Thursday, November 22, 2007


For a couple of years now, we've rented a cabin for Thanksgiving, just my family. This year, we've been joined by my in-laws. So we're a full house. Most of this bunch is still asleep, so in the quiet before I start cooking (any more than toast and tea right now) I was taking time to think of all the things I'm grateful for.

Well, I'm also going to grade papers because I would be most thankful to be done with them, but I digress.

It's a long list, but as I watch Thing 4 clear some of last night's tea cups out of the living room oh so carefully, one blessing comes clearly to mind.

The drive up was worse yesterday than in earlier years because we left later and hit both rush hour and holiday traffic. We were well and truly crawling along when from the back of the van I heard those words: "I really have to pee!" An older child might have gotten the You Should Go When You Have A Chance lecture, but the two year old just gets "Hang on, honey, we're looking for a potty!"

There was an exit directly ahead of us, and I just had to change lanes and skim along the shoulder for a little bit, not actually reaching warp speed before landing at the intersection and turning right into the nearest gas station. As I jumped out of the driver's side to run around and free her, right behind me sat a motorcycle officer, lights flashing.

Oh dear.

I said, "I'm so sorry, officer, I must have done something wrong, but I have a two year old that has to go potty!'

He said, "Well, do what you have to do," and I grabbed her and ran to the bathroom, leaving him sitting there.

The whole time I was holding and wiping and telling her what a big, wonderful girl she was for holding it -- I do love me a potty-trained child -- I was worrying. My driving record was so far free of moving violations. How was I going to face this cop while holding my (evertalking) child?

All done, we left the bathroom to face the music.

And he was gone.

My spouse hadn't talked to him. My father in law had no idea where he'd gone. The kids hadn't seen anything. This isn't one of those spooky stories where a cop was killed there in previous years. I suppose either he'd gotten a higher-priority call, or decided that my hurry which had propelled us through a red right hand turn light was, in fact, legitimate -- maybe he has a toddler? -- or something.

Anyhow, there is gratitude for the missed bad things as well as those blessings which we have received.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Elizabeth said...

I once got off the hook for speeding because 3-month-old Hibi was squalling in the back seat. In my haste to get to an exit *now* to nurse her on our trip to Arizona, I didn't realize I was speeding. The officer saw that we had a screaming baby and just told us where the best place was to pull over to take care of her. Once in a while they're understanding!

meg said...

Definitely a holiday gift :-)
Hope you all are safe & well, surviving the trip homw.

Beak said...

Wow..I am amazed she held. No small feat given all the excitement.

Hope the rest of your holiday was nice and calm!

Robin said...

That is a great story - that is great that you didn't get a ticket, AND that she was able to hold it successfully! From the outside of parenthood looking in, it seems like some people slack on getting the potty training task done - I can tell you I would be ALL OVER that as my first priority! LOL.

allisonmariecat said...

Oh, what a nice story! We got pulled over near the end of a two-hour drive. The cats were yowling, Lilah was screaming, and Matt didn't realize we'd entered the well-known speed trap because of all the ruckus. Officer By-the-Book wrote up the ticket for the full amount anyway. It was like, have a heart! I'm so glad your story worked out so well.