coughing, and laughing would make me pee my pants unexpectedly after giving birth to a child? Thanks everyone. Thanks for nothing.
I guess I kind of deserved to pee my pants in public though because for as long as I can remember, I’ve made fun of incontinence. I suppose this is just karmic payback for all my insensitive jokes. It’s only now that I’ve peed my own pants that I’m considering maybe, just maybe, it’s time for me to lay off the adult diaper jokes.
I remember when I was a kid my mom always crossed her legs when she sneezed. We always knew when a sneeze was coming because she’d instantly jump into scissor pose right before the huge explosion. One day I said, “Mom, why do you cross your legs like that when you sneeze?”
“Because of you,” she said.
I didn’t get it. Was she trying to put on some sort of lame dance routine a la Michael Jackson for our amusement? Because if so, she was forgetting the mandatory crotch grab and turn; therefore, I was not impressed.
It turns out Mom was not doing a half assed attempt at a Michael Jackson routine at all. Nope, she jumped into scissor pose because after having two babies back to back, sneezing made her pee her pants too. Instead of just leaving her alone with her sneeze-pee technique, my brother and I decided it’d be more enjoyable to make fun of her.
“Watch me! Who am I?” I’d say. Then I’d do the most high-pitched fake sneeze while simultaneously doing the craziest flailing jumping jack possible. Then he’d say, “No, no! Watch me!” And he’d do an even louder fake sneeze with an even crazier karate chopping jumping jack. We’d burst into fits of giggles and both announce the obvious answer.
“MOM!” we’d squeal, “HEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!”
Frig we were jerks.
More recently, my brother and I have taken to ordering free samples of Depend undergarments for our family and friends. We made a list of recipients and had the samples delivered to their homes addressed to each one of them directly. Every envelope came neatly packed with two pairs of protective underwear and an inspirational quote like, ‘You can depend on Depends’. If you know us personally, and you got a mysterious sample in the mail, consider it an honour. We care enough about you to make fun of you. You’re welcome. And if you actually found them useful, you’re doubly welcome. In retrospect, I guess I should have sent some to myself…or maybe I should start giving adult diapers as baby shower gifts to prepare new moms for the inevitable.
My most enduring bladder control gag has not been with my brother though. The best one of all has been a life-long joke between my cousin and me. It’s such a long standing joke it even made its way into her speech at my wedding. In fact, the WHOLE speech was cleverly based around this running gag we’ve had for our whole lives.
My cousin and I used to play endlessly on her swings in her yard when we were kids. It is there where we solved all the world’s problems and debated hot topics such as: What toy has better hair? My Little Ponies or Lady Lovely Locks (Ponies obviously). Who is cuter? Bryan Adams or Bruce Springsteen? (Springsteen clearly). Who is a better singer? Debbie Gibson or Tiffany? (Debbie Gibson unquestionably). One day during a particularly lengthy silence, my cousin looked at me with an impish grin. She started pumping her skinny, little mosquito bitten legs until she was sky high and carefree. With the goofiest grin on her face she gleefully yelled, “GET BACK INTO LIFE WITH DEPENDS!” We died laughing and proceeded to re-enact the entire commercial over and over and over again. Each time we’d perform another cheerful activity you could do if you wore your protective underwear. And every time we’d holler, “GET BACK INTO LIFE WITH DEPENDS!”
Anytime we were bored right through junior high, high school, and into our adulthood, we’d pantomime some ridiculous activity and then whisper the catch phrase to each other. So much so, during my wedding when everyone was signing the official paperwork, my cousin leaned over to me and whispered, “Get back into life with Depends.” It was beautiful and made me laugh my head off.
So, as I sit here pondering if I peed my own pants due to karmic payback, the answer is obviously yes. I didn’t pee my pants because I had a kid who weakened every muscle in my lower abdomen beyond repair. No. I peed my pants because I deserved it. I’ve made fun of incontinence one too many times in my life. But do you think I’m going to stop now?
I guess that depends…