This is a short story from my last visit with Dorothy.
(If you're late to the party, and haven't been introduced to Dorothy yet, read THIS, from a couple of years back. Then, in order to get up-to-speed on the current situation, you might read THIS. You could read THIS, too, but it won't do as much good. I'm just giving you that link because I'm going to be embarrassed in the story that follows, so, to make me feel better, I'll embarrass her again.)
After a visit with Dorothy, any story I choose to tell will usually be some tale about her. In this instance, it is about me. She happened to witness it, and she asked me if I remembered it. I said I didn't.
(If I had any sense of shame, I probably wouldn't tell you this.)
(Thus far, I've told you I'm going to be embarrassed and ashamed. That should be enough to keep you reading, eh?)
The scene is Aunt Anna's kitchen. Aunt Anna was my great aunt, Dorothy's mother. From the way Dorothy tells the story, it appears I was being babysat while my parents were, perhaps, at a movie or something of that nature. I am two years old, Dorothy is thirty-two, and Aunt Anna is somewhere in her late fifties. The kitchen is just an ordinary sort of kitchen of indeterminate age. It has two sinks, though. That's important.
As Dorothy related the story to me, here's what happened:
Aunt Anna was busy in the kitchen, doing some laundry. She had a load of her husband's white shirts in one of the kitchen sinks. She had been scrubbing them by hand, as she did not have a washing machine. When she was finished scrubbing one in the first sink, she'd wring it out and pile it into the other sink. The plan was to hang them out to dry when they were all washed.
Meanwhile, I'm doing whatever sort of stuff a two-year-old boy does to amuse himself. I then realize I need to go to the bathroom.
I tell Dorothy this news, and she takes me to the toilet in their apartment. Problem is that Uncle Roy, Aunt Anna's husband, is using it.
Dorothy asks me if I can hold it for a little while. I reply that I can't, that I have to pee RIGHT NOW.
Dorothy sees the urgency in my look, and she knows her father's bathroom habits, so she weighs those factors and brings me into the kitchen. She tells Aunt Anna the problem.
Anna is a decisive woman, and she figures out an immediate solution. She hands me an empty Coke bottle and tells me to go in it, saying I can empty it after I'm finished. I'm two, and I'm desperate. No problem. I pull down my pants, make the necessary arrangements to accomplish the task at hand, and relieve myself into the Coke bottle. Meanwhile, Dorothy has gone to do something else, and Aunt Anna has left the kitchen, perhaps to retrieve a laundry basket.
I am standing there with a Coke bottle full of pee. I don't want to be standing there with a Coke bottle full of pee. I want to get rid of it and go back to doing whatever a two-year-old boy does to amuse himself.
Since I'm only two-years-old, I'm short. I can't see the sinks, but I can see where the sinks are. And I'm smart enough to know that sinks have drains. Water goes down drains. Pee is like water. Therefore...
I reach up and empty the Coke bottle into the second sink where Aunt Anna has been putting all of Uncle Roy's nice clean white shirts.
Just as I'm finishing doing that, Aunt Anna comes back into the kitchen. She sees what I'm doing and gets just a tiny bit peeved.
"Jimmy! What are you doing?!?", she says, and before I have the chance to give the obvious answer, she gives me a slight cuff on the back of my head and then a small one to my bottom.
(At this point in the story, Dorothy assured me that her mother was immediately sorry for having hit me, however slight the hits may have been, and would have taken them back in a flash. However, I have to say that I understand her actions completely. If somebody poured fresh pee all over something I had been cleaning for the past hour, I'd likely give them worse than what I got.)
Being two, and not knowing why I had been given a couple of love taps, I ran into the parlor, Aunt Anna close behind. I screamed, "She killed me everywhere! She killed me everywhere!"
Chaos reigned for about a half-minute, until Uncle Roy came running out of the bathroom to find out why there was a general insurrection in his living room. We all told our parts of the story, and it became clear that it was a case of not enough information all around. Aunt Anna had, of course, meant for me to empty the bottle in the toilet, but hadn't said exactly that (which would have been wise, considering she was dealing with a two-year-old.) Having no idea concerning the shirts, I had done what I thought was expedient and right. Dorothy had left the scene of the crime once the Coke bottle was introduced the first time, not having any great desire to witness the filling of same. And Uncle Roy was otherwise occupied throughout, until his serenity had been disrupted by the shouting.
I have it on good authority that I was given a chocolate, told why I shouldn't have done what I did (but also assured that it wasn't really my fault), and that I then quieted down and went back to doing whatever it is that amuses a two-year-old boy. I'm apparently none the worse for wear, since I didn't recall a single bit of it as Dorothy told me about it, and it affords me the opportunity to ask once again that you send Dorothy a card or letter, if you have the time, so it may turn out to be a very good thing that I peed all over Aunt Anna's clean laundry.
Dorothy Luff, Room 103
c/o Milford Care & Rehabilitation
10 Veterans Memorial Drive
Milford, MA 01757-2900
She loves getting mail, and thank you very much to those who have sent her some. You're the best!
Soon, with more better stuff.