Christening the Couch by Laura Loney

“Can you carry me?” His little voice, all sugar and lollipops. 

“Sure.” I scoop him up, kissing his chubby cheeks. He’s four and my back isn’t aging in reverse, but I’m a mom. “Up we goooo,” I call dramatically hoping for a giggle. Then I feel it. “Why is my hand wet?” 

“I peed.” 

“Where?” I lower him in time with my sinking heart. “Where, buddy?” But I already know. On the neighbours’ new couch. 

“Id was an accident.” 

“I know.” He’s not a dog marking his territory. “Where did you have an accident?” Please say in the driveway, please say driveway, driveway, driveway, driveway. 

“My pants.” 

Duh, Mommy. “Where were you when you peed your pants?” 

“Da couch.” 

A blush of dread creeps across my cheeks and into my ears and hairline. How do I tell Jenn? What if she already knows. There’s no running away from neighbours, unless you move. “Let’s clean you up,” I say. He’s already peed himself, no need to make him feel worse. Sitting on the bathroom floor, I catch myself grinding my teeth. “What am I going to do?” Surrounded by toys and bubbles, he doesn’t look up. “Tell da twooth, mama.” He drowns a purple monkey under the suds. “Da twooth.” 

At least his moral compass is intact. Too bad it’s mommy who needs to tell the twooth. Truth. “Coffee time, for mommy,” I say. 

Pretending nothing happened crosses my mind. We rushed home. It’s a busy house. Maybe it’ll dry unnoticed. My senior cat gives me stink-eye. She knows the drill. Dry pee reeks and gets you banned from places. I need to confess. I’ll offer to clean the couch, joke about burning it and beg for forgiveness. 

Picking up my phone, I begin my plea. “Please don’t hate me.” 

Published in Issue #20

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