Parenthood, for those that are unfamiliar with the duties thereof, consists mainly of making routine the things we never saw ourselves doing. For instance, looking in another person’s pants to see if they have pooped, wiping their noses with our shirtsleeves, and watching shows that ask a lot of questions. Do you like those shows? Do you? What was your favorite part? Mine, too!
Luckily, as you get older some of the things you can’t believe you are doing start to fade away—but don’t worry, they are quickly replaced with new things that are like what? And you’re like what?
For instance, the boys have been peeing on their own for years now. We’re all proud of that. They both swear by their aim, and their self-reported on-target percentage is totally Top Gun material. They’re aces.
Yet, the bathroom smells like a locker room in a truck stop, which, to be clear, is not what it says on the can of room freshener. We were actually promised a rose garden.
And so it is that I am constantly on the cold tile of the bathroom floor with cleaning wipes, bottles of vinegar and water, hot towels, and anything else I can find to eliminate the lingering odor of denial.
But the boys stand by their claim, so I was forced to investigate. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that I have solved the mystery of that new boy smell: I blame the random night bathroom breaks when two boys with the bladders of small cats stumble down the hall like zombies on a bender, and never bother to open their eyes long enough to ensure the placement of the toilet. This, as you might imagine, increases the radius of my cleaning by an uncomfortable distance.
I guess I should just be happy they make it in the right room.
Then the sun comes up, breakfast is made, lunches are packed, and just before we walk out the door I am back on the floor, scrubbing like the wind.
You see, the smell is a boomerang, and it is back before anyone has a chance to stop and smell the roses. I am cleaning it, and then I am cleaning it again, always wondering how the hell I got here.
Boomerangs ask that a lot.
It is time to go into preventive mode. If the smell won’t go away then it is time to revoke its invitation. I’m considering a motion sensor that will turn the bathroom light on the minute the boys enter the room, which, in theory, will cause them to stir enough to open their eyes and assess the situation. I am also considering an electric cattle guard.
Maybe I’ll just remove the toilet and put in an actual rose garden.
The possibilities are endless, a lot like the odor, and I want it to smell like victory.