A Childhood Incident: From Then and Now

           From My Perspective Then

            I just want to read my book and that is all I want to do. Not to be bothered by unnecessary things but to just sit and read. The carpet feels nice on my legs and the book is funny, very funny.

I know I should get up and tell Mrs. Arnold but I will not, at least until the book is done. Garfield is so funny; he is always kicking Odie off tables. There are only a few pages left and I can get it done. The next comic is Garfield dreaming of lasagna and he wakes up and Jon has made lasagna and Garfield eats all of it. I laughed out loud for the first time and lost it all in that moment. My pants felt wet and warm as I sat there on that mat and I knew I had done it. I wet my pants.

I look around to see if anybody noticed but nobody did. I did not want to move because the warmness of it feels good. It felt good to go to the bathroom. It felt good to finally let that go, but only for a few seconds. Now I had to get up and tell Mrs. Arnold.

Luckily, she was walking by so I raised my hand. She came up to me and I whispered, “Mrs. Arnold, I have to go call my dad.”


“Because I went pee…”

She laughed a little bit to herself and pulled on my arm and I followed her. My pants feel funny on the sides of my legs. I go into the office and I sit down and wait for her to tell my dad what happened on the phone. I feel stupid for peeing in my pants, for the first time. My face feels warm but not good and my pants feel cold.

My dad walks into the room and laughs a little to himself and hands me my clothes. I change in the nurse’s office and I feel good in new clothes. Going back to class makes me nervous but I have to go because Mrs. Arnold is making me. I sit down and the girl next to me says, “Did you wet your pants?”



My Perspective Now

               Why I was reading Garfield is a mystery to me now. I do not understand how I could stand that cat and his antics, but I give myself a break because I was only in first grade. To just read that next comic was my goal and I achieved it, which is something to be proud of now that I look back upon it. Most kids in the first grade would have not had the perseverance to read on when I did. It may not have even been Garfield that I was reading but whatever it was made me laugh out loud and then the dam burst. A golden spout of shame erupted into my pants and sent me into a few seconds of euphoria and what felt like a few hours of shame. However, I think that as I get older I add into stories new shames that I did not seem to notice then or, maybe not.

As soon as I felt the warmth spread between my legs I knew I had done it. The worst thing a person could do in first grade is pee their pants. The shame if I was caught with wet pants would be unbearable; I knew social pressure at the age of seven. I knew that nobody could know of what I had done; only my sweet teacher, Mrs. Arnold, and that was only because she had to call my father to tell him to bring me some new clothes. New clothes! If only I could have changed right then and there and have nobody notice.

Mrs. Arnold walked close to where I was reading and I remember raising my hand because teachers come to that, I think it is in their genes. To find a teacher in a crowd all you have to do is raise your hand and they’ll come to you. In this case she came right up to me.

“Mrs. Arnold,” I whispered. “I have to go call my dad.”

She looked at me quizzically and asked, “Why?”

“Because I went pee…”

That is all I had to say and then a smile seeped across her face. Teachers, even the nice ones, wait for these moments.

She walked me out of the room, I remember walking very carefully, and out the door. I walked into the office of Eugene Field Elementary School, named after the poet, and called my dad. I do not recall the conversation but I know he also laughed and told me he would bring me some clothes. His laughter brought the shame back up to me and I knew that the rumors must have been flying back in the classroom. Little first grade girls and boys were first learning how to gossip and it was about me.

When my dad finally got to school, after ages and ages, I changed quickly in the nurse’s office. Once I got out of the nurse’s office I was a prisoner newly released from jail! My new clothes did not feel weighed down with shame…or pee.

The walk back to class with Mrs. Arnold was not that bad and as soon as I got back to class I calmly sat down next to a little girl whose name escapes my memory.

“Did you wet your pants?”


I have not quit lying since.




I wrote this for a class I am taking. It was very fun to be able to write like this and to be able to think about the same situation from two different perspectives, and yet, they are both me.

One Response to “A Childhood Incident: From Then and Now”
  1. Ruth M. Dowd says:

    Keep writing Caleb. You get better with each one. Enjoyed this.

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