Jack Pees On Our Couch
It was about three months after Power Rangers. Kristina and I were married now. Jack was still spending the occasional weekend with us.
I found out about a special screening of the new Captain Underpants movie. That was Jack’s favorite book series and he had talked about the movie for a long time. I just knew he was going to be excited to see it a whole week early.
Here’s the catch. I only got 2 tickets to the event and Kristina had to work that day. That meant I’d have to take Jack all the way there and spend the whole day with him. At that point, I hadn’t really been alone with him since the first day of soccer. We just only took him on nights when we were both free.
But I didn’t care. Jack and I had bonded since then and I really wanted to go see the movie and do something hice and special for him.
So Kristina calls her mom to confirm that he is free and then meets me after work. We bus over to pick him up and take him to get dinner at a chinese place. He eats a bunch of food and gets a small soup on the side. That’s the only liquid he drank the whole night.
The movie was at 10AM on Saturday and we had to get there early because our seats weren’t guaranteed. So we’d have to leave at 9AM. I figured with breakfast and getting ready, we should wake up at 8AM although I was planning to let him sleep in until breakfast was ready and then eat quick and get him dressed.
Jack is a real boy’s boy so mornings are usually quick with him. He can change his clothes and get socks and shoes on in minutes.
I slept wonderfully that night. The summer was beginning and even though Jack wasn’t spending the whole thing with us it was still nice to kick it off with a nice boy’s day out. The movie theater is in a huge plaza with lots of shops and restaurants so we had a whole day planned.
I woke up at 8AM as planned, fully rested and ready to start my day. I went out to the living room to draw the blinds so that Jack might just slowly wake up on his own.
It was so obvious from the moment I walked in there and yet it took me - ME! - so long to figure it out.
Clue #1 Jack wasn’t on the couch. He was on the floor with a bunch of blankets bunched up all around him.
Clue #2 He wasn’t wearing the shorts Kristina lent him, but the long sweat pants he was wearing the night before.
Clue #3 He was also missing his shirt.
Clue #4 There was a big weird shadowy shape on the couch.
Clue #5 His shirt was on the floor next to the couch.
Clue #6 The shorts Kristina lent him were on the floor next to his shirt.
Clue #7 THe shorts Kristina lent him smelled like pee.
But more importantly:
For a split second I thought, “This is is. He finally did it. Now I’ll have a diaper wearing kid in my house!”
But the rest of me was like, “Fuck. Are we going to be late? Fuck. He is probbly going to need a shower. Fuck. My couch! Fuck do we have time for breakfast? Fuck. The movie’s at 10 that means we might not get out until 12:30 and the restaurant we already picked out (Jack’s never been to Steak and Shake) was a good walk away so we couldn’t go that long without food. Fuck. Popcorn is a great special occasion dinner but a terrible breakfast. Fuck. Do we have enough quarters for laundry. Fuck. Are Jack and I close enough for me to even approach him about this?”
Went and woke up Kristina. She is not a morning person. One time I brought her breakfast in bed and she fell right back to sleep and then had a dream that she ate it but when she woke up it was cold and refused to eat it.
“Kristina, wake up!”
She murmured and mumbled.
“Jack peed on the couch?” I was doing that loud whisper thing people do on TV but not in real life.
“Jack wet the bed. But on our couch.”
A second passed. And then she said:
“Noooo!” but still like super sleepy.
“We didn’t make him to go the bathroom last night,” she whined.
We didn’t, which wasn’t me manipulated the situation. We just forgot. To be fair he only had that small soup. There was a huge stain though.
She forced herself to get up and start getting dressed while I explained all my stress about breakfast and getting to the movie on time. She said she would handle it and sent me to start with breakfast.
I did not start breakfast. I kinda just hung back while she attended to him. I couldn’t actually hear them, but according to her it went like this:
Kristina bent over and nudged him awake all, “Hey, buddy.”
And he was like, “Hey.”
“What are you doing here on the floor?” Kristina asked. Having more or less raised him, she’s already masteredd the parenting technique of asking them what’s up when you already know what’s up.
“The couch is wet.” Jack said.
“And why is that?” she asked.
“Okay,” she helped him up. “Why don’t you go shower and we’ll take care of this.”
She set up the shower for him and that was that.
I gathered the wet shirt and shorts in the laundry basket. This was when I realized that I could not find his underwear, so we waited until he was out of the shower before running the laundry.
During this time Kristina relayed to me their conversation from above and started dumping baking soda all over the stain. WTF? I’d heard “use baking soda to clean a wet bed” but I’d never actually seen how it’s done. This does explain why there were random clumps of baking soda all over her house. They have a dog.
Jack got done with his shower and came out fully dressed in clean clothes while I was finishing up breakfast. We hadn’t really talked about how we were going to handle the situation yet. I hadn’t even mentioned her promise of Goodnites.
