The Bathroom Diaries
If you have a young person in your life that may be about to become sexually active please share this story with them. It should serve as some fairly effective encouragement to use birth control. You probably should not read it while you are eating either.
So, when our twins were babies they woke us up almost every two hours each night. I think they must have worked in shifts. Needless to say, my husband and I were perpetually exhausted. By the time that the twins were around a year old we could buy ourselves about thirty extra minutes of sleep in the morning by putting Saint Elmo on the television…I am talking about the puppet here, yes he is a saint to me. We had them safely gated into a play area next to our bed where they could play with their toys and watch the television and we could half sleep.
One morning they figured out how to get their diapers off. So they did the most logical thing and had a poop fight. My husband woke up to a poop slap in his face. They were both covered in it, as was the carpet, their toys, and the baby gates. It was in their mouths too…lovely thing to wake up to.
We used cloth diapers, which is a chore. As the babies grow and start to eat more solid foods, it is necessary to dump the solid waste in the diapers into the toilet before you put the diapers in the washer. Solid, for babies, is usually not a neat little poo. At one point, our naturopath had recommended that we feed the twins lots of raisins for nutritional reasons. Well, babies also do not digest foods in the same way that adults do. When we fed them raisins, we got back grapes. Seriously, I dumped poop grapes into the toilet on a daily basis.
When they were a little older we were renting a house in a great neighborhood in Orlando. The woman who owned it wasn’t exactly diligent it the house’s upkeep however. When we started having plumbing problems the plumber explained to me that roots were almost surely growing into the sewer pipes. The toilet paper that we were flushing was catching on the roots and causing a clog. For a quick fix the plumbers could come out and flush the pipes clear with highly pressurized water (this is not good for your pipes). It does not fix the problem however, and the back up will continue to re-occur, unless you fix the problem completely by locating the roots, digging up the damaged pipes, and replacing them.
Our landlady did not want to pay to have the problem properly corrected. So the pipes continued to back up. When they backed up, sewage backed up into our toilets bathtubs, and even the sinks. It was disgusting. When it happened I would immediately call the guys out for the quick fix, but even at that, I was getting backed up pipes every couple of weeks. So as a last resort I begged the children, who were six and six and four at the time, to throw the toilet paper in the garbage and not the toilet so that it would not back up as quickly. I, of course, was kept busy with emptying the bathroom garbage every five minutes.
We moved from that house about three months later, but the damage that it had done to my son’s potty training was huge. When we got into our new house, the girls re-learned pretty quickly that the toilet paper goes in the potty not the garbage. It took my son forever though. I think that he has finally figured it out, but I was still finding poo paper in the garbage last year.
My ten-year-old son is now in charge of cleaning the toilets and the bathroom floors in our house, as well as emptying the wastebaskets. I decided that this was an appropriate job for him because he still pees everywhere. He still refuses to remember to lift the seat, and my poor girls, often sit in pee. I do it occasionally myself and it makes me so angry…he just hasn’t learned quite yet.
We also, and this is mostly my son, but sometimes the girls as well, do not flush. I cannot understand why this is such a hard concept to learn. As a result, not only does the bathroom often stink, but we also get a lot of clogs. I am relatively sure that I serve plunger-woman duty at least once a week. It is dirty and gross and no fun at all, and the situation is the same for many parents. Children come with tons and tons of pee and poop, they are awesome and adorable, but they are also little feces machines. If you are considering having children, just make sure that you are prepared to face the poo.