There was a very odd smell coming from the middle floor of our home. I wasn’t able to place it. It was inconsistent. I would get a whiff, and then by the time my brain had registered its fruity aroma, it would disappear.

I opened windows.
I cleaned and changed bins.
I deep cleaned the kids’ rooms and hot washed their clothes.

The pong persisted.

It was annoying and directionless. As I’d walk from one room to the other, it would drift past my nostrils and then vamoose.

The husband didn’t notice the honk.
Was I was going insane and hallucinating unsavoury funks?
I remembered that he can’t smell.
Seriously.
He lives in an odourless world.

The lurking hum was definitely real. I kept grabbing the kids and sniffing them. I started to wash them with greater frequency.

Giving the kids a dunking one evening, I noticed the ponk was stronger in the bathroom…but again, it wasn’t consistent. I diligently scrubbed the kids. Then hot washed all the towels and bath mats. After bedtime I washed the bath toys.

The whiff prevailed. I cleaned and bleached the whole bathroom. I made both kids LET ME CHECK THEIR BUMS. They were surprised at my sudden interest in their butts. They were not the culprits. And yet…it haunted me. I was becoming fairly knackered from this sudden increase in domestic behaviour. I needed to resolve the issue. The googlegods told me to do stuff to my drains. It didn’t help.

The phantom whiff was getting deeper, richer, more farm like……but where the hell was it coming from? I cleaned the bathroom floors again – this time I hand polished them. I became nerve-sweaty and sweary.

I cleaned the loo, the walls, the bathrooms steps. UNDER the bathroom steps. I spotted an increase in smell as I got closer to the underneath of our fancy wall hung loo.

I lay on the floor and looked into the very underside of it. And there it was. A tiny turd… Streaked and smashed into the underneath of my toilet.

Sweetholymotherofjaysus of all the gross and utterly insane things to happen. Someone had hidden a poop in the groove of my loo, right where it was impossible to see … unless you are a woman possessed.

There are no words.

Why? WHY? Was it rage? Payback? Mischief? What kind of animals am I raising? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the husband or any guests we’d had… but how long had this rogue poo been free range in my bathroom for?!

It was a deeply nasty experience cleaning off the pooble. Forever in my brain will the smell of Detol anti-bactierial spray be linked with the horror of chipping off the nightmare-down-under.

I still can’t think of the incident without an involuntary shudder. I’m glad I got to the bottom of the phantom whiff, but the tale will persist in our family legend. I never found out who the turdling culprit was. The toddlers held a stoic silence and the husband eventually banned me from cross examining past guests about their stay with us.

It’s our poonundrum.
Our tough turd to crack, if you will.
Our family mystery whodunit doody.

I was born in Ireland, grew up in England and met my Cornish husband in Catalonia. We now live in the Netherlands, in Dutch suburbia with our two differently wired, small kids. I spend my days parenting, writing and being amazed at all the Dutchness around me.

4 Comment on “Phantom.

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