7 Obnoxious Things About Sharing a Bathroom With Kids

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Our house, which we moved into over the summer, technically has two bathrooms. Technically. The reality is that the ancient, leaky, super-tiny, forever-mildewy-smelling bathroom off the master bedroom rarely gets used, so that leaves the poorly-decorated but perfectly functional main bathroom in the hall.

I don't miss much about our old house in Seattle -- I'm so happy to be living in Oregon I don't mind that we downgraded lots of things in order to do so. I'm okay with the fact that we traded in a beautifully remodeled kitchen with granite countertops and stainless appliances for a cramped space with cheap cabinets and a dishwasher that sounds like it's full of rocks, I can deal with the lack of a laundry room, I don't much care that the wiring hasn't been updated since 1962.

However. I do miss not having to share a bathroom with my kids. I miss it EVERY SINGLE DAY, and here are the reasons why:

The toilet. Enough said? Enough said, probably, but just in case you aren't 100 percent clear what I'm talking about, I'm talking about the fact that my kids PEE ALL OVER THE DAMN TOILET EVERY SINGLE DAY. I've nagged them into at least lifting (and replacing) the lid on a regular basis (it's possible the hysterical shrieking I did last time I sat in someone's urine helped them remember this directive), but ... well, still. That's almost worse, because you don't see just how gross things are until you lift the lid to clean it, and then Oh My God What Am I Even Looking At Right Now.

The sink. How do they get that much toothpaste everywhere? Why is it that every night after they get ready for bed it looks like some sort of vigorous SeaWorld attraction has just taken place? Why is it that no matter how many times I instruct them to do otherwise, they leave their toothbrushes on the counter, lying there in spreading mint-scented pools of SALIVA?

The aromas. One of my children is capable of producing the most noxious WMDs the world has ever known. I don't know why this is -- they eat the same foods every day, pretty much, so why does ... well, never mind, this line of questioning is too disgusting to pursue. Suffice to say that one kid can be counted on to virtually strip the paint from the walls in that bathroom on a daily basis, usually right before I stroll in there, totally unaware that I'm about to get smacked in the face with Deadly Ass-Stench.

The toilet paper. Why unroll it and leave it trailing across the floor, kids? WHY?

The hand towel. No one can fuck up a hand towel like two young boys, I'm just going to state that for the record. I mean, I guess the good news is that they use it, but do they have to smear toothpaste on it? Does it have to be wet and dripping half the time? Do I even want to know why it's wet and dripping?

The bathtub ring. I used to have a lovely oversized corner jetted tub, but what I really miss about that was the fact that I was the only one who used it. Because our current tub is eternally ringed with some sort of mysterious boy-grime that stubbornly resists all cleaning products, even Scrubbing Bubbles.

The toys. You know what's relaxing and peaceful about stepping into a hot bath that's softly scented with lavender and vanilla? NOTHING, if you also sit on a pointy-ass plastic boat in the process. I have a secret fear that I'm going to end up as an infamous emergency room joke someday. "I swear, I didn't see it before I sat down!" "Sure, ma'am. Now if you'll just bend over while I prepare these forceps ..."

Do you share a bathroom with your kids? Does it kind of drive you nuts, too?


Image via Linda Sharps

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