Moms are Supposed to Annoy Their Kids

pantaloons and meepers
One of her cuter, not destroying the hardwood with her poison, moments

Mothers are supposed to have at least one expression designed to send you into a frenzy of anger and frustration. It’s their job.

Mine is the moment my mom walks through the door of my condo. Without exception, she mentions that she can smell cat pee all throughout the house.

To be fair to her there was a time where my place smelled like urine. First of all I’m a guy. I’m not cleaning the litter box twice a day like some of your fanatics. Second, I’ve well-documented here my struggles with my cat peeing outside her designated area. I probably wrote twenty pieces on it last year alone. The bottom line is that she’s on Prozac and doesn’t do it anymore, thank God. Not my mom. The cat.

The place used to smell pretty bad because the cat would spray all over this enclosure I had for my cat box and I had no idea she was doing it. Once I removed that piece of furniture, the odor disappeared.

Well, the cat still does go outside the box once in awhile. She pees on the rubber mat in front of the box. But I clean that up as soon as I find it.

My mom is on the “your place always smells” trip. She hasn’t changed that tune in two years. And it drives me nuts.

I guess the biggest problem is on my end. I expect her not to do this each time she comes over. I’m violating that Buddhist principle of “What is, is.” What is, is that my mom is going to say the place smells bad. And my insanity is that I keep wanting her to change.

She made this comment when she came in last night (I had two air fresheners going), and again once this morning, blaming the smell on her inability to sleep last night. I became offended and the reason is that I thought she was lying. Not out and out lying, but exaggerating.

Growing up I was blamed for a lot of the family’s problems. That was my role – the scapegoat. And whenever anything touches around that “it’s your fault” thing, I go nuts.

So, I asked my father who was also here if he noticed any smell. He said he didn’t.

I asked my mom to pinpoint the location of the smell so I could find and eliminate it. She just said the whole place smelled. I brought my dad into the bedroom where they slept and we both couldn’t smell anything.

It’s hard to correct something you can’t locate, of course.

My mother accused my father of lying to protect my feelings. Now I was really confused. Did it smell in there or not? Was someone exaggerating or lying? It was a mess.

I’m not so sensitive I can’t handle the truth. If it smells like cat pee, tell me where and I’ll fix it.

So, we’re all basically yelling at each other at 7:30am. It was brutal.

Here’s what I know. I can’t control my mother’s nose. If she’s exaggerating about the smell (and I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose), that’s her deal. Only she knows. If she’s being honest then I have a horrible sense of smell.

Either way she’s going to say it smells like cat pee, as she does every time. And that’s going to trigger the “It’s all my fault” pattern in me. And I’m going to go nuts and explode.

So, how do I avoid this?

Well, first is to make sure the place actually doesn’t smell like cat pee. After this ordeal I ordered a three pack of professional cleaners to come over. After three cleaning sessions it should be roses in here. As a dude this is a solid investment.

Second is to learn to release control of someone else’s hangups. I’m a big control freak and need things to happen exactly the way I want them too. Not a good strategy in life. I’m working on it.

Also, I need to remember that aside from their best intentions moms are just built to annoy their kids. It’s the way of the bushido.

I am picking on my mom a bit. My oSex co-host, Karen sent me a message today saying I have the greatest parents in the world. We all went to a Cubs game last night. She’s right. I’m very lucky. 99.9% of the time we get along perfectly and they’re generous, supportive, and loving.

She’s coming back this Thursday to spend the night again. I will hear more about the smell. I will not go nuts. I will not go nuts. I will not go nuts.

But, since I’ll definitely go nuts, I’ll try to record the audio so you can see just how batty I get. Will make for a great post.

pantaloons and meepers
One of her cuter, not destroying the hardwood with her poison moments

18 thoughts on “Moms are Supposed to Annoy Their Kids”

  1. Rebecca says:

    I definitely agree, mothers are just naturally annoying. But it’s a “I love you, fix your shit” annoying. Bittersweet. Definitely have some of my own amounts of annoying since becoming a mom. Like the sheer fact I refer to myself as “mom” in public. Ugh.
    Anyways, loved the post!

  2. AlwaysARedhead says:

    It is our way of getting back at you for the nine months of pregnancy hell, the the umpteen hours of labour. 🙂

  3. Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom says:

    You and your dad didn’t notice an odor because women have that oh so keen sense of smell. It’s true.
    That said, my mother’s got some phrases that drive me bat shit crazy. She does this thing where she says “…mmm…hm mm…”. I mean all. the. time. My kids even joke about it. Definitely get audio so we can hear Mama Paris. And that photo is A-dorable. I can’t get enough of that darlin’ chihuahua. More chihuahua please!

  4. Robin says:

    My mom rearranges things in my house the way she thinks they ought to be. She knows she’s being annoying, yet she can’t stop herself, and I find her in other rooms, giggling to herself.

