All the fun you can fit in 2.25 rooms

By Mir
September 28, 2004

I cleaned the bathrooms tonight. I guess I was needing a little boost, a little reassurance that I do actually take care of things around here once in a while. Also they were starting to smell weird.

I’d told myself that the toilets were merely victims of hard water. Those blooming science experiments sprang up overnight, really. It’s not like I’d neglected to clean for weeks or anything. That would really be gross, don’t you think? Yes it would. So it must be the hard water. I have no idea what the Culligan man is doing here. Perhaps we have wild monkey sex in the basement in front of those large tank things that are most certainly not a water treatment system.


I set to cleaning, revelling in the unfolding cleanliness and fresh scent as I scrubbed. Nothing beats a clean bathroom in a house with small children. It’s a fleeting joy, yes, but quite lovely. I started in the downstairs half-bath, of course, because it’s the smallest and easiest to clean. The biggest challenge in that bathroom is locating and hanging up the hand towels. Monkey prefers a hand washing method akin to sprinting, and it often results in towels yanked from the rod and left languishing behind the door. Chickadee, on the other hand, often confiscates the towels for various purposes and I’m lucky to find them at all. In other words, I scrub the toilet and wipe down the counter and sink and change the towels and I’m done. That’s just the warm-up.

Upstairs, I tackled the kids’ bathroom next. I found myself having a flashback to my own childhood. The house I grew up in had a blue bathroom. Everything in that bathroom was blue, including the sink. One of my chores was to clean the bathroom sink, and I invariably thought to myself–as I scrubbed the field of toothpaste dots off the blue porcelain–that all sinks into which toothpaste is spat should be white. But as I started cleaning the children’s white sink I realized that colored sinks may serve an important purpose. It’s possible that if the sink were a color other than white, I might have gotten my lazy rear in gear and cleaned it sooner. As it was, I spent the bulk of my time in there chiselling away at the toothpaste. Toothpaste in the sink, which I’d been able to ignore until I was armed with Clorox. Toothpaste on the mirror, which I’d known was there but hadn’t felt like acknowledging. Toothpaste on the floor and the counter and the door, which made me wonder if I should perhaps tape the children to the floor and put cones on their heads (like the ones they put on dogs so they won’t eat their stitches) every time they brush.

Finally all that was left was my own bathroom. I’ve always considered the master bath here to be a full bathroom, but I’ve since been informed that a bathroom with a shower stall and no tub is a 3/4 bathroom. So, I’d done the half bath, the full bath, and was on to my 3/4 bath… which seems like it should’ve been somewhere smack dab in the middle, complexity-wise. I know what you’re thinking. Surely after Toothpasteville my bathroom was a relative cakewalk. But here’s the thing. I’m the only person who uses my bathroom. That leaves me free to clean in there even less often than I clean the rest of my house.

I’m considering shaving my head. Cleaning up the accumulated hairballs and scraping the congealed hairspray-and-dust shellac off of my counter does that to me. Bleah. But on the upside, I’ve got a nice buzz going from the mildew remover I used in the shower. Woo!

I’ll be admiring all 3–sorry, 2.25–rooms once again before I go to bed. Once the kids get up, all bets are off. My little slice of accomplishment will disappear in a fine mist of toothpaste splatter. There’s a brilliant metaphor in there, somewhere, but I am far too distracted by all these shiny faucets to figure it out.


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