Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Post In Which I Complain About My House - and come off sounding totally negative and bitter, which I'm really not. Well, not usually anyway.

Now days, almost every house is built with at least two and a half bathrooms. There's the powder room - for company. The hall bathroom - for the kids. And the giant, massive, so-big-it-needs-its-own-zip code master bathroom including both garden/jet tub AND stand-alone shower. As with every other luxury that has become standard, I believe most people in this country have ceased to appreciate the multi-bathroomed house. With this post I will attempt to bring back some small smidgen of respect and reverence for this incredible advancement of our society.

I was raised in a half-way house. By half-way, I'm referring to the fact that we were half-way to the whole standard bathroom thing. Rather than the two and a half business, we had the full downstairs/company bathroom, and a full upstairs bath (with both shower AND tub). To make up for the lack of an actual "master bath", the upstairs bathroom was attached to my parent's room. Hence, it was technically their bathroom.

But all three of us girls used it every single morning.

Who wanted to go ALL THE WAY downstairs (where it was usually a full twenty degrees colder, I swear) when there was a nice bathroom so conveniently placed? So I was raised with the whole crowded mirror business, and the peeing in front of everyone thing. (Dad was pretty good at hitting the bathroom either before or after we took it over. Poor, poor man. That will teach him to design a house with no master bath!)

Then there was college. Six girls, one tub/shower/toilet, and the standard forty foot vanity with three sinks and fifteen electrical outlets. Each of which must have had their own breaker box, considering the amount of juice they sucked on Sunday mornings. Was anyone else ever amazed that no fuses ever blew, or was it just me?

With marriage came a much more friendly person/bathroom ratio. Being indecent no longer mattered, and sharing was even a little bit nice. Truth to tell, sharing a bathroom with all girls really isn't that bad anyway.

But now I have boys. AND ONE LITTLE BATHROOM!

I'm really not sure why, but sharing with a husband and three small boys is so much worse than any of the other bathroom-sharing I've done. Maybe it's because my children always have to go number two while I'm in the tub. (Those of you familiar with my frequent and very long/hot baths are sure to understand how irritating this phenomena actually is). No one ever knocks on the bathroom door - which doesn't lock. Every Sunday morning, my husband manages to get in the shower precisely when I begin trying to either fix my hair or do my makeup. Ever try to use a mirror while someone's showering???

When you only have one bathroom, the clothes people shed, and the dirt that comes with them (three little boys and a husband who works construction) are a CONSTANT problem. And have I mentioned the pee? There's a reason why my children aren't allowed to pee standing up until they can prove their accuracy. With that much male-peeing traffic on one toilet, cleaning the commode can be an hourly job.

That is, if you want the ONLY company bathroom in the house to be presentable should someone stop by and need to use it - or walk by it, since it's DOWNSTAIRS, and right in the middle of the front room.

There is absolutely no hiding my bathroom from anyone. Please tell me that someone, somewhere, is beginning to fall for this pathetic (and overly obvious) plea for sympathy.

When I say that the bathroom is located downstairs, I want to make perfectly clear that the bedrooms (all TWO of them) are not. They (the bedrooms) are very much upstairs affairs. This is not fun when you're pregnant. Or when you have a child who constantly wakes up and has to pee in the middle of the night but doesn't want to have to go downstairs alone. Or when someone comes to you in the small hours of the morning to tell you they're about to throw-up. At times like this, the bathroom may as well be at the neighbor's.

And so I go on day after day, dreaming of that blessed, long looked for event, when we move from this house to one with multiple bathrooms. And please do not try to tell me that it will just be a big pain because there will be more bathroom cleaning to do. This will not work on me. I have suffered too long with bathroom sharing, and would be THRILLED to have the boys clean their toilet while I clean mine.

So go now, Dear Reader, and resume your happy, multi-bathroomed lives, in your happy, multi-bathroomed houses - with your guests using your lovely little powder rooms, and the ability to tell your children to take their BM's someplace else whilst you luxuriate in your master-jetted-garden-tub.

And maybe, just maybe, you will appreciate the sheer luxury of the master bath just a little bit more after reading this post. Occasionally thinking of me and offering a silent prayer that I will someday be released from the purgatory that is one-bathroom-and-six-people-four-of-them-males would also be a nice idea. You know, proving to the Universe at large just how much you care about people you don't really know.

I would really, REALLY appreciate this kind of thoughtfulness. Fasting is also an option. You know, for those Sunday's when you forget to eat breakfast, and then get to church and realize it's Fast Sunday but don't really have anything specific to fast for? Yeah, just think of me. You can call it the "Jen's bathroom fast". And all the while you'll know that I'm here, in my one-bathroomed house, just trying to take my shower and put my makeup on in peace and solitude.

