In Which I Discover I Hate Carpet

Make no mistake, friends. I experienced an ordeal.

Warren peed on the carpet. But before you go thinking of the normal accidental occurrence you can expect with children in your home, let me explain. It was much worse.

First off, I didn’t realize for days. Warren often closes his door when he goes to school lest Madeline sneaks off with a precious Lego piece. And our busy life has reached the point of insanity–the bedtime routine, one of the few times we’re all in his bedroom, has dwindled down to less than 5 minutes. So, in my defense, it’s not too difficult to see why I didn’t really notice before.

By the middle of the second week of kindergarten the smell hit me like a brick. I opened his room to put something away while he was gone and walked into what I thought could only be a hamster cage.

Please, for a moment, imagine me crawling on my hands and knees sniffing around his entire room to find the source. Pulled back the sheets. Nothing. Stripped them and stuck them in the wash anyway. Checked the already stinky hand-me-down play kitchen to see if someone (i.e. Maddie) left some real food item to die. Nope.

That night we finally took the time to have a proper going to sleep routine and the smell was pungent.

“Can you smell that, Colin?” I asked with disdain. “I swear it smells like pee in this room!”

“Yeah, that’s because I peed right over there,” Warren said with an air of normalcy.

“Son, why didn’t you tell us?” I implored.

Head down, his shoulders shrugged to let us know that he really had no idea what he was doing. His motives were beyond him. Consequent interrogation yielded even less information. How often? Which days? How much pee? All we could gather was it was more than twice. And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many…

I couldn’t believe it!

Stress, boredom, laziness, all of the above resulted in who knows how many days of urine pooling in the carpet and carpet padding by his closet.

I don’t know what was worse, that he secretly did it without telling us or that I didn’t even notice the smell for several days.

As only an amateur would do, I ran to the cleaning cabinet and sprayed stain remover over the spot I believed to be the origin. I vacuumed it up and hoped for the best. Failed attempt #1.

It was too far gone for the baking soda method. I had to go for the big guns and borrowed a wet vac from a friend. For the next FIVE DAYS I used the following method to remove what I could: spray with vinegar, let soak in, wet vac the moisture, spray with an OxiClean/nice smelling soap (ammonia-free)/water mixture, let soak in, and wet vac the moisture out. Repeat over and over and over again.

Thankfully, the smell is pretty much gone.

By the end of it all I was exhausted, irritated, and paranoid. I kept smelling ghost urine smells everywhere I went. I worried that there were other spots around the house that I was just waiting to discover. I felt like I couldn’t trust him to be alone in his room for fear of other acts of mayhem.

Warren is a sweet boy. He is conscientious and helpful. He is honest and thoughtful. He is also tender and full of emotion. Kindergarten has been a big change. He absolutely loves school, and is doing really well there, but it’s still big.

I don’t think anything like this will ever happen again, at least not with this particular bodily fluid. But I’m going to be more on guard from now on. If nothing else, to help him get through whatever ails him before it manifests in such a messy way.

Lessons learned:

  • Carpet and children do not mix. If this were my own purchased home (and I actually had the funds to do so after purchasing it) I would rip all the blasted stuff out.
  • Never underestimate the potential children (especially boys) have in releasing stress. Even when they seem well-adjusted, there are usually triggers that can max them out.
  • If you have carpet, and you care about removing disgusting, vile, putrid smells, invest in a wet/dry vacuum. Or at least become good friends with someone who owns one.
  • I love OxiClean. Buy the Costco size. You won’t regret it.

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Any ordeals you’d like to share to cheer me up?

11 thoughts on “In Which I Discover I Hate Carpet”

  1. Why does smell never bother children?? That should have been reason enough for him to tell/stop! I can’t even imagine– except that I imagine you were MUCH more gracious that I would have been with one of my own children… ah transitions.

  2. I laughed so hard I about peed on my carpet. This is my new favorite story. I love that you blogged this. Here in Utah everyone expects supermoms and if you aren’t a supermom, you need to at least keep up the appearance that you are. It’s got to be even more stressful than actually being a supermom.

  3. My brother was a peeing maniac. He peed in his cowboy boots, in a roll of paper, anywhere in the backyard, in buckets, and probably a ton of other places I had no idea about. I don’t think he does it any more, though. He’s 25. I’m sure that Warren learned his lesson. Aren’t kids funny?

  4. That does sound like an ordeal! I totally agree that sometimes totally sweet kids (especially boys) do very puzzling things. I love how your recent posts cover a wide variety of your experiences as a mother. You are one of the best I know (and I don’t think I would have smelled the pee right away either).

  5. My boys haven’t tried this yet, but why is it that when they’re sick they always manage to get it on the carpet? Jared walked right by the bathroom, stepped just off the linoleum in the hallway, and puked on the carpet! Why?! When Alex was little, he and his brother used to try to spit loogies on the ceiling, creating snot stalactites… gross boys. Is this what we have to look forward to?

  6. That’s hilarious. I actually have an oxiclean tribute in the hopper on my blog. 🙂 I babysat a kid who peed in his closet every time he woke up in the night. We never figured out if he was too tired not to realize this wasn’t the appropriate place, or he just didn’t care.

  7. My goodness!! I love Oxiclean too, it’s definitely on the mommy list of things to have. I thought I had it bad potty training Arya!

  8. goodness! i am so sorry. i was thinking about potty-training sloan as soon as it warms up down here, but i don’t know if i’m ready for all that uncontained bodily fluid. oh – and i’m totally going be sniffing ghost urine smells – thanks for coining the term for me.

  9. No one else could have told this story as well as you did. Brilliant, funny, cringe-worthy! I also desperately need your psych background…When my kids do things like this, I never take the time to so brilliantly analyze the whys. I usually just lose it.

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