Yesterday late afternoon, The Imp was so busy playing in the adjoining room that he neglected to go to the bathroom before he, uh, went to the bathroom. "I pee! I pee!" he shouted in consternation, from the newly wet spot atop the giant king sized bed he'd been sleeping on, without incident, the previous two nights.
"Oh no!" We ran into his room, yanked him off the bed and ran to the toilet. Alas, we were too late.
We immediately stripped the duvet cover off, and yes, he'd wet the corner of the duvet. Damn.
Knowing that the duvets aren't usually laundered between guests, we called housekeeping right away. We wanted to let them know the duvet needed to be cleaned, and we were hoping to get a clean replacement before The Imp's bedtime.
Housekeeping came promptly to address the situation. It should be noted that they were at all times calm, polite, professional, and as accommodating as they could be. What we didn't realize was that our simple attempt to do the right thing had unleashed a no-doubt OSHA mandated triumph of policy over common sense.
HWSNBN: Will we have to pay to have the duvet cleaned?
Housekeeping: We cannot clean the duvet.
HWSNBN: What? Why not? It says on the tag, "Dryclean Only."
Housekeeping: It is a biohazard. It cannot be cleaned.
HWSNBN: Biohazard? A quarter-cup of toddler pee is a biohazard?
Housekeeping: Yes. The duvet must be thrown away.
HWSNBN: You're telling me that this perfectly good duvet has to be thrown away because The Imp peed on the corner of it?
Housekeeping: Yes. It is a biohazard.
HWSNBN: So people can have sex on the duvet, and have AIDS or hepatitis, and the duvet can still be used, but a little bit of little boy pee, and it has to be thrown in an incinerator?
HWSNBN: Are you kidding me?
Housekeeping: No, sir. It is a biohazard.
HWSNBN: But urine's sterile!
Housekeeping: It is a biohazard.
It went on like that for a while.
|Biohazard? Who, me?|
Eventually, housekeeping agreed that they did not have to dispose of the duvet right that minute. They would leave the duvet with us. They would cover the mattress in plastic to prevent any issues in the five remaining days of our stay.
And we would have to pay for the duvet. Had he managed to pee on the mattress itself, we would have had to pay for an entire new bed. (!!!)
Listen, I'm not the mom that thinks her little darling can do no wrong. I don't think it's cute that he peed on someone else's property. Nor do I think that it's funny, or even appropriate, that someone else should have to deal with the results of his potty-training misadventures. I take full responsibility for my child's behaviour wherever we go.
And obviously, we were concerned that he'd peed on the duvet. We didn't want the next guest to unwittingly be sleeping under a blanket with little boy pee on it. That's why we called housekeeping in the first place - because honestly, an hour later, the duvet was totally dry and even knowing he'd peed on it, we couldn't find the spot. Had we not told them, they would never have known.
And I'm not writing here to try and unleash the collective rage of twitter parents. I'm not looking to get anything for free - I don't even need or want an apology. I'm not interested in a backlash against the hotel or its employees. They are merely following the procedures and policies set in place by a corporate entity, in an environment so litigious that common sense simply isn't a factor.
But... but... The robotic "It is a biohazard" response seemed a little ridiculous to me. When I tweeted about it, other parents overwhelmingly agreed. We are, admittedly, a subset of humanity enured to the bodily fluids of small children. But as Alexandria at Clippo pointed out in response to my incredulous tweets:
Little boy pee isn't cool, but I'm pretty sure it's not the most biohazardy thing ever to be found in one of their hotel rooms.
We don't know yet what the duvet is going to cost us. Or how we're going to get it home. But I am not throwing away a perfectly good duvet just because The Imp peed on it. If that was a thing, we'd have to get rid of almost everything we own.
What do you think? Is the hotel's reaction appropriate? Should we have just rinsed out the pee spot in the sink and kept our mouths shut?
And does anyone need a king sized duvet, recently peed upon just a little bit?