    In regards to the smell issue…some people just have more sensitive noses, especially when they already expect to smell a specific scent. What about opening some baking soda boxes around the house, or specifically around the cat litter area…If you have carpet, you can sprinkle some on the carpet, let it sit for 24 hours and then vacuum it up.

    Would you prefer I sent you a care-package with some air-fresheners? 🙂

  5. Lil says:

    Recently moved near my mom; nearly every visit she’s felt obliged to share with anyone in the same room that I’m going through menopause. I am not.

    When we lived out of state, every time I visited, upon seeing me, first thing out of her mouth was “You are going to make a haircut appointment while you’re here, right?”


  6. Mothers little hleper says:

    I hated my mum coming over because I would run through the house dusting and cleaning but she would still find dust and dirt and of course she hated the cat litter box. Den after my cat died, and I had o more littler box or any bit of cat left in the flat, she said she could still smell the litter box!!
    Mums are there to annoy us!

  7. Michelle says:

    Maybe this Sunday when she comes and she again complains of the cat pee smell you can just smile and say, “I just love our cat pee spats we have every weekend mom”. My mom comes over and is such a clean freak, I always feel the need to clean my toilets and scrub them until they’re shining. But then again, I’m a mom to two boys, so I’ll probably be guilty of all of the above some day:)

  8. Rachel LD says:

    Parents don’t know what to say to their kids once they become adults. To this day, my father and I are incapable of having a regular, comfortable, relaxed conversation. He likes to be critical of everyone, so I’m always guarded and trying to be perfect when he’s around.

    So now I’ve become critical of him. Now I find myself judging him and making comments the same way he does it to me. It’s psychotic.

    Strangers get better treatment.

  9. Gratitudenist says:

    Have you thought about telling her, “Mom, I love to have you stay at my place but not when you berate me about the cat piss smell. It is what it is. I’ve tried everything I know to deal with it and I’m not bothered by it. If it bothers you that much, then please stay somewhere else.” Boundaries, man. Boundaries. Try it and see what happens. And maybe Febreze?

  10. Tricia says:

    Hey, I’m a mom and I don’t annoy my kids … heh heh heh….
    No, seriously, can we all just stop stereotyping women, men, moms, sons, etc.? “All mothers are annoying.” “All women have more sensitive noses.” Really? Yes, some mothers nag; sometimes it’s the dad, sometimes it’s neither: my parents have never commented on the lack of cleanliness of my home in 30 years, and there have been times when plenty could have been said. And, I visit my two daughters at their apartments and would never insult them by saying anything about how clean or not the place is.

  11. Andrea says:

    Mothers ARE supposed to annoy their kids. It’s how we ensure that when our children move out, they never want to move back in.

    At least you know that you have to change your reaction to her instead of trying to teach her to stop picking on you. All you can do is hope that she will.

    But she won’t.

    My mother hates everything in my house. The dining room chairs, our toilet-paper holders, where the dishwasher is located. She complains about it every time she’s here.

    I retaliate by complaining about it to others, who then tell me how great she is. You know what? She is.

    But I’m still not changing those toilet-paper holders.

  12. Kate Hall says:

    Ahahahaha! Your mom is my mom. Except my trigger is, “you’re not perfect enough and I will do everything I can to improve you.” Drives me freaking crazy. Everytime she visits we have a smell or she points out something that needs to be fixed, otherwise it will probably burn the house down or fill our walls with mold. My steps are to 1) pray my butt off before she visits, 2) believe that she has a stronger sense of smell, 3) constantly remind myself that I and my house are awesome they way we are, 4) remember that she does the same thing to my sister and this is her struggle. Usually, I still explode.

  13. Susan Evans says:

    I think women have a better sense of smell than men. Ha! 🙂

  14. Nicola says:

    Ha ha, I love the last couple of lines! I’m sorry, I sympathise with your Mom. I have a good sense of smell and it can be quite a burden. I’ve had the odd episode of my cat (or a stray that gets in the flap) spraying and it sends me nuts cleaning, but it always seems to linger for days 🙁 Good luck with Thursday, I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

  15. Katjaneway says:

    I think you need to invest in a blacklight. After all, just because you clean or hire cleaners, that doesn’t even every square centimeter of space is done. And even if the area WAS cleaned, pee might need a special solvent. The blacklight will find it where ever that is. Trust me. Jackson Galaxy uses it on his show to find where cats have peed. Since they can spray, it can be anywhere.

  16. Emelie says:

    Oh my gosh, yes: Mothers must annoy their children. I don’t know what part of the genetic code makes this a necessary part of humanity, but it totally is – across all cultures.

    The worst is when we start doing those exact things that annoy us about our moms…

  17. Christen says:

    My mom likes to ask me “what stinks?” if she smells something, ANYTHING, she doesn’t like. If it’s just a scented candle she doesn’t like, it stinks. Not “what’s that smell?” But what stinks? It’s very judgemental. It bugs the crap out of me.

  18. Linda Roy says:

    Dude, you’re killing me with the adorable puppy/kitty photos. Please keep them coming and hug that sweet little chihuahua for me, okay?

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