You can tell a good candle by the size of their bladder


When you’re a teacher, you get pretty good at training your bladder. Your whole world revolves around prioritising- should I visit the ladies room now and miss the chance to ask child A about their experience at District athletics? If I hold on a bit longer, can I manage to mark that last persuasive text and give feedback that will actually mean something?

After a couple of years your race to the restroom is synchronised with the recess or lunch bell (but not both because that would interfere with playground duty).

After a decade, you can hang on until after 3 o’clock.

But the flip side of this is of course managing your liquid intake. Clever educators have figured out that soft drinks take longer to pass through your system than juice, which takes longer than cordial, which takes longer than water.

You can afford 10 sips with breakfast, 6.5 sips in the first half of the day and- go crazy- 15 full sips on the downhill run to home time.

It’s a complex mathematical gambit but it pays off when you really want to watch the end of that 2-hour drive-in movie or you’re in the middle of a long haul flight to Europe and there’s a big queue outside the lavatory.

You’re also immune to the sound of trickling water and, unless it’s wine night (the nights that end in a y) you can sleep through the night without a loo break.

So when it comes to the school holidays, you can literally feel your kidneys thanking you as you throw caution to the wind and drink water with reckless abandon.

Just don’t let your digestive track get used to such constant hydration! After two weeks it’s back to the delicate balancing act of “what goes in will have to come out again” and a trip to the ladies room is a luxury teachers simply can’t rely on.


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