I’ve been trying to pinpoint why I have been in such a bad mood all week. Granted, there’s the matter of the Womanly Shadow that has been cast, and the fact that Drew has been sick, and the fact that one of my best friends is going through something terrible, and life has just…gotten under my skin.
Then I realized. The reason is obvious. My entire house smells like urine.
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I walked into the bathroom yesterday and stepped in a cold puddle in my socked feet. It was in a strange place to have been splashed out of the sink; and it seemed artificially contained on the tile, like a man-made golf course pond. In horror I bent down — just in case, on the rare chance — to smell and confirm that my worst fears had NOT come true. But they had. Oh yes, they had. Aside from the stretch marks, they had.
I bellowed like a walrus (any Brown Bear, Brown Bear fans out there?) for Drew to come and account for the abomination.
“Did you pee on the floor?”
“Mister Mommy, why you yell?”
I gave him a worn-out Shamwow and sent him to begin the absorption. He wanted to spray the Lysol himself, but I reserved that privilege as the plaintiff.
When we had finished, the smell was still potent, but I was tired and had to make tuna fish.
The next day, I walked by the bathroom again like they do in Clorox commercials, and made a face. I wasn’t wearing a cardigan and slacks, but I produced the classic disgusted mother expression and revisited the scene of the crime. Dried splashes I hadn’t noticed before had shown up on the baseboards. I fell on my knees like a convert and devoted myself to purification, wondering how far the rabbit hole would go.
As the days passed, the odor remained; it was the Survivor of smells. I realized, eventually, that it was the bathroom rug, which had silently taken the aerial assault. I drove to three places before bestowing its 3’x5’ glory on Kite’s Drapery cleaners over on the north side of town. I plopped the rolled-up pee burrito on the counter as the man behind it wrote down my information. He was in-training and I felt bad giving him such a hard case, especially when his main occupation is cleaning cigarette smoke out of curtains. I hoped he would think it was my dog, but he seemed gay and I imagined that this made him perceptive.
When the children were bathing that night in the upstairs bath, I had a hunch. I inspected the toilet area, just for kicks, just out of curiosity, and found what I had feared: more dried puddles of rogue pee — some speckled with greenish flecks, to complete my nightmare. The bacteria living in the pee were now peeing themselves. I was colonizing urethritis.
So between the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, the vague odor has been wafting through the house like a sad little girl ghost, finding me in lonely chairs in the afternoon and on the couch at night. I am ready to face up to her. I am ready to lay her to rest. I am ready to eat more candy and move to Aruba.
“He’s not very specific,” said my father-in-law once when describing Drew’s aim at potty time. Maybe it’s just that he gets caught up in an imaginary scenario where bad guys must be smote with a water hose of fury. Could be as simple — and bizarre — as that.
That, or he is just badly behaved.
Or that he really doesn’t have a future in golf, which might be worse than being a brat.
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