Have you ever traveled through the plains of South Dakota? I'm sure most of you have not. So I ask you, have you ever found yourself traveling through the middle of a desolate landscape sans cell phone service on a blustery winter day? Again, I'm sure you're answer is no...not only a no but a "heck no" and a no "thank you to anytime soon". As much as I love the quiet plains of South Dakota, the clear sunsets void of smog or buildings on the horizon, and the down-to-earth attitudes of our people, I am not a fan of all that we have to offer, or the lack there of!
It has been many a time that without other option, I've resorted to squatting and pee-ing in a ditch (if you have never attempted this task, it is NOT easy). Of course not my proudest moments with my never-seen-the-sun posterior catching a breath of brisk fresh air because desperate times call for desperate measures. However, my boys seem to find joy, excitement, and adventure in the "ways of the wild", marking their territory along with every other glorious male species! So dilemma, for the moment, seems to have been avoided......unless the child is demanding to go #2!! Then, pray tell, what are your options. Lucky for us-read ME- we come upon a random, in-the-middle-of-nowhere run-down gas station.
I generally try to avoid potty-breaks while traveling. It is not an easy feat to get all kiddos out of the vehicle, into the rest-stop, and back out within a timely manner. To add to the difficulty, this particular gas station had 1 bathroom...for 5 of us (well, actually 4...the toddler isn't potty trained...but he has to accompany each person in and monitor their progress. It's part of his job description!) The problem with gas stations is the goodies and treats on the shelves that call out to my dudes. "I want", "Can I?" and "Please" echo throughout this dusty, dirty, run-down potty stop.
The oldest two boys go first making it even harder for the poor 4 year old to "hold it"! By the time he gets in there, I'm sure it is past the point of an emergency. When I hear the "mom, you gotta come see dis", I go barging into the bathroom to discover a pee-soaked grungy floor, a splattered toilet seat, and my standing-in-the-middle-of-all-of-it son! He swears it wasn't him, and the older two boys confirm that, indeed, the floor and seat were wet before my crew ever made their presence known. So not only is my son standing in pee and has pee all over his bootie and legs.....it is SOMEONE ELSE'S PEE! I wipe as best I can with that cheap-skate see-through toilet paper, rub hand sanitizer all over my dude, and send him to his brothers. I proceed to do the tip-toe hover-above-the-toilet try-to-relax-so-I-can-pee extravaganza. No foreign pee for this mama's royal hienny! But for good measure, I rub some sanitizer on my nether-regions, too. We grab some dust-covered treats, 5 waters, pay the lady and get the heck out of Dodge!
Once in the vehicle and back on our desolate road, my four year old states very matter-of-factly from the backseat that "we are in the middle of nowhere"! Either direction we look is frozen tundra, herds of cattle, and snow-covered haystacks. The middle of nowhere indeed...but it's the only "nowhere" I want to be.....