The Stink-Finder can be found on various pet websites. It’s nothing more than a fancy black light. Those who are familiar with the C.S.I. oeuvre know that it enables a person to see traces of blood. It also enables a person to see traces of urine so it’s perfect for finding those hidden places where Fluffy piddled on the carpet.
Several years ago I happened to have a child that liked to piddle on the carpet: Finn. A good six or eight months after he was completely potty-trained his bedroom started to stink. Badly. And occasionally I would step in a big wet puddle on his carpet. I used gallons of Kids N’ Pets but I just couldn’t get rid of the nastiness.
So I figured the Stink-Finder would show me where I needed to clean. I got my stink-Finder in the mail, took it down to Finn’s room and turned it on.
Good Gracious Agnes.
There were big curlicues of pee all over the floor.
This wasn’t the squatting in the corner of a boy who couldn’t make it to the toilet. No siree. This was recreational urination, pure and simple.
I was almost beside myself. I brought Finn into his bedroom and showed him the evidence. The jig is up, I told him. All urine will now go in the toilet.
Charts and stickers were employed.
None of it worked.
One day in absolute desperation I sat him down. “Why?” I pleaded. “I don’t care if you never stop peeing on your floor. I just want to know why. Please!”
Without so much as a pause he answered me.
“Satan told me to.”
I didn’t know whether to call Mister or have the bishop do an excorcism.
Can Satan tell your child to pee on the floor? I have no idea. All these years later I still don’t know what to think about that answer.
But the happy news is that a few days later I moved Finn into his older brother’s room. I figured there was no way that York would allow any peeing on his floor. And he didn’t. Finn never piddled on the floor again*.
And the Stink-Finder was happily retired.
*Finn did poop in the cat’s house a little while later. And he pooped in the playhouse sink. Then his fascination with all potty-related things was over. Or maybe Satan just moved on to another four-year-old.