Samples. Urine. We have all done them. For ourselves and for our kids. They are necessary. They are important and they have a purpose.
BUT …. and there is a but …
I can’t help thinking that somewhere a Secret Sample Society (SSS) is laughing down at our trials and tribulations with a sample bottle.
First of all, given that the male and female anatomy is a little different, the sample bottle is a little unfair – probably invented by man for man. Hardly equal opportunities at its best hey!!! However, this is not about differences. This is about skill. A sport even.
So, how best to do it. Mid flow – don’t forget the all-important mid-flow. Start. Stop. Now where, I ask as a woman, is the best place to hold the damn thing? Centre? Left? Right? Does it really matter when you know full well that today is going to be the day of the diagonal wee!
Success at this sport will depend on how adept you are at It’s A Knockout type events and you will be judged accordingly.
There is also the question of what exactly is an acceptable amount in the bottle. Too full and you’ve got no control. Too little and you’ve missed – you’re rubbish at it. Probably rubbish at sport in general. Probably also in possession of a wet sleeve.
Whilst we’re on the subject, can the SSS tell from the sample if you’ve lost your nerve? Can they tell the brave mid-‘flow’ers from the losers who surge too early? Do they run efficiency tests before all others? Oh the shame!
What really takes the biscuit though is getting a sample from a kid. I have been known to take all kinds of household objects to the doctors as receptacles for catching the amber nectar. Got to make use of the trifle bowl in the winter!!
Once again, we are reminded – mid-flow. Well that’s all well and good for us ladies with something resembling a pelvic floor – but a kid?
So into the toilet we go for ‘Operation Catch It’. It’s tense. I give the usual instruction “do a bit and then stop”. It’s time to hold the breath. Breathing is not allowed during this exercise to avoid wobble of hand. “OK, mummy is going to hold this and, if you can, just go very slowly”. That’s just not going to happen is it! You will find yourself stop starting and rechecking at 1cm intervals.
A half full bottle for a child’s sample in my opinion is evidence that you are a real trier. They know. Of course they bloody know. The SSS will know your full personality type and sports prowess as soon as you hand the sample over. You are well and truly busted.
As a family, we are so adept at samples that we like to do them when we are overseas too. France to be precise.
My shouts of “oui, oui” to the kid in a French hospital probably got people to thinking I wasn’t alone in the cubicle. They were right – I wasn’t. Little did they know I was clutching an empty sample bottle with ‘oui’ running down my arms, resigning myself to another hours wait while the little system refilled.
Now this is all well and good. We’ve got the hang of it us grown-ups. After several years practice some of us have got some really great tactics but the SSS don’t like us resting on our laurels. Some smart arse has gone and started putting fancy pre-typed labels on the bottles if they are expecting you. This is known as naming and shaming. He/she who smudges will stand out from the crowd. You will be expected to place the finished article in a specially designated box once complete.
The pressure is on and armed just with this tiny bottle you pray today for the perfect wee. So perfect that your bottle will take pride of place in the collection box.
Ha! No chance. Of course, today is not a perfect day and you survey your efforts only to see that you have smudged the ink.
You. No one else. Your name is on the bottle.
Head bowed, you open the box and it’s then that you spot it. The perfect sample. Pristine and just the right amount. Not a smudge in sight.
Smug or what!
Was it you?