Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Of Toilets and Boys

Originally posted Feb 28, 2013

I had no idea. Raised in a house with one bathroom, five females and one male, I never realized the bliss I was in.

As chores go, cleaning the bathroom was a breeze. Heavy cleansers for the caked on hairspray and other nice smelling beauty accouterments on the counter. A quick scrub of the bathtub ring with scrubbing bubbles. Easiest of all was the toilet. A squirt of cleaner under the rim of the bowl, swish with a brush and flush. The bathroom sparkled. We spent twenty minutes tops cleaning the room.
Photo taken by DodgertonSkillhause

I remember my Mom telling us about what her friends with boys said about their bathrooms. She would shake her head in disbelief and say, "You're Dad isn't that bad." The four of us would look at her and agree: how could it be so bad? A large mouthed bowl. The target is big enough. Boys like to shoot things so, how could they miss? Hitting a bulls eye is what they do best, just like Robin Hood.

Then I grew up and had boys.

When they were little, it was excusable. They were short, the lip of the bowl was taller. On tip toes they would aim and mostly make it. Little Cheerio targets would float, waiting to be sunk. M&Ms were the reward when the offending wheaty O melted to the bottom.Once in a while, the unattended seat would slam down on the tender weapon and screams of agony would shake the walls of the house. I felt sorry for them then.

Find them at amazon
As they got older, it became a game:  How far away from the bowl can I stand and still make it? Or, my favorite;  Let's pretend there is a forest fire in the whole bathroom and put it out. The first thing in the morning cold land mines were special. I would giggle to myself, pull out the cleaner and get to work.

With pink rubber gloves on, bleach poured into the toilet itself. It is a bucket with clean water, right? Sponge dip into the cleaning concoction, the wiping and rinsing began. As the cleaning moves toward the baseboards, small yellow dots appear. Rinse sponge and re-moisten with germ busting liquid, I wipe the lip of the floor. Sitting back with satisfaction, I examine a job well done, only to notice streams of yellow on the wall. A snicker accompanies the reloading of the sponge. Scrubbing the lines turns into washing the whole toilet alcove. Perspiring, I follow the amber lines down the baseboards.  Sweating with discontented murmuring, the hidden puddles behind the toilet are scrubbed. Aching arms scour the floor joint and bolts. In full cursing surrender, the complete outside of the toilet is bathed. I am afraid to even look at the seat.

"I did this three days ago." I say to myself setting back on my haunches.

An archaeologist could find prehistoric bugs in the amber droplets encrusted at the bottom of the seat. The sponge is forced with a death grip into the bowl of bleach and wrung to within an inch of disintegration. Excavation begins and the grease in my elbow sprouts a leak. Soon all that is left is the fossil evidence. Laying the seat down, I scrape the lid, bolts and bridge that holds the bowl to the tank. Then disinfect the tank itself, including the top.

The simple task of cleaning the toilet took me 30 minutes!
Find it at amazon

I thought, as the boys grew it would improve. I. Was. Deluded.

Discussing this over coffee with some girlfriends, comradere was thick. One girlfriend wants a urinal put into her bathroom so she can have the toilet all to herself. Another suggests a fly sticker next to the drain. This has been put into place in some public bathrooms: . Research shows that aim improves if men have something to aim at.

I need those flies. Maybe then, my daughter will understand what a clean toilet is.

A Mother Life


  1. Totally get it. Sometimes I half tempted to make all three of them start going outside. :D

  2. Careful with that; one time at a family swim party one of the boys walked over to a bush, dropped trou and made like a Roman fountain. Only those with a sense of humor laughed.


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