“I Stopped Cleaning Toilets” Club

AKA Pubescent Problems on the Potty

I spent 15 years in the corporate world in various forms of advertising playing with fancy office stuff. But none of that matters; that’s as ancient history as the 6th grade dance as far as my kids are concerned. I’ve been working from home since my daughter was born five years ago. Last year in preschool, she was asked what her mother does while she’s at school. Her answer: “she orders things online and cleans a lot.” This is pretty typical.

I’ve met hundreds of other educated “used-to-be” moms who used to take showers each morning, wore make up, dressed-up and went to big, tall, square buildings where we walked through square doors to our square offices and sat at our square desks typing into our square computer screens. If we were lucky, we looked out of our square offices windows onto the squares of grey sidewalk outside and watched everyone else who seemed to be little ants scurrying to their respective jobs in the big colony. From the 22nd floor, looking down, it was so apparent how little any one person meant. Or at least I felt that way; a tiny speck in those never-ending squares.

Working from home has tremendous advantages. Namely, showering is optional, and the dress policy is basically leggings or yoga pants. I keep my own hours, but instead of being a slave to “The Man,” as my artist husband refers to ALL corporate jobs, I am a slave to my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is any different if you’re a working mom – I was in that club too – then you’re a double slave! But that’s another story (and club) altogether. Lets just join in on the enslavement to the kids bit.

For five years, I’ve managed two small businesses and the lives of four people (and three cats). I’m one of those people with a color-coded calendar and I’m so used to seeing the rainbows on each day, that when someone else sees it and gasps, I wonder at what. And with it all, I’m a grade-A chauffeur, shuffling two kids to two different schools on either side of the busiest bridge in the country. Oh and I cook 2-3 HEALTHY meals each day to my very spoiled crew at home. But wait folks, there’s more. Because clearly I’m not tooting my own horn enough (you insecure, bitch).

I like a clean house. I want everything in its place; I want my dishes either in the dishwasher or in the cabinets, and I really despise a dirty toilet. I hate the brown ring and I can’t stand the pee drips under the seat and that dust that settles into the moist area behind the seat is awful. The whole thing is like a bacterial fuck fest and I don’t want my orifices to accidentally inhale any of that.

So I clean my toilets – all three of them.

Last December when I started throwing around the 365 Writing Project idea, I had a conversation with my husband asking him to chip in a bit more in the housework department. He conceded, with the compromise that I would also learn to let it go a little bit. So, I started letting it go, but unlike Elsa, the cold did bother me! Or rather, the toilet rings. I went two (or was it three!) weeks without cleaning the toilets. I thought someone would notice the ring getting darker and darker every day, but I was the only one growing with disgust. The men in my house are too distracted by the growing pile of magazines to notice the brown blotches covering the once-ivory bowl. So I caved. Psychologically, I did the opposite of what I needed to do if I wanted to yield a different result: I went around, this time with plastic purple gloves, and used some harsh chemicals to clean those bowls.

But then last week it built up again, and something worse than the brown ring happened. Really, I don’t get grossed out easily – and this did it! Here’s your warning that I’m about to say something disgusting.

I went to my teenager’s toilet and – GAG – there were – GAG – four pubic hairs scattered on the bowl that didn’t flush! What is that? There was too much time sitting on the toilet (that iPad must be infested with grossness extreme) and not enough time cleaning it. I slammed that lid down so fast. Almost 14 years I’ve spent cleaning the shit bowl of my little prince, and today I’ve decided that I’ve cleaned my last toilet. If he is old enough to leave pubic hair remnants, then he is old enough to use that mysterious-looking toilet brush to remove his evidence. He is six inches taller than me and has looked down on me for a few years now, figuratively and literally. But this is teenagers they tell me. Just hang in there and my perfect angel will reemerge again. But this time he will take the form a man.

A man to whom I’m going to teach right now TO CLEAN HIS OWN TOILETS!

My husband defends his teenage step-son by shifting blame on the construction of this specific toilet. “This particular toilet was designed to look a little nicer and it has a less-severe, descending slope that leads down to a smaller than usual pool of water and therefore when you sit, your dick dangles over a flat porcelain area rather than water.”

This must be some male math because the equation didn’t add up to me. How does slope incline plus hanging dick = pubes stuck to the toilet that I end up cleaning?

I have just joined a gross club called “Moms with Teenage Boys but No Maids” Club and I want out.

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