Pee Pants

In first grade I peed my pants every day. Every single day. For many months. Along with my lunch and my homework, my mother would also pack an extra set of underpants and an extra set of shorts in my back-pack. Every day. And every day I got the talk about how I should go to the bathroom when I needed to go and not wait until the last minute and every day I would try, but every day I would fail.

Thankfully I was spared from most ridicule because I went to catholic school and wore a polyester jumper with a big pleated skirt, so all the unmentionables happened out of eye sight. The only people who took notice were the teachers who thought I had some sort of… deficiency … and my parents who were mostly bewildered.

I come from a long line of ladies who pee their pants. My mom and my uncle talk about making my grandmother laugh until she peed as a sort of victory. I can get my mom going with a funny story or two and I can hear it in her laugh when I’ve gotten her to the point of tinkling. And the first time Kamel made me pee my pants was when I wanted a pair of slippers one morning while visiting him, and when he fetched them from the closet they had darth vador heads on the toes. I totally peed.

It’s not only laughing that makes me pee… it’s also stubbornness (as was the case in 1st grade. You’ll see why later). One time, at day camp (I must have been about 9?), we had lunch in one of the many little parks all around Seattle. The only bathroom available was an out-house back in the woods and this was totally unacceptable for my dainty rear. I refused (despite the counselors warning that we were going to the beach and their would be NO OTHER BATHROOMS) to use it, but while walking the next few blocks to the beach I realized this decision was probably a mistake. Once we arrived at our beach destination I was forced to hobble around in bladder agony, trying to hide the fact from everyone around me that wow, I really had to go. Eventually I whined to an adult-in-charge and they told me to pee around the corner of a large cement wall, so that no one could see. But I had never squatted before and I was very young and no one was helping me … so what happened? I peed all over myself. Of course. All over my shorts, all down my legs and into my shoes. So instead of feeling total relief (ok there was some relief) I most felt sticky, and ashamed.

Then… fast forward to 6th grade. I’m practically a grown-up by now. And we’re on our 6th grade camping trip the school thinks will be so very educational. Yay outdoorsy shit! To get to this place we had to take a very long bus ride (how long, I do not know. It started early in the morning and ended around 2… so possibly 6-8 hours). We stopped along the way to eat but I, of course, did not pee because the facilities were not up to my noble standards. When we got to the camp we were told to unload our stuff and we were headed straight out on a hike. Isn’t this fun? At this point I really really really had to go (Really, are you surprised?) But, I sucked it up and headed out into the wilderness. We saw giant trees, and ferns, and all kinds of different moss, but all I could think was pee pee pee pee pee pee pee pee. Until – and this is by far the weirdest sensation – even though I was using all of the muscles in my body not to leak all over the woods, pee just came out, and once it started it could not be stopped. My teacher was mildly horrified and let me walk in the back of the line so that no one would really be able to tell how wet I was. The worst part about the whole thing – a few minutes later I totally peed AGAIN. I guess once the pipe breaks (at least for a little while) it’s kind of just… broken. Womp.

So yes. In first grade I peed my pants A. Lot. Once 8th grade started I pretty much stopped, unless you got me really laughing (as Kamel often does) and then maybe a little leaks out. Count that as a personal victory if you ever get me to do it. But first grade me was very confused as to why this all was happening. It wasn’t because I was laughing, it wasn’t because I had some sort of childhood trauma, it certainly wasn’t for attention. And my parents were trying to fix the problem, but nothing was working. Until finally my mother came up with the brilliant plan to ask me about my bathroom practices.

“Lauren, do you go to the bathroom right after lunch?”


“Why? Even if you don’t feel like you have to, you need to go… every day… after lunch, before recess.”

“But I can’t!!”

“Yes you can, honey. Why don’t you think you can? You need to.”

“Because then I won’t get the jump rope at recess! There’s only one pink jump rope and if I don’t run out right away someone else will take it.”

Palm. Face.

“Lauren… we can BUY you a jump rope!”

Problem solved.

30 thoughts on “Pee Pants”

  1. I love that you’ve put your urinary issues out there for God and everybody to read. OWN YOUR PEE PAST!!!!

    Plus? ‘lil Lauren is adorable. I demand a picture at some point.

    1. me too… about age 11, middle school. Walking home from the bus. Once we were released from class at the end of the day, we had to go. My bus left from the bottom of the school drive and there were no toilets down there. And it was a 20 minute wait for the bus, followed by a 20 minute ride home. Then a 10 minute walk up the hill.
      Thankfully, I got to the point of getting my key in the front door before I couldnt hold it anymore and wound up sitting on the loo in my pants.
      And no-one was home.
      So, before now? No-one knew. How did you do this to me Lauren? Spilling my secrets on the net and all!?! 🙂

  2. BAAHAHAHAHAH I literally almost peed my pants reading that. but it’s because I have to pee already and I’m stubbornly refusing to march out to the hall bathroom I need a key for (hate this office).

    I’m really glad you shared this Lauren. I’m feeling a lot better about being a bed wetter.

