Some days start better than others. Today , the 6 year anniversary of my Moms death, started surprisingly okay, with me going about the business of getting the kids off to school…excited to get back to painting and thrilled that the appliance repairmen was coming to fix my broken dishwasher…little happy things…
…and then I stepped in dog vomit… just as I heard Phoebe screaming from the kids bathroom;
“MOM!!! Tell the boys to STOP peeing all over the seat! I swear there is Pee ALL OVER THE SEAT!!…it’s disgusting!!! Where am I supposed to go to the bathroom???…I can’t live in a house with pee on the seats!!!”
- Tell me about it. I had three brothers. Pee on the seats is for rookies! Try grabbing a towel out of a fresh shower and discovering what they used when they ran out of toilet paper! I will never forget the day when my parents took us on a tour of a new house we very moving into, and my Mother, (who had 4 brothers) with tears in her eyes, said “and here is YOUR special surprise,” and opened up the door to a pristine bathroom with pink kitty cat wallpaper .
“Here is your VERY OWN bathroom!”
It was one of the happiest days of my life. Truth be told, I really don’t like sharing my bathroom any more than Phoebe does…boys are gross, YES, we women may be messy, but boys are gross. The hair, the snot, the pee and worse…just gross.
I have found though that this NEW bathroom of the kids is MUCH MUCH easier for me to keep clean than their previous bathroom. I have employed strategic tactics aimed (because they can’t) at the areas of greatest MESS potential.
1. DRAWERS lots of drawers for make-up, contacts, hair gel, contact lenses….etc etc etc.
2. HOOKS. Hooks. Lots of Hooks. My next bathroom will have a wall made of all hooks, just hooks. in an attempt to increase the chance that they will use one!
I HAVE LOOKED HIGH AND LOW AND I FIND THE VARIETY OR HARDWARE, ESPECIALLY HOOKS AT ANTHROPOLOGIE RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!
3. HAMPER. Around month ONE of the new bathroom, I thought there was a dead body behind the door, but it was really just A weeks worth of towels and dirty clothes…so even though there really is not room for a laundry basket behind the door…I put one there… for the bodies.
4. BASKETS. The kids each have baskets under their vanities for anything that would otherwise go on the floor. They started out looking so nice with clean folded towels but that lasted as long as my last highlight job…not long…and so now, I just made a rule…”in the basket…off the floor” !
5. TRASH CANS. The boys have a trash can and Phoebe has her own, WITH A LID! When you have teenage girls and boys sharing a bathroom, it can get messy and embarrassing, especially when “Aunt Flo comes to town” so Phoebe has her own trashcan, with a lid. Also helps with dumpster diving dogs.
6. COUNTER-TOP CONTROL – The potential for a huge mess is thwarted by many receptacle for their stuff. I started out trying to have each thing have a home, now I am just happy of it stays out of the sink.
7. GOOD LIGHTING – Seems obvious, but really can make the difference between them seeing the mass or the contacts on the floor or the pee pee on the seat…or not, my guess is most of the seat pee pee happens in the middle of the night.
8. 9. AND 10. LET GO OF A PERFECTLY CLEAN BATHROOM AND BE CONTENT WITH HAPPY KIDS. LISTEN, With three teens – the bathroom is no longer the place it was when the kids were little. Where we spent hours taking baths and singing songs, bubbles on their faces for beards… step stools and potty chairs and bubble bath,sweet-smelling baby shampoo and hooded towels and wash cloths with ANIMAL faces…
…..have been replaced by make-up and hair gel and shaving cream and razors and facial scrub and yes, tampons. It is what it is.
What was once a very public place has become, seemingly overnight, a very private place…and it is THEIR bathroom. I want them to feel comfortable and respected in there…and I want to go in there as little as possible. So I have tried to give them the means to keep it tidy and kind of clean and then periodically, I go in there…fumeagate and do the clean sweep.
It seems to be working…pretty well. All things considered. Pee on the seats and all.