I just wanted to get out of the door by 9 so we could get in to see this movie.
During breakfast and getting ready to leave Kristina and I were still running around cleaning up. We asked Jack where his underwear went and got a series of garbled nonsense that added up to this little story from him. I promise it made less sense in real life.
Jack woke up at midnight. He took off his underwear and then put his shorts back on. Then he went back to sleep. Then he woke up at 2AM to find that he peed. He didn’t want to bother us so he undressed and redressed in the ‘ensemble’ that I found him in and set up an emergency blanket cluster bed on the floor.
We had him retell this like three times and it changed every time and really we didn’t care about anything except one thing: where was his underwear.
Long story short, he probably wasn’t wearing any to begin with. He does that sometimes.
Kristina started the wash and Jack and I were off to our movie. The couch - which is actually a futon - was folded out and still had baking soda sitting in it. Had no idea where that was going.
The rest of the day went mostly smoothly. Jack seemed completely unphased by the whole thing, although he was still kind of waking up by the time we left.
The theater installed a new Coke Freestyle machine, which means unlimited refills on any size drink. So we had a lot before the movie even started but I didn’t leave to get a refill during.
My paranoia kicked in again and I spent the entire movie thinking Jack was about to pee his pants or smelling that he already had. Spoiler alert, he didn’t. I didn’t ask him if he had to go after it started because I didn’t want either of us to miss anything, I didn’t want to pester him, and I sorta wanted him to have an accident anyway as terrifying as that might sound. He went after the movie and then we walked off to lunch.
He didn’t want to stop at any stores along the way there so we just headed straight for Steak and Shake. Along the way, I finally brought up the accident and asked him why it happened
Jack didn’t really have much to say about it. He didn’t remember any bad dreams and wasn’t super excited for the movie. I asked him how often that happens and he just said, “Sometimes.”
I told him that it was okay and he shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed - even though he didn’t and he wasn’t - and then I mentioned that lots of kids do it all the time and I even brought up that some still wear diapers every single night. When I said that some of his friends probably wore them he finally was like, “Okay this is getting too wear can we talk about something else?”
That was pretty much it. I knew he’d end up in one eventually so I didn’t have to do any convincing. I guess I just wanted to normalize the situation in advance. He was supposed to go home that night so it wasn’t even going to be an issue until the next sleepover.
After lunch - we both had milkshakes - we went to a few stores. We had passed the bookstore and the toy store and he didn’t want to backtrack so we kinda just had some random “mom” stores to explore. I could sense that the day was fizzling out I suggested we try all of the chairs in the store and review them.
The yellow ones by the shoes were the best.
We were buy a Target, so I did consider stopping in and grabbing some Goodnites for cheap, or even their offbrand. But I didn’t want to go there just yet. Plus you can’t go to Target and just get 1 thing.
So eventually we called an Uber and headed toward town, stopping to Kristina’s place of work to pick her up and head home. On the ride there, he asked if he could sleepover again. I said we’d have to check with Kristina and see. Now I was real pissed that we didn’t get the Goodnites at Target because anywhere between Krsitina’s work and our house was gonna be too cheap. The bad little Harmony that I am was all out at the time.
Kristina was cautious about him sleeping over because his “bed” was a wreck. Apparently she wanted to vacuum up the baking soda but it didn’t work. She had never used our vacuum before. And even then it was still going to be gross. I told her i could make it work and she agreed.
Then I whispered, “So we should go buy some Goodnites, right?”
She didn’t backpedal on the year old deal, she just said, “Yeah I guess we should.” I told her we would have to go buy them either at the expensive pharmacy or the less expensive dollar store out of the way. She was like, “Don’t you have any?” She knows me, what can I say?
So we stopped whispering in front of Jack and approached him. I was ready to bust out the good parenting speech about how he’s not a baby and we’re not punishing him, but ristina jumped in with this little bit:
“So,” she started, “You know how you peed on the couch? Well…. we’re going to get some diapers.”
I was like, “Whoa! Here we go. Temper tantrum and resists and so on.
But he was just confused. So I reminded him about how we discussed that lots of kids his age wore them. And then he was just like, “Oh yeah. Ok.”
So we went to the pharmacy and I paid like $13 for 11 Goodnites. Fuckin ripoff. We had Jack carry them home - in a plastic bag - not to shame him or anything. We were both just so tired.
And that was it. After over a dozen years my dream was finally coming true. I would finally be near a child wearing a diaper despite being way over the age of potty training.
Honestly, I’m not sure what my 13 year old self was planning to do with that situation should it ever arrive. So far it cost me a stressful early morning, impromptu laundry, probably a permanently damaged couch, and $13.
It sucked. But I didn’t want it to end.