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     I once read an article that reported on women who developed a crazy new sense called Dog Nose when they became pregnant. A woman with Dog Nose is able to smell every little thing (which generally turns her stomach) and identify not only what the smell is, but where it's coming from. It's like a superhero with the ability to sniff out crime.... part woman, part hound. Now, I may not be pregnant, but I believe that I was born with this special ability. Dog Nose is actually part of my genetic code. When I was young, my mother used to get so mad at me because I would sniff everything. Sweet things, flowery things, sour things, downright soiled things... it didn't matter. Dog Nose took over and, no matter how much it made me want to gag, I just HAD to smell it!
     So naturally, when a woman with innate Dog Nose lives with 5- and 7-year-olds, she is bound to smell things that go unnoticed by the average, non-special person (ahem, husband). HOWEVER.... I feel that it doesn't take a special power to smell URINE that has been sitting in 95 degree heat for weeks on end. This is the unique stench that has been wafting from my son's room for the better part of July (the hottest month of the year). And, to be a loving mother, I asked him repeatedly if he had an accident and then hid his clothes again because he didn't want to have to wash them out. I told him that he wouldn't be in trouble, but that Mommy had to know about it so she didn't want to puke anymore. "No, Mom, I swear! I didn't do that... I haven't even wet the bed in a long time!"
     On this scorcher of a day, I couldn't even help but notice that distinct odor assaulting me as I ascended the stairs towards his room this afternoon. My husband and kids were at my in-law's home, so I found it slightly odd that his bedroom door was shut. Even through the closed door, I felt the bile rising in my throat, the smell growing stronger as I neared the top of the stairs. I opened the door and noticed that, not only does his room smell like a porta-potty, but that the toys that he "put away" were everywhere. Everywhere. As I dug through piles of rubble, searching for the offending aroma, I found shoes, clothes, and the missing socks I had been looking for over the last two months. I also noticed that he had dismembered his G.I. Joe and that a large number of his toys had been broken to pieces.....but I didn't have time to be disturbed by the fact that my kid is yanking the arms and legs off of dolls.... because I had found it.... IT. Hidden beneath piles of broken toys, dirty kleenexes, and wadded up Highlight magazines was a pair of red pajama shorts. It didn't take my Dog Nose long to recognize that those shorts were sitting in a hot zone of stink. I carefully picked them up with my pointer finger and thumb, holding my breath as I walked them to the bathroom. After disposing them into the bathtub, I returned to the scene of the crime to finish my cleaning spree (which included me bagging up most of what he owns and putting it in the basement..... judge me if you want, but you did NOT see the mess that was hidden in every nook and cranny!).
     No matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn't get the smell away from me. My insane Dog Nose was either in overdrive, or I was losing my mind. As I finished bagging up the last of the broken toys, I decided to empty my son's garbage can into my large bag of newly acquired trash. As I began to tilt the bag, a sour, yellowish-brown liquid came rushing out of the can from underneath piles of papers and wrappers.... a liquid that quickly spilled down the front of this Mama.
     My Dog Nose ran for cover and I began to dry heave all over my son's room.... it didn't take long for me to realize that the fluid covering my front side was urine.... old, hot, urine. I ran to the bathroom and stripped myself down, still in shock over the entire situation. What the CRAP is going on, here?!?! Why in heck is there PEE in the garbage can.... and why is it now all over ME??
     When I had built up enough courage (scratch the c-o-u.... it was just plain rage at this point) to return to his bedroom, I held my nose and lifted the garbage can once again. How did I miss the heavy sloshing before? I moved aside several papers and realized that the garbage can was filled almost half-way up with pee.... that's at least a gallon of urine that had been sitting in the hottest room of the house, mid-summer, with no air-conditioning. Awesome. I looked down the hall at my daughter's bedroom, with a wary eye.... and I thought, just for kicks, that I should check her garbage. Keeping in mind that this is totally something I could picture Cameron doing and not Taylor, I was just as shocked when I lifted a second garbage can and found at least a quart of urine in it as well.
     Adrenaline and fury made me break out in a sweat. I couldn't find my keys fast enough. Not only was I supposed to leave in a matter of minutes to help my friend decorate for her two-day-away wedding, but I had to find my children to in order to kill them first. Ya know, sometimes it just seems like there's not enough hours in a day.... So, I prioritized. Killing the children was definitely first (my friend would understand if I were a few minutes late... besides, no one wants a Maid of Honor that smells like pee). I sped the entire way to my in-law's and immediately sent the children downstairs where I could question them about their crimes in peace.
     I made sure that they understood the rules: If you lie, I will swing. Period.
     They nodded their heads quickly. (They understood.)
     "Why does your room smell like urine, Cameron?"
     "Because I peed in my garbage can?"
     "Did you, or didn't you...?"
     "Yes, I did."
     "How long ago, Cameron, did you pee in your garbage can?"
     "Um, 5 or 6 days ago?"
      Gag.... "And how many times did you do this?"
     "A few?"
     "And now for the important question, Cameron.... WHY did you pee in your garbage can??"
     "I wanted to see what it would do...."
      "What it would do?? Did the pee come out of your penis the same way as it does when you're aiming at the toilet, Cameron?"
     "Yes."
     "Then why did you keep doing it?, Cameron!?"
     "It was closer than the toilet...."
     "The toilet is 5 feet from your room!! Do you realize how gross it is to have someone else's old pee dumped on you in the middle of the summer? Do you?!?"
     "I'm sorry?"
     "Taylor.... why is there pee in your garbage?"
     Silence."
     "TAYLOR!! Why is there pee in your garbage!"
     "I'm thinking."
     "No, the time to think was before peeing in the garbage... now is the time for explaining. WHY!?!?"
     "Because I wanted to?"
     I was beginning to see I have been raising a bunch of loons that answer questions with questions and that I was not getting anywhere. I therefore informed them that there was going to be a lot of reading and writing in their futures and a lot less playing and swimming (oh wait, they can't swim, because they cut a massive hole in the bottom of the swimming pool earlier in the week.... my bad). And I certainly wasn't going to send them to their rooms.... God forbid they pee on something again, or Taylor peel more paint off her walls because she's angry (which also happened earlier this week).
     And now I sit.... husband feeling that I've over-reacted, me feeling queasy still from all the PEE THAT WAS ON ME, and my kids sleeping peacefully, as if nothing had ever happened. And I think, why? Why do they do what they do, and why does it always come back on me, and why does no one else seem as effected by their craziness? So I decide to succumb to sleep myself. Because, after all, what else can I do? Life is going to continue and they'll pee on something else, and I'll get angry again, and I'll experience Dog Nose on a regular basis, of this I'm sure. But for once, it would be nice to have some answers instead of more questions....

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