I used to have a tidy house. I used to take pride in how neat and organized it was. I was OCD about how my throw blankets were folded. But then I had kids. My first son was a “happy spitter” meaning ounces of undigested breast milk would shoot out, soaking him, me, and usually my once beautiful red couch. I was able to let it go, I accepted that my couch would forever have white milk rings. Then he started eating table food and I had to deal with applesauce and yogurt on the chairs, stuck to the walls, and even the plantation shades. No matter how often I wiped them down I always managed to miss a spot and the stuff would congeal and form sticky goo and without fail I would find it too late for easy removal. I stressed about this kitchen stickiness but little did I know what was to await me.
As my sons grow, their messy fingerprints cover every surface. Light switches, door frames, and doorknobs are especially vulnerable. The beautiful paint in my house is marred with stains and discolored from overuse of the magic eraser. I try to breathe and remind myself that it’s a phase and will pass. I no longer have a home that could be featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Plastic toys cover every floor surface. The more cluttered my house becomes, the more claustrophobic I feel. I have lowered my expectations and try to accept their messes. But little did I know what would await me.
The many accidents while my boys were learning didn’t faze me. But now that my boys are 3 and 5 and are fully potty trained (have been since before they each turned 2) I’m starting to lose it. They know what to do, how to do it and can do it independently. Then WHY do I have 3 bathrooms that always smell like pee? I get it, they miss the toilet sometimes. But I point blame elsewhere as well…
Making the situation worse is the 100 crevices on a toilet that the pee gets stuck in, then hardens and hides away. Who makes these toilets? Curse you toilet designers! Why do they have to have layers of lids with complex hinges for pee to crystallize in? Why is the path from the top of the toilet to the bottom so wavy and filled with curves? The countries that have holes in the floor to pee in, man are they on to something!! Is it possible to put a urinal in my home? How much would that run me?
Who decided that every toilet needs to fit in a space just wide enough for the toilet? Seriously? Now when my boys miss the toilet they also hit the wall. Great, just what I want, pee on the toilet, floor AND THE WALL! And those of us with short arms have difficulty reaching behind the toilet when we’ve only been given TWO INCHES to work with. Being a contortionist was not in the mommy job description that I received. While reaching to the very back I generally have no place for my face other than almost in the toilet bowl itself. Without fail I then bonk my head on the toilet paper holder when trying to escape the tight spot. Curse you home builders!
So where do we go from here?
Do we install urinals in every home for the boys to use? Do we revert back to outhouses? What about those holes in the floors? I’m a huge fan of just asking the boys to pee in the backyard, although they protest in the winter. Plus one of my boys did that during a neighborhood cookout, the dads thought it was hysterical, the mothers looked at me like I failed. (STOP JUDGING! You all have girls, you have no idea what it is like to have boys!!) I’m not sure there is a solution, I will continue to don my rubber gloves, roll up my sleeves and maybe invest in some scented candles. Oh and wear a helmet to protect my head, all those times hitting it on the toilet paper roll are starting to form a dent. When the bathroom no longer smells like pee it means my boys have moved out and that will make me more than a little sad. I can live with the pee as long as it means my boys give me daily hugs.