Friday, September 12, 2008

A Pack of Wild Animals

I have a cat who used to mark his territory by peeing on things. In college he liked my roommate the best, so he peed on her quilt. While we were on our honeymoon he peed on Steve and my wedding gifts. Once I was writing a paper on the many revisions F. Scott Fitzgerald made to The Great Gatspy, and my cat jumped up on the bed and peed on a copy of the original manuscript. I guess he didn't like that version. When I was eight months pregnant with Ella he peed on my legs while I was sleeping. I woke up thinking my water broke. I thought cats were the only animals who expressed themselves through urine. I was wrong.

The other day I was giving the children a bath. They hadn't been in the tub for two minutes before Ella stole a rubber duck from Addison, and Addison responded by clocking her sister on the head with the cup I use to rinse their hair. She then began a hasty exit from the tub, which was likely driven by a fear of retribution. She hadn't been washed yet so I tried to keep the child in the tub, but she was slippery and insistent. She called for the "poppy" and claimed she had to pee. Pee? Well alright, then. No one wants pee in the tub, and actually putting it in the potty? That's cause for celebration. I threw confetti as the youngest sat down upon the potty triumphantly. And then, just as triumphantly, she shook her head and got off of it with an I-pulled-a-fast-one kind of look. The child then strutted over to my closet, spread her legs, and peed all over the carpet. She at least had the decency to say, "Uh oh" when she was done.

While I was sopping the pee up with a bath towel, my mom called. I was in the middle of telling her what my youngest had just done when Ella called from the tub, "Mommy, take this!" I looked over and saw she was holding the cup that was previously used as a weapon against her. She was interrupting, so I turned around and continued my conversation. "Mommy, look at me! I peed in a cup! What should we do with it?" "Not now, Ella. You're interrupting," I threw over my shoulder. "Excuuuuse me (there was the magic word), Mommy. I said, I peed in a cup. What should we do with it?" she asked again, holding the cup out to me. I assumed we were role playing here, so I told my mom to hold on and went along with her game. "Oh, you're pretending to pee in a cup? Like at Doctor Greene's? We should probably take it down to the lab and test it." "Okay, here you go!" The cup teetered on the edge of the tub. "I'll take it in a minute, honey, I'm talking to Nana Mimi right now and cleaning up Addison's pee. We can play pee-in-a-cup when I'm done." She was not dissuaded.

"No, I peed in a cup for real! Here, take it!" And then I realized it was for real. The child had to pee but didn't want to get out of the tub to do it, so she found a cup and peed in it. And was now offering it to me. I took the cup and sniffed--yup, it really was pee.

As I was giving the play-by-play to my mother the utter ridiculousness of the situation hit me and I did the one thing you should never do when your children are peeing everywhere but in the potty--I laughed. "Oh my God, what is wrong with those children?" my mom asked. This got me laughing even harder. "I have no idea. They're disgusting!" "Yes, they are," agreed my mother. The children heard us laughing and calling them disgusting and thought this was the funniest thing in the world, so now they started laughing. "We're disgusting!" Ella screeched. Addison concurred and answered with a screech of her own. Fueled by her sister's response, Ella started screeching and laughing even more. Addison was so pleased with herself that she burped mid screech. This made Ella laugh so hard that she passed gas which, having happened in the tub, was accompanied by a loud noise and some delightful bubbles. Addison sympathy farted, and by then I was laughing so hard that I almost peed on the carpet.

"Oh my God, it's like a pack of wild animals over there!" my mom said. And it is. I'm raising a pack of wild animals. They snarl, they screech, they run, they pounce, they're perpetually covered in mud, their hair is usually matted, they lick each other (and our friends), they eat food off the floor. You've read about what they've done in the likes of A Really Crappy Day, Parting Gift, and Top Ten Gross Things My Baby Did Today (to name just a few). If you ever come across my children in the wild, don't look them in the eye--they might pee on you.


  1. That is beautiful. I really think if you didn't laugh that hard you would have cried ;-)

  2. One of these days they will find out that urine is in fact better than Mr. Clean for sterilizing and we will all feel better.

  3. On that day you are all invited to eat off of my floor, which will be the most sterile environment in the nation.

  4. I learned about this very concept yesterday...thanks to S...