It’s a bright, sizzling hot sunny day in August. You’ve just picked up your kids from school or daycare. You’ve managed to only produce just a few droplets of sweat carrying the baby, the lunch kits, the sippy cups, the nap mats, the school bags, the crafts made, and the hands of littles as you walk across the human-toaster of a parking lot to your car. You’ve spent what feels like an eternity buckling kids into clunky car seats – you might’ve even used your Ninja Warrior skills to strap in an unruly toddler or two. You’re out of breath; you’re producing even more sweat now; you finally shift gears into “drive”, anticipating the witching hour that awaits at home, and suddenly, you hear, “Mommy, I need to pee-pee!”
Does this sound at all familiar to you?!
Have you ever found yourself truly in a jam (seriously, like any kind of stalled traffic jam) with a tiny bladder in the backseat? Have you cringed at the fact of having to get all of the other kids out of the car, just to bring the one toddler into the nearest public restroom for potty-training purposes? OR, have you ever had the thought, “Eff it! I’ll just wash the car seat when I get home!” (insert some serious sighs and eye rolls that no emoji could ever capture)? I have been there and done that — all of it! And, I’m here to tell you, it can all end now! What you need, my fellow mommy, is a car urinal!
Ok! Before you cringe, let me explain!
It’s not what you think. This is not an open potty-training seat – pee-ew! It’s nothing like a bucket – gross! Easily stored in my front console, this small and practical device takes up very little space. And, in case you were wondering, it does not leave the car with a lingering bathroom stench. This portable, handheld urinal has come in handy a number of times for me. When those dreaded words are spoken, instead of undoing all of the blood, sweat, and tears it took to pack an entire SUV of children and their belongings, all I have to do is just hand the urinal back to the child who needs it (or unbuckle just one child to assist). The handheld urinal is small enough to be used just standing (or squatting – it comes with a girl part too!) in front of a seat or between two captain seats. It’s very unassuming. The urinal comes with a cap, however, if I’m in a parking lot or pulled over, I typically dump it in a nearby drain – easy peezy! Then it’s off to resume life with a car full of kids!
A Stitch for Any Sitch!
This has saved my sanity in several different scenarios – not just in a parking lot leaving school. Traffic jams, a potty trainer’s worst nightmare, are bound to happen when constantly toting littles around in the car – especially during Mardi Gras. Numerous times, we have been at a stand-still when the urge has presented itself. Nowhere to go, literally, and nothing to pee in, we have found ourselves just throwing our hands up and saying, “We’ll just bathe the child and strip the car seats when we get home (a task that is the bane of my existence, BTW). The urinal provides us and the child with a sense of relief here. It’s also not conducive for a recent potty-trained “graduate” to do exactly what we’ve been teaching him not to do – talk about mixed messages. We can keep progressing in that department with this handy tool tucked away.
Speaking of Mardi Gras, ever been on the route without a bathroom or perhaps had to pay to wait in a long line with littles? So not ideal with tiny bladders about to burst. The handheld urinal works for this as well. Maybe you’re close enough to your parked car where you can run to discretely handle the little one’s business; maybe you can dip in-between cars to quickly use it, or maybe you’re able to fashion a closed-off area with a tent and blanket for your route party. It will save your sanity from accidents and unsanitary port-o-potties (you’re welcome!).
Do you travel by car for vacation at all? Have you needed to take frequent bathroom breaks for the kids? If you’re anything at all like me, the thought of bringing curious little hands into a public restroom of a fast food joint or gas station is repulsing. Prayer hands only last so long before they’re inquisitively looking into the disposables bin in the stall. It also seems not enough toilet seat covers or toilet paper strands do the trick to avoid the bare bottom from touching the germ-infested toilet seat – it will always shift, always! The handheld urinal allows us to avoid all of this. We can take a driving break by a fast food restaurant or a rest area, park off to the side by a drain, use the urinal unnoticeably in the car, and dump the contents down. It’s quick, it’s clean, and it’s EASY!
But, can you clean it?!
Why, yes you can! Because it comes with a screw-on cap, it’s quite easy to clean. After each use, I fill the urinal with soap and hot water. I screw on the cap and shake it like a salt shaker (shout-out to all my millennial mommas who just read that in Ying-Yang Twins voices). I do this a couple of times and rinse it out completely until all of the sudsy bubbles are gone. I let it air dry (without the cap) and then it goes back in the console for another day. Make sure to wash it as soon as you can. You definitely don’t want a capped urinal that’s been used just sitting in a hot car for days. Letting it air dry outside for a day or two helps if you didn’t wash it immediately.
There are many problems that may arise while driving kids in a car; and, unfortunately, I don’t have hacks for all of them. However, this one has truly saved me time, tears, and most of all, from scrubbing and cleaning car parts and car seats. Guest passengers will never know it’s there, and young kids will never have to feel the frustration or the shame that is “holding it in until we’re home.”