An Oscar Worthy Performance

I put Matthew in the shower tonight went in his room to retrieve a pair of pajamas for him, secretly hoping that he’d keep them on all night. As I walked over to his dresser, a scent caught my attention. Not a good scent. Not a scent any parent wants to smell in their 4-year old’s room. There was pee somewhere in his room. I sniffed harder and in circles, like a bloodhound, trying to determine the source of the pee-smell, but I couldn’t find it.

I stormed upstairs to the bathroom and yanked the shower curtain back and Matthew very sweetly looked up at me, all innocent, using the bathroom sponge to wash himself. The sponge I scrub the tub with. Yuck. I grabbed it from him and in one split second had this conversation with myself:

I’m gonna . . . this is just it . . . I can’t understand why he has to do these things . . . Wait. If I get angry with him, he’ll get upset and I’ll never discover the source of the pee smell. He will think he’s going to get in trouble and then he’ll start denying it all. I’ll have to wash everything in his room and I don’t want to do that. It will be so much easier if I don’t upset him and then he will tell me where he peed. Don’t make a big deal out of the sponge incident and wipe that anger off your face! He’s starting to catch on – look, he’s not smiling any more – quick!  Fake being pleasant! Happy thoughts. Happy happy . . .

So I took a deep breath and smiled at him as I said (as sing-songy as I could), “Buddy, don’t use that sponge to wash; it’s okay, you can wash with this washcloth.” Then I scrubbed him from head to toe and nonchalantly dropped this little nugget into the conversation: “Hey, did you pee in your room?” Like I had just asked him about the weather. Smooth.

Immediately I knew he had done it by the look on his face. He tried to read my expression: If she’s angry, I’m going to deny everything. I smiled at him. He smiled back. I had won his trust and he very proudly told me he peed in his closet. But NOT on his toys. In the corner. You know, where most 4-year old males pee.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Do not over-react now; he still could be mistaken. There may be pee in other places in the room. Must be pleasant until we reach the crime scene and he points out the exact spot. Must . . . control . . . self. Smile!

I helped him out of the bathtub, threw a big towel around him and said (like we were playing a game), “Let’s go find that pee!” And off we went to his room.

Sure enough, there was pee in the closet. A little bit. Not enough (in my professional judgement ) to warrant that amount of smell. I maintained my happy demeanor and with Clorox wipes in my hand, asked if he peed anywhere else. Yes, he had. On the rug. A little bit. Alrighty then. Anywhere else? No.

I cleaned it up and decided not to punish him. This time. We had a talk about the appropriate place to pee, which isn’t your room or anywhere else that’s not a toilet, and he agreed that from now on, he will only pee in the toilet. I’m not so sure about that, but I’m going to take his word for it right now. 


2 Responses

  1. Seriously, you need to get some Natures Miracle from a pet store. Really, urine is urine. It works great to remove that yucky smell. White vinegar works well, too. My boss swears by it.

  2. Boys. You gotta love ’em.

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