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Oh, to Pee Alone!

By Holly Hester

I've never been a big water drinker. Ever. I just never really got the point of the whole water thing when there are so many other flavored beverages in the world that are so yummy. Water always has seemed to be just a watered-down version of coffee, beer, soda, or soda's pretend healthy friend, iced tea. But the other day, I was lying in bed reading an interview with Jennifer Aniston (In my defense, it was the only thing upstairs to read. Our bedroom has more boring magazines than a dentist's office.), and she said that her two biggest secrets to looking so good were sleep and water. Now, of course, I don't really believe those are her only secrets, but it did get me thinking about water and my cursory relationship with it.

It occurred to me that, since becoming a mom, I have turned into a camel out of necessity. As a mom, if you're out in public, and you have to pee, and you just have a baby--well, that's one thing. But as soon as your child can crawl, bathrooms turn into truly disgusting, very stressful places. I remember the first time I saw my son Buck crawl into another stall and disappear. I was so grossed out--it was a bathroom floor at the beach, which is pretty much one of the grossest bathroom floors on Earth. I remember calling his name and getting absolutely no response. By the time I got out of the stall, Buck had actually left the bathroom and was running around the parking lot. I think it was then that I subconsciously made a decision to stop absorbing liquids all together.

That doesn't mean I've avoided public bathrooms all these years--oh, no! Moms with little kids and vagrants are the two groups of people that keep public bathrooms bustling. A parenting rule of thumb: If you're anywhere near a gross bathroom, you can count on having to change a diaper in it. And how many hundreds of times have I been crammed in a stall with all three of my children as we do this weird public bathroom dance where we rotate clockwise and take turns at the toilet?

It's only been recently that we all can use separate stalls. This has been a major achievement, and I only wish there were a plastic award I could buy at the Party Store to celebrate it. (Nothing fancy, maybe just a happy mom sitting alone on a toilet, giving a big thumbs up.)

Which brings me back to water. There is really no good excuse why I can't drink the stuff these days, so I decided to give water a try. And, being me, I decided to drink a ton of it instantly, just to see if there were any remarkable difference in how I felt.

And I hate to say this, but drinking a lot of water does make you feel better. It really does. It makes you feel--oh, what's the word?--hydrated. My skin is smoother. My eyes are clearer. I even have more energy. And the weird thing is, the more you drink it, the more you want to drink it. You get thirstier. You crave water. You start being one of those annoying people who says, "Have you seen my water bottle?"

So it looks like my camel days are over. But, unfortunately, since I'm drinking a lot of water, my public bathroom days have just begun.

Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.



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