Today my son Finn is thirteen. That puts the number of teenagers at my house to three. This is what I didn’t know about kids growing up: the older they get, the more fun they are. Teenagers are really cool. Much cooler than toodlers and about a jillion times cooler than babies who are not cool at all.
Finn was kind of an awful baby. He cried a lot and spit up everywhere. No matter what I cut out of my diet he promptly threw up my milk. It got bad enough that I would drape beach towels all over the chair I usually nursed in because he was a massive vomiter. I lost count of all the times I had to go home and change my clothes during church because I had been soaked with baby puke. It was endearing, to be sure. The doctors tried to find something that a little surgery could fix, but no. I endured his throwing up and mild colic for several months.
Finn was blond and compared to my previous babies who were brunettes with rosy cheeks and striking dark eyes, he seemed pale and washed out and kind of monochromatic. But at about eighteen months he suddenly got cute. His cheeks pinked up and his eyes turned a pretty hazel color.
He stayed a stinker for a while, though. I’ll tell you my favorite Finn story. If you know me in real life, you have for sure heard this because I love to tell it. I’m pretty sure I’ve told it on the blog before but it’s a good one so I’m going to tell it again.
When Finn was about four he started peeing all over his bedroom carpet. I couldn’t figure if he was regressing or being naughty or lazy or what. I thought maybe he couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time but he would never give me a straight answer. Why he constantly wet his floor was an unsolved mystery.
I tried punishing him every way I knew how (at the time I didn’t really understand that Finn responds a million times better to positive reinforcement than punishment, but I was a naive young mother who didn’t know much). Nothing would keep him from peeing everywhere.
The stench got to be incredible. I was dumping bottles of enzyme cleaner all over the place but it still smelled horrid. I decided to get a black light lamp–the kind used at CSI for finding blood and urine clues. It might not stop the urination problem but at least I’d be able to find the puddles and disinfect.
Only this is what the black light showed me: Finn was peeing in giant curlicues all over his carpet. This was not the bladder release of someone who just couldn’t hold it; this was the work of recreational pee-er. I brought Finn into his bedroom and sat down across from him. “Just tell me why.” I pleaded.”I won’t get mad. I just want to know why you are doing this.”
Without skipping a beat he replied, “Satan told me to.”
I did not have an answer. Maybe it wasn’t disinfectant we needed but an exorcism.
A pipe burst in Finn’s room a few weeks later and we had to move him into York’s room. I figured an older brother wouldn’t let the urine shenanigans continue and I was right. There was no more peeing on the carpet anywhere.
In retrospect I think Finn was just lonely and bored in his own room. And being shy and not able to articulate this, he acted out in a completely disgusting manner.
Got to love that.
Finn no longer pees in weird places. He is completely pleasant and enjoyable and has a very sweet spirit. He is still our shyest, quietest child and sometimes I look at him and wonder just what is going on his head. But knowing him as we do, the answer is usually one of these things:
money, watches, weapons, cars or girls.
In other words, he’s a teenage boy.
Happy Birthday, Finn!