Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Have you seen this woman?

I'm finding that this 'life' thing calls us (often) to experiences, chores, events we might not have considered even yesterday.  It happens to me quite frequently.  How about you?

Do you have a bathroom?  Do children enter that bathroom?

I enjoy my children.  I don't enjoy my children's bathroom.   I have nothing against bathrooms, in general.  I don't, however, frequent the water closet of my offspring.

Apparently, children can completely destroy a bathroom in well under a minute.  It is messy.  There is toothpaste everywhere; even if the counters have just been cleaned. They also have different ideas about when it's time to empty the trashcan.  In their world, it makes sense to continue filling the trashcan, even after the trash at the top is taller than the trashcan below.

A children's bathroom with girls brings many bottles of very smelly substances which are a 'must-have' at every dollar store visit.  None of these bottles have tops, all are half full and each of them has spilled a bit.  The counter in a children's bathroom is very sticky.  And usually the dental floss, from the one time in the last year that they've flossed, is laying atop other restroom debris.

My children don't have a grand excuse for the mess, as we (at their insistence) employ the 'family bathroom.'  Apparently, the shower in our bathroom is better, our mirror is bigger, and it's more fun to throw the towels on the floor in our bathroom than in theirs.  That said, there is very little activity in my children's bathroom - very little.  It should be spotless.

My ultra-crafty children did figure out a good use for their empty toilet paper rolls - each time they don't put a new roll on the fixture, they just toss the old empty roll in the tub.  I mean, that makes perfect sense, right?  No one is bathing in it.

The problem arises when we have visitors, as this children's bathroom is the one the lucky guests of Chez Graham must share with said children.  And I blame the entire disrepair on them - except for one part.

Years ago, in an effort to attain and maintain the utmost sparkly clean, I poured a whole bunch of something very strong.  I'm unable to remember exactly what it was, but it did irreparable damage to this toilet already destined for a miserable life in the children's bathroom.  At first glance, one would assume that the toilet is a bit stained and unclean.  Upon further investigation, however, you notice that the discoloration is nothing more than the large patches where my attempt at cleanliness stripped the bowl of it's bright white shiny paint and left amoeba-like patches a nice shade of light brown.  (Just so you know, that is the color of your toilet when the paint is not on it.)

So, here we are.  We are left with a bathroom only inhabited by my ever-so-tidy children and our poor, unsuspecting guests.

As much as I'm against it with every fiber of my being, sometimes it must be cleaned.  Many times I pretend that I actually believe that what my children deem clean really is and I let it go.  Other times, though, for the well-being of loved ones like Pop and Baba; I must dare to go where I oft-times consider way out of my comfort zone.  From time to time, I must enter.  I must wage war on the long, skinny room in the very center of our home, carrying any instruments of aide and every liquid in a spray bottle.  I have to rise up, be an adult, breathe from my mouth (allowing no stray germs to enter my bloodstream through my nasal passages) and go in.  I have to do it.  I signed on for this.

Sunday was just such a day.  The trip in was a necessity.  I was the one.  I had to go.  I found myself wondering what you all look like when you enter your children's bathroom, after I used a t-shirt tied around my head to ward off any strange smells.  I rushed past the mirror and did enjoy a tee hee at the sight of the circumspect individual vowing to cleanse the bathroom.

It was when I had to complete the suit of armor, though, that I decided the look must be preserved for posterity (or maybe just until my children have children or get a job as a bathroom attendant at the airport).

I had just returned from a quick trip to the Dollar General for cheap cleaning supplies and was quite eager to employ them in my quest for clean.  Unfortunately, I neglected to review the directions for using the lemon-scented ammonia.  I really went for it, wanting all I could get to assist me, and I poured out half of the bottle over the counter top, sinks, and toilet area.  (I guess I didn't glean much from the incident a few years ago when I caused the stripping of the toilet finish.)

If you are familiar with the side-effects of ammonia, you may already know where this is leading.  If you've been in my home and know that there is no window in my children's bathroom, you may  realize that it was bad.  The air was filled with the most evil fumes I've smelled in recent memory.  My eyes watered, my throat stung.  I was in it, though.  There was no turning back.  I couldn't walk away and pretend I hadn't noticed that no living thing could survive if they entered the bathroom.  I couldn't poison my children.  I had to finish the cleaning.

So, my friends, I grabbed the swim goggles I found on the side of the tub in my bathroom, armored myself and went in. I wanted you to see how to dress if you find yourself in a similar situation.  I want this blog to be a help for you.  I want to be a source of home-maker help.

If you ever have to wage war on the space called a children's bathroom or if you ever pour out half of a bottle of ammonia (lemon scent doesn't seem to help with the fumes), I have two pieces of advice.

Never stop singing, "I am Woman, Hear me Roar," and dress like this:

And now for the news on who won the WHAT IS IT? contest yesterday!

This was the photograph:

And this is what it was:

The winner, chosen at random from among the correct guesses is Adrianne I.
Way to go - let me know when you are ready for your session - I can't wait!  

As usual, one of the most interesting things about the mystery photo contest was the guesses - all of the incorrect guesses were the same  All of the people who guessed incorrectly guessed that the photo was a picture of a safety pin bracelet.  That's so interesting.  Apparently, right or wrong, our eyes do a lot of the same things!

Thanks for playing everyone - plan to try again next Monday.  

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