Friday, January 4, 2008

The Case of The Smelly Trash Cans

During the course of an average day at home with four young children, there are often strange mysteries that arise. Parents must often tap into crime-solving skills residually learned from watching the X-files, Law & Order and perhaps even the Spielberg classic Young Sherlock Holmes.

Each day I am left wondering:
Where did this come from? Who started this fight? How is this getting so dirty? Why does this keep getting moved? What is this thing?
One of my proudest moments as a mommy sleuth involved a cellphone that had been missing for a few days (long enough to lose its charge) and a curious light left on in a closet. With no adult explanation for why the coat closet light was on, I knew that something was not quite right. After digging way back under a nest of jackets I discovered a three-year-old's cache of stolen items to rival any pirate's buried treasure, cell phone included.

While I do spend most of my time trying to deduce who, what, when, where and how, there are rare times when I get to witness a criminal in the act. Last night was one of those nights.

A few days ago, my suspicions had been aroused when I noticed that our bathrooms were particularly pungent. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a great house keeper and with so many little boys in the house, there is usually a urine smell that underscores the overall odor of the two bathrooms that the kids use. But this smell was particularly strong, so I checked for the usual culprit, urine soaked underwear left on the floor after an accident. I found no such thing - Hmmmm, curious.

I noticed the following day that the trash can seemed out of place, but only a bit. Very suspicious.

Last night I was really clued in when I found the bathroom trash far from its cubby next to the toilet, in fact, it was in the middle of the floor. Upon further investigation, I discovered that there was pee (and a whole lot of it) filling the trash. AH-HA!

My oldest son was getting ready for his bath and I immediately went into my line of questions.
Me - "Have you been peeing in the trash can?"

Corbin - "I don't think so. Maybe when I wasn't paying attention."
(Corbin has a very short attention span, and I sometimes find him in the bathroom, totally engrossed in something, with his pants down, oblivious as to why he even went in there!)

Me -
"This isn't a little bit of pee. This isn't an accident. I don't think you could have done this without paying attention."
While questioning my first suspect I had little time to pay much attention to our second oldest boy who had trotted into the bathroom to get undressed for his bath. In mid-interrogation, with the smoking-gun trashcan right in front of me, Jacob walked right up to it and calmly began to pee in the trash like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Caught in the act!!!

Looking back, I can relate to the gratification felt by wildlife biologists who spend years studying animals and then finally witnessing something never seen before.
"Researchers have long speculated about the wild gorilla's mating habits, but now for the first time in history, scientists have seen...."

This morning, Jacob proudly exclaimed, "Mom! Mom! I went to the bathroom and I didn't use the trashcan!" I am so proud.

So, The Case of The Smelly Trash Cans has been closed (yes, trashcan is plural, this was happening in more than one). But despite getting a full confession, I never was able to ascertain a motive. Why was Jacob peeing in the trashcans? We may never know.

1 comment:

margi said...

Beats peeing into the floor furnace grates.

Ask Kate - Babylove is not my first foray into the Goat Rodeo that is toddlerhood.