I’ve learned that becoming a parent really expands the boundaries of your senses. Hahaha. They seem to get pressed to the limits of human understanding at times.
“Dad. Dad. Dad. Daddy. Dad. Seth. Mr Seth. Dad. Daddy. Dad. Dad. Seth. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.”
“I made you a surprise dessert! You will love it. It’s ice cream, hummus, fruit snacks, and ketchup. Try it…. No don’t save it for later, try it now! I can’t wait to see how much you will love it!!”
When I got called back to church nursery because Neela got her head stuck in the play kitchen.
“Why is the carpet soaking wet and covered with sugar?”
However, the one that probably hits me the hardest is smell. Before entering parenthood, I (along with many of us I’m sure) thought the worst part of parent smell would be dirty poop diapers. In our heads, we are engrained with the nightmare of catching a horrid whiff of a #2 diaper.
Admit it, we were all scared of the poop.
The older my kids got, the more I learned that poop was mere child’s play when it came to the aroma of children. However, I did devote an entire post to “poop” awhile back. Seriously though, a poop diaper is nothing compared to the multitude of pungent aromas that will tickle your nostrils once you acquire a child. This post I want to talk about the worst smell of all… Fermented Urine.
Poop dries and becomes just a brown chalk-like (non-smelly) substance over time; however pee just gets exponentially worse. Here are two true stories about when that disgusting, murky pee smell overtook in the Megow house. Warning, they are pretty gross. Just FYI.
Stevie was just a little baby. She couldn’t have been more than a few months old. This putrid odor begins to form in the master bedroom. It begins to grow in magnitude daily, and I’m convinced it’s a dirty diaper. Every day, I look around for the culprit but each day come up empty handed. Finally, the smell comes to a boiling point around 2am. So I wake up in the middle of the night bound and determined to end this problem once and for all. I begin smelling each individual item in the bedroom. Once each object has passed the smell test, I physically place the item in the living room to narrow down the search. Slowly but surely, everything is removed except our bed, an empty end table, and an empty bookshelf. Naturally, I strip the bed. Once that is done, the smell is still going strong. I take apart the bed and move the frame, boxspring, and mattress out of the room. Holy Crap! The smell is still as strong as ever. So I move the end table out and triple check the bookshelf for any remaining items. By now the smell is so strong, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from. All I know is that it’s still alive and burning my nostrils. So I get on my hands and knees and start to sniff the carpet. I’m crawling all over our stupid bedroom, but no luck. I’m just standing in a barren room with an empty bookshelf. Suddenly it hits me. I haven’t checked ON TOP of the bookshelf. I can’t see the top, but I’m desperate so I just run my hand across the top. I hit something and feel it splash on my hand. Immediately I jerk my hand back and take a whiff of my fingers. Suddenly, I find myself struggling to breathe. In the midst of the gasping for oxygen, I realize I located the source of the smell. After I wash my hands and collect my cool, I SLOWLY reach my hand back up to the top of the shelf. With neurosurgeon like precision I carefully grasp the object and gently bring it to my line of sight. Immediately when I see it, I know EXACTLY what it is! Now get ready, because this is pretty gross. Apparently when Crissy took her pregnancy test, I was so on edge that I just stood holding the cup of pee while staring and waiting for the results. When it displayed “pregnant” and in my extreme excitement induced stupor, I just sat the cup down somewhere not thinking. I mean come on. This was our first baby! That’s understandable, right? Right? Just don’t answer. Haha. Apparently, the place I sat the cup filled with urine was completely out of sight and far enough away from our living spots where it wouldn’t raise an immediate flag from the smell. Well, by my estimate that cup has been up there for over a year. There were literally tiny life forms swimming around in that cup of pregnancy tested pee. After all of this, I decide to just soak my hand in bleach water for about 5 minutes. While my well-aged urine splashed hand is soaking in this burning liquid, I ponder what life has in store for me as a parent. Aaaand cue next story…
Four kids later and I haven’t dealt with any more horrific pee instances. I mean I’ve had some dealings with rotten, dead wild animals under the house, but nothing of the urine variety. Until one day last year… I pick up Olive from daycare and notice that wonderful sight that every parent loves to witness. My kid standing in the hallway holding a plastic bag.
Girl, you better wipe that smile off yo’ face. We both know you got pee pants in that bag.
Crap. So I take the damp bag and put it as far away from me as possible in the car, but not too far because I don’t want that junk to get left in the car in the South Georgia heat. However, I did have to go grocery shopping so I can’t immediately go home and throw the pee pants in the wash. So I just make a mental reminder to wash those things asap when you get home. Fast forward an hour. I pull up to your house and have to unload the Mount Everest of groceries from the back of my van, so I hand the urine pants bag to the guilty party and tell her to go in and throw her pants in the wash & get ready for a quick bath. I get all of the groceries put up, run to the bathroom, find her standing her naked and waiting for her bath. I bathe her real quick, then run to glance at the washing machine to see a pair of pants in there. So I run the washer and start dinner. Crisis averted. A few months pass. Hahahaha. It’s a relaxing Saturday at the house when suddenly I smell this horrid odor. Not just an ordinary bad smell, but the equivalent of stepping in a dead animal carcass stuffed with rotten eggs and 3 year spoiled coffee creamer. Suddenly, I see Olive burst out of her room with puke dripping down from her chin to her shirt. So I sprint to her room to find some opened plastic bags thrown around across the floor. As I examine it closely I see a brittle, discolored Ziploc bag containing what looks like Sloth from the Goonies burp cloth when he was infant.
“Hey you guuuys. I just spit up.”
However, it’s not the sight the hits me first. It’s the smell. Immediately, I recall this musky scent… Aged Urine. Olive must have thrown her clean pants in the wash and decided to hide the pee pants bag. Instantly, I began to dry heave and franticly grasp for the only thing in my reach that I can use to pick up this mystery cloth item, Olive’s Minnie Mouse Microphone. I lift the “used to be pants” and begin to race to the outside dumpster. Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. As I’m running outside, it catches a breeze and literally blows into my face. The smell was so strong that I could taste it. As you are reading this and you are thinking, “Ohhh, it must have went in his mouth”. Let me stop you right there. My mouth was completely closed. The stench was just so viscous that when it brushed by my face, I could feel it drip down my nostrils and onto the back of my tongue. I then begin to vomit all over my driveway. It’s too much. I just run inside and leave in festering there in the driveway. I locked the door and we stayed inside for the rest of the day. Shoot, I didn’t even deal with it until we got home from church the next afternoon. Even to this day, I still shutter at the memory. Needless to say, my new philosophy is when I see my kids holding a plastic bag after school that junk goes straight in the trashcan.
So new parents, just know poop is gross but old pee will melt your face. ;)