Smells Like Pee

Things only a Mother could understand.

Being a parent, being a mother, being the giver of life and the taker of would think this makes us drunk with power. Well, it does. Totally. I get to be the boss of shorter, weaker people who lack the wit and cunning it would take to dethrone their ruler.


I do not use my power for evil, not usually. If you run it past any mother, one that is really in the throes of motherhood, one that showers for 3 minutes at a time while breast feeding or cooking or laundering, or washing or applying band-aids or making eye contact so kids will think she is listening. A run on sentence. That is motherhood. Doing one thing while saying another while thinking a third thing. In the midst of the insanity that occurs, every mother will ask herself this one question.

What smells like pee?

When I was pregnant for the first time I could smell everything to the millionth degree and it was awful. One time I was eating a bagel with my sister and I said this bagel smells like pee. Give me yours. I ripped it from her small boney hands. I took a bite. This smells like pee too. Let’s go get tacos. I hate the smell of pee.


I fall asleep, everything seems to be in place as I drift into the unconscious. Then. WTF? What in the fuck smells like piss? I wake to the slightest, softest, just a whiff, just a sniff of God Damn urine. I smell it always before I hear it, before I feel it. Then I slowly turn on my side and right next to me. Right next to me is my son. No pants on, just a pull up and a T-shirt. Softly whispering to his best friend, the giant St. Bernard. Scratching the dog and smelling like pee. He then crawls into my bed to snuggle. I know, I know I should cherish these moments because they will be fewer and fewer. He crawls in and asks to watch funny dog videos on my phone or listen to One Direction or The Black Eyed Peas. He gets really close and wraps his long, skeleton legs and arms around me and I am bathed in his scent of pee.

If I wake up and it’s a day without the kids, I gingerly walk into the bathroom, just panties and a tank top. Sit down. Before I can even go pee I smell pee. The pee smell is coming from the base of the toilet. My child has marked the bathroom and should I ever forget that he is mine, he has peed on the toilet as well as in it to remind me.

I make coffee and go to feed the dog. I bend over and give the dog a snuggle. What on earth smells like piss? Then I see the dogs paws. He is such a giant dog that his dick gets a good stream going and he pees on his own paws. He is a walking piss scentsy, wall flower thing. I stand up and grab a hand towel to wash his paws, and smell an older more sour pee smell. I look. There’s yesterday’s pull up in the trash. Fuck.

As I grab the girls’ laundry basket, I smell a sweet perfume and pee. What is this? What is this? The Fuck? Those girls are old enough to make sure they don’t piss their pants. Then I realize, it’s not an accident. No one accidentally peed. One of my kids just wears the same gross, disgusting underwear for 4 days in a row. I should be washing 7 pairs a week. I wash 2 at the most. Christ. I drop the laundry and decide I would rather work or eat nails or be in the midst of a riot than smell pee anymore.

As I’m getting dressed for work, I smell pee. These are fucking clean clothes. These pants are clean, these panties are clean, this shirt is clean. I must be smelling pee from something else. Has to be. But then I remember, I sneezed about 5 minutes ago and peed.