My step-father-in-law unrinated on our guest bed the last time he stayed with us.

At first, I was pretty upset about this. Not angry at him. Who chooses to urinate on a bed, particularly when they are a guest in someone else’s house? I was just upset about the event itself. A strange grown man’s urine on my bed? How could I ever clean that up sufficiently enough that I would not cringe next time my kids were rolling around on that mattress?

So when my mother-in-law asked if they could spend the night Christmas Eve, my first thought was, “Oh, please no…”

Then, I thought I should put a plastic liner under the sheets. Sure, it would be obvious, but I didn’t really give a rip. Mattresses are not cheap, after all.

Then, I thought about dignity. Is there really an object on this earth that is worth someone’s dignity?


No, there is not.

Certainly not my mattress in the guest room.

As I am starting to age there are constant reminders every day of how my own body is no longer as cooperative as it used to be… the stray fart, failing eyesight, hair loss, super heavy flooding periods, lipomas, and those damn wrinkles around my lips.

My kids, however, have a somewhat warped concept of preserved dignity…

When the fellow arrived Christmas Eve, he was greeted by two very excited kids. They knew Granny and Paw-Paw’s arrival signaled the official start of festivities. They were jumping and screaming and full of exuberant joy.

Then suddenly there was silence. My daughter looked up solemnly at her adopted Paw-Paw.

“Paw-Paw, when you were here last time, you pee-pee’ed on our bed.” My daughter gave him a hug around the legs. “It’s OK, Paw-Paw. I do that, too, sometimes.”

Oh, dear. She was in the room when Granny had told me about the accident at the last visit. She had not said a single word about the incident until right then. It was apparent at that moment that it had made a huge impression on her, the realization that she was not the only one with a finicky bladder. She had received comfort in that knowledge and wanted to pass it on.

Fortunately, it was handled with grace by Paw-Paw who hugged her right back and a merry Christmas was had by all.


73 thoughts on “Tinkling

  1. Tough call. I keep a plastic cover under the sheets in the guest bedroom all the time. I also have a second set of sheets with plastic under that so that if something happens it’s an easy change. My excuse is the visiting grandchildren. I leave it there for everyone. Accidents are accidents and it could happen to anyone. (Mattress are very expensive)
    I think you handled it well.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think you all handled it well. Me? I would have put a cover on the mattress just in case. Back in the day when I worried about overnight period leakage I always used a towel. There are many reasons that people can soil a mattress so I don’t think it’s a big deal. I loved that your daughter made the comment. Kids often make the unspoken elephant ok.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t think your kids have a “warped concept of preserved dignity”. I believe that in the simplicity of a child’s understanding, they have the perfect concept of life as it progresses from childhood to death. We make mistakes and we are forgiven by an amazing love that knows all things and endures all things.

    Something seems to happen to us as we become “adults” whereby we lose this perfection of understanding, this ability to practice and to extend grace. Sometimes we need to be humbled by our own imperfections.

    I am reminded of an incident with someone (one of the “special” people of this world) who put me to shame by their childlike response to a situation and made me understand that my love was not yet perfect. In his simplicity, he had offered something I did not yet have in this situation, and that was perfect grace and love. I was humbled by such genuine, unafraid love. By the simplicity of his love and acceptance, his unabashed generosity, he taught me a lesson I won’t easily forget.

    I think that’s why the word says this:

    “……Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives and accepts and welcomes one little child like this for My sake and in My name receives and accepts and welcomes Me. (‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭3-5‬ AMP)

    Thanks for the reminder. I needed it πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing that challenging situation. We will all require that protective bedding again at some point πŸ˜‰

    Merry Christmas! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Everyone else is responding (probably correctly) about the lesson on kindness. My first thought? This is another reason why I chose to have cats instead of kids; cats tend not to repeat what they over hear. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. LOL! Human dignity is highly over rated. At least that’s the attitude we should all try to embrace, because one way or another, we’ll all get to learn to let it go at some point. Having children pretty much finished me off.
    Not only is child birth a somewhat immodest proposal that doesn’t care much for human dignity, the teen age years are good at removing any residual bits of pride you may have left.

    For those little wrinkles that plague us, I sure love fresh carrot juice and cod liver oil. Actually I don’t love them at all, they’re actually quite nasty, but the vitamin A will restore your skin. Nice reasonable, consistent amounts, nobody should be turning themselves orange or collapsing their liver.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a touching story. Really. From out of the mouth of babes … you know what I mean? I’m with you. Urine is nasty. Me? I would have put plastic under the sheet. Sorry, but I would have. My mattress is foam, which is far from cheap, so I hear you on that. I hope you had a really great Christmas. As for you getting old? Dear Lord, where does that leave me then … one shake from the grave? Tee hee …. Wait until you loose your estrogen … then you will know what old is … Sorry, but it’s true. GRIN. If I can do it, you will too! ((HUGS))) Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh dear. I get the ‘oh yeuk’ and I get the aging process thoughts. I’m not sure but i think the aging process, and dignity and respect thoughts would win over protection.
    However it would be with trepidation I would check the sheets the following day.
    This is so typical of children though, a lovely comment on her behalf, which he was a real trooper to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Out of the mouths of babes, right? I think sometimes we project our cringe-worthy factor forward onto our children…and end up making a bigger deal out of things that maybe we could afford to let go. Not that I would have done anything different, because I wouldn’t have! Just gives me food for thought. Thank you for sharing – it seems you have raised a sweet, compassionate child. I should thank you even more for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As soon as I read that you relinquished on your initial thought of the plastic mattress-protector, my very first thought was that you picked the perfect tag-line for this Blog, and I still can’t stop smiling. Have a great New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As they say “out of the mouths of babes”. Coming from your daughter was probably the most graceful way for the issue to be raised.
    It has been very helpful to read the suggestions from others though and I’m surely better prepared now than before. Thank you and please, thank your daughter. (Or give her a hug from me 😊).
    Blessings, Susan πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: My Article Read (12-27-2014) | My Daily Musing

  12. So important for your kids to have aging grandparents to be around. And you for welcoming them as bodies falter and fail with old age.
    It will happen to all of us, sooner or later – if we’re privileged to live to a ripe old age. How we deal with our elders now, may help us to handle our own aging later.
    Thanks for sharing and wishing you and your loved ones a happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Compassion indeed. Sometimes the little ones put us grownups to shame. Oh the lessons we could learn from them if we weren’t so busy convincing ourselves and others about how smart and experienced we are. The truth is, our experience and “wisdom” makes us jaded and incapable of seeing the world as fresh and pure as they do.

    I don’t despise my knowledge but sure wish life weren’t so darn complicated sometimes. Food for thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I remember my mum having an uphill battle with my honesty as a kid. Rowena reporter she called me. I could imagine you being initially crippled by embarrassment as she raises the unmentionable but the beautiful way she handled it bridged that embarrassment and relaxed everybody through an awkward issue. Like others have said, the elephant in the room. Ironically, it’s sharing these personal, awkward moments that brings us closer, knits us together. Moreover, it was a good illustration for your daughter that we all make mistakes and experiences life’s accidents. She’s not the only one xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, how embarrassing! 😦 Poor Paw-paw, and poor you! I’m sure when your daughter said that, it was as if time froze with a silent “Noooooooooo!!!!!” forming in your head. I’m glad you all had a great visit. πŸ˜€


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