  3. As a fellow first grade Catholic uniform wetter, thank you for making me feel less shame and see more humor in these situations. I still have occasionsal leakages from time to time…laughter induced, and that many toilets aren’t up to my lofty arse standards. Maybe I should be less judgy? Nahhhh…

    Thanks for the support Lauren! 🙂

  4. Incredible, just wonderful.

    I have some pretty great bathroom stories (great to me, horrible to my older sisters) from when we used to travel all of the time for DAYS on end. With a potty chair in the car because my dad wouldn’t stop. Oh yes.

  5. So I totally can’t be as brave as you are Lauren and do this publicly, but I totally have a confession. That I’ve never told anyone in the thirteen years since it happened. Never. Not my best friend, not my husband.

    When I was taking my military training final exam, I needed to go to the bathroom as soon as I got in the room. When I hadn’t the minute before. This was a three hour, you can’t leave the room or you fail sort of exam. Thankfully it was a closed off little room with only me in it. I was wiggling all about, sitting half on the seat, sitting with one foot tucked under me jammed into my crotch in an attempt to lessen the need, anything I could think of. It worked for about two hours. Then I peed. All over my BDU’s. I asked if then I would be allowed to leave, just to go clean myself, and I couldn’t. So I had to sit there in my pee soaked clothes another hour and finish. I cried, and hurried a little faster. It was probably the longest hour of my life.

    Anyway, thank you for giving me a chance to share my secret. I feel like the smame of it has lifted, not that I’m not the only one to know it.

    1. HOLY SHIT honey!! 1) this is an amazing story. 2) I thought 1/2 way through it was going to take a turn for the “and then i peed in a planter” which would have been more funny and less horrible. 3) where is the compassion in these people??

      Another embarrassing thing that I thought of while reading your story is that… I always have to pee when I get home… from work, school, whatever. And when I was in highschool I had to park on the street and then use my key to open the garage door and wait and wait for it to open then slide under the door because I COULDN’T wait and then get to the door to teh garage and open the dead bolt and the door knob… and sometimes i just wouldn’t make it in time. But! the days I was wearing a pad for my period, I would be releived, because if I peed a little it would get soaked up and I could make it to the bathroom. Thank god for super absorbancy. 😉

      1. I thought that I could rely on a pad once in middle school, 7th grade I think. I saw the strangest and funniest thing I had seen up to that point in my young life.

        After getting off of the school bus the cute neighbor boy and his little sister were talking to me in front of my house. Out of nowhere my cat lept up and almost sat on cute neighbor’s shoulder. The cat totally surprised all of us and we laughed because it was so random and hilarious. I thought I might pee my pants, but was relieved because I was wearing a pad. That didn’t work – peed too much and ran inside mortified.

    1. I sucked until 3rd grade. My mom didn’t have dental insurance, and so I never saw a dentist til I was 8, where he freaked out about the state of my jaw from 8 solid years of thumb-sucking (it was pathological at that point, too, I honestly couldn’t help it). I ended up with braces for 2 years in high school as a result …

  6. my mom claims that when I was a kid I used to pee for revenge. like: oh, so you think you can win by putting me in time out and telling me that I’m not allowed to get up from this extra fancy antique chair at grandma’s house for the next 30 minutes… no matter what?
    (45 seconds later) “But you said no matter what!”

      1. She’s just freaked that you talked about her pee.

        It’s the curse of a writer … all their family and friends will be mad at them at one time or another for oversharing.

  7. oh man…i didn’t have regular accidents…but a few sprinkled throughout…even NOW at 23…isaiah says i wake up in the middle of the night “I HAVE TO PEE NOW” and we’ll be watching a movie…my leg shaking through the whole thing..”you won’t pause it…” “yes i will?!” he’s always confused at what moment will be worth pausing for me to pee….it’s almost never.

    but yeah…12 yrs old…thought i could hold it for a long walk…couldn’t. insert embarrassing story about falling while squatting and just sitting, pantsless for a while, soaking in the mulchy pile of piss my life had become…i was a dramatic 12…

    anyways, this is hilarious, thanks for sharing.

  8. I have a co-worker who is pregnant with her third kid and every time she sneezes, she goes, “Goddammit, I just peed my pants.” Guess that’s what happens post-first pregnancy… So much to look forward to!

    I went over to my own blog to post my own peeing of the pants story. Thanks for inspiring such sharing. This is such a cathartic exercise!

  9. Haha!! My cousin would be happy to know she isn’t alone. I always loved when I could make her laugh so hard she’d pee. It was a personal triumph for me at every holiday. 🙂

  10. Just came over from APW and I have to say I am SO GLAD this post was so close to the top. You are hilarious!

    Also, I crapped my pants at 5th grade camp while panning for gold. I was sick, and I sneezed. I hope that makes you feel better 🙂

  11. Gee whizz, Lauren. I really enjoyed the rhetorical flow of your post, reading you gush over old childhood anecdotes. Most writers would be embarrassed to tell that story (not to mentioned tee’ed off that so many viewers would demand to read it), but it appears you’re in a secure mental space right now. And I tell you what: a kid needs the kind of love your parents showed in the end. Man, your face must’ve been fully flushed back in your early school days.

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