Thursday, September 08, 2011

On Bathrooms

Today, as I was cleaning my bathrooms, I was also analyzing why I hate the job so very much. I paid my way though college first by working at a nursing home and later by cleaning houses (with a lot of odd jobs thrown in to boot). Neither job particularly bothered me. However, this morning, I came to the very self-serving conclusion that I met my Dealing With Crap quota at a very young age and therefore should no longer have to deal with it. (Why, yes, I am speaking literally rather than figuratively.)

So, since I remember not being bothered by dealing with other people's dirty bathrooms, I had to analyze why I can't stand to clean our own filth. And then I remembered....

Ahhhhhhh....I entered a clutter free house and just CLEANED it.

See, in order for me to clean a bathroom, I first have to dispose of all the clutter. The dirty clothes that have been strewn about (even piled nicely in the place where mom has gestured while delivering soliloquies about), the toothbrushes must be pried out of the glopy toothpaste on the side of the sink, the washclothes need to be wrung out and deposited in the laundry room...

...where I throw in a load while I'm there...

...which requires folding a load while I'm there....

...with a pass though the kitchen for iced tea...

...and while it's brewing, just a quick glance at Facebook to see if anyone is preggers...

have I mentioned how frequently Facebook posts about nothing are interesting when bathrooms need to be cleaned? which point I head back up the stairs to really dig in to the bathroom. I spray down the shower and leave it to soak, while I spray down the toilet to let it soak, while I clear the deodorant and tweezers from the cabinet tops and that gel I let Frodo use last week and the vitamins that I keep forgetting to take and the makeup I wore last week to church and the two canisters of shaving cream (one ran out, but the trash can IS clear across the bathroom) and I analyze yet again  why it is that I keep so many things that I know I'll never use, just because someone gave me that vanilla scented bath set and I should take the time to use it, sadly...

Counter finally clear I head back to the shower to wipe off the first layer of soap scum and hard water residue and respray it. Move on to the toilet. Move on to the sink. Back to the shower where I wind up wet and naked and decide that the grout has always been that color and the hard water stains will never come off the shower doors.

And then the floors about which I could wax poetic about the dried on pee puddles, but we're beyond that, aren't we?

I've tried, the Lord as my witness, I have tried to remember in the midst of this to be thankful for the fact that I have not one, but four working toilets with running water. That is no small thing, to be sure.

Though one might wonder why we need toilets if we are going to pee on the floor, but maybe that's just me.

As a good friend recently pointed out, we flush our toilets with drinking water, for crying out loud! (Speaking of, have you joined my Mocha Club yet?)
I have tried to be thankful that I no longer have to clean the bathrooms of virtual strangers. I have.

I am trying to be thankful that virtual strangers aren't cleaning MY toilets and talking smack about what kind of filth we live in.

I tried not to cry when Brent showed up in the newly cleaned bathroom and declared that it is the cleanest it has been since we moved in. (We had to have a discussion about the fact that his sentence sounded an awful lot like, "gee, you haven't cleaned since we moved in, 'bout time." When I distinctly remember him telling me the same thing in the same bathroom SINCE we moved in. (This seems like a good time to remind my readers that all summer, cleaning bathrooms was the punishment for fighting with a sibling and dragging mom into it. They HAVE been cleaned, just not by ME recently.))

I am not a pretentious person. I don't try to pretend we live in a model home. I clean my house because it bothers my spouse when people show up and it doesn't look like we ever clean it even if that is how it looks if even one of our four offspring is awake. But by clean, I mean keep the clutter knocked down to a minimum in the rooms people are likely to frequent. I almost never get to the actual "cleaning" portion of cleaning house. I'm too busy cooking and keeping the laundry pile small enough that it wouldn't suffocate Charming, should he inadvertently fall into it.

*now is not the time to remind me that my kids should help around the house. Very well aware of that fact. But part of the reason the bathrooms were as gross as they were was because I abdicated that responsibility for three months. SOMETIMES the mom just has to do it to get it done right.*

AND, and here is the biggie: I HATE to park my preschooler in front of the TV so I can clean. I HATE to tell him, "No, mommy can't play right now because I have to scrub dried on pee puddles off the floor." I would rather hang out at the park.

Which is why my bathrooms are in the state they are in in the first place.


MotherT said...

I'm hearing you, and then I totally focused on the fact that you have to do this times 4. YUCK!!!!

There are only 2 bathrooms in our house, and only 2 permanent residents. It's the once-in-while visitors that make my biggest messes. **feeble grin**

Wendi said...

Haha! THIS is (one of the reasons) why I love you. I think I might just print this out and put it on my front door.

Chaos-Jamie said...

Theresa, in all fairness, I only have to clean two complete bathrooms. The "company" half bath I never let get disgusting so all it takes is a swish and a swipe. The basement bathroom I let fester until we have overnight guests. You can guess what I DIDN'T do today.

Senior Citizen said...

Veteran of the pee puddles. Try Pee floods.

Ever since grade school, I keep trying to splash through puddles by stools and urinals. Get in a hurry to sit down, and find your worst enemy has sprayed the seat and back area. High school is no better - jocks seem to mark their ground - not me, I was a semi jock, but never found that stuff fun. Dito - college - never knowing if some pervert is going to flush a cherry bomb and it blows "stuff" all over the bathroom. Army - even worse, Sargents spraying all over as soon as we get the latrine ready for inspection - then the wicked snickers when the louie chews us out.

Then wonder why I did not want to re up. My feet were rotting off.

Had some company recently, all over the floor around the stool. That one was not even in the Army.

So go ahead and gripe ladies - O - just remembered, truck stops are the worst, - how about rest stops. Must be the illegals trying to booby trap the enforcement guys. almost need a boat to get to the urinals.

Now why/where did mrs. senior hide my coffee cup? Darn, hope she doesn't think I puddled the pot. Surely, it's not behind the stool.
Yuck no sleep tonight
Senior Citizen