And that it probably isn't happening.


Natalie said...

All I know is we have two bathrooms and we STILL have issues when all of the kids need to go #2 at once. (People have been known to go to the bathroom across the parking lot @ the park out of desperation.) So, I REALLY do feel sorry for you.

McFarland Family said...

I think we might be living in the same house, just miles apart. OK not really, but we only have one bathroom of any use. There's technically two, but one is down in my husband's office. At the other end of the house, with only a stand shower. So, we really just have the one, down the with bedrooms. I just pretend those nice, big, master baths don't exist. Since, they really don't in my world. Oh, but our last rental had a bathroom in the kitchen. Nice. "Where's your bathroom?" "Next to the fridge." Seriously. I'll stop now. I feel your pain though.

Melissa Bastow said...

Unghhghhhghhghhhhh, seriously 1 bathroom? I would have probably jumped off a bridge by now. (By the way, I'm so NOT mocking you. I would really have DIED. REALLLLLLY.)

Kristin said...

Jenn's bathroom fast? I love it. Maybe you need an old fashioned vanity desk in your room for a little luxury, or better yet an outhouse to be used during your bathtime and a lock on the bathroom door. on the bright side, only one to clean, I'll envy you when I'm scrubbing my 4 bathrooms, that are somehow each more messy than the single 1 in my last house.

Heidi said...

Oh, you poor thing!!!! I've been throwing myself pity parties because I don't have a guest powder, and anyone who visits has to stumble over pee-soaked wads of toilet paper and dirty clothes. But, I do have my own master bath with a tub that only I use, so clearly I should be grateful instead of whiny!

Kelly said...

Yeah, you probably remember the Seaberg bathroom situation. 6 people, 5 of who all had to be at school at the same time. 1 TINY bathroom. I so remember peeing with Carson in the shower, telling him 'don't look out here, I'm going.' He hated it, but what could he do?

This is what you have to look forward to. I feel your pain. And relish every moment I get to clean my lovely 2 1/2 bathrooms because it is SOOO worth it!

Melissa Bastow said...

I am SOOOOO fasting for your bathroom if you can get rid of my zits. Hey, fast for me to lose a few pounds and I'll throw a jetted garden tub and his and hers sinks into my prayers for you (ooh, and maybe a little shelf especially for candles for your long baths, because you could do that knowing that no one can barge in and poop during your relaxation.)

by AnnieValentine said...

Top form.

I have been fasting for your bathroom situation for the past 18 months. I can't wait for you to build the new house on the back of your lot. It will rock.

Kristy E.B. said...

I'm so sorry for you. As much as I wish we had a house (not an apartment), atleast we still have 2 bathrooms, and they get used simultaneously quite often, even though there are only 3 of us who use the you poor thing with 6 potty trained people sharing one bathroom. That is rough!

Alison Wonderland said...

Have it better than you, I do
With a choice of a place to poo.
But of tubs I have one
and with jets there are none.
Do you think they could fast for me too?

Jen said...

Okay Alison, you are now committed to entering my next limerick contest...which is RIGHT around the corner:)

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I really love that you could turn a very frustrating situation into an awesome post! You're genius! Anyway, pls don't hate me for this but I have 3 bathrooms in my house of 4 people --pls. don't slap me! I'm trying to make a point---BUT the 2 youngest people still fight over which get to use which bathroom. Apparently one batroom is always better than another. So it doesn't matter. There will always be bathroom travails no matter what. And yes, I have to clean 3 bathrooms which is no frickin' fun. But I'll still find an excuse to do a bathroom-fast for you when I can :-)

Stephanie said...

Are you sure there were 3 sinks in our apartment at Greenbrier? I'm thinking only 2 and in between the two sinks were all of our curling irons and other crap that I don't even know how to use now.

Kimberly said...

Huge sympathies! We have two in this house but the bathtub in the main one is tiny and has no shower in it. And the stall shower in the other is likewise tiny. Only one place to shower and, yep, it's on the top floor. Which means guests have to go up two flights to get to it.

And we have guests often.


Still, count my blessings, right?

Anonymous said...

Okay, time to warm we go...

To share a bathroom with boys
Is cheating you out of life's joys
A tub soak is bliss
But privacy's missed
As the 'toilet' starts making its noise.

It's time to knock out a wall
And give the plumber a call
Now, put up a sign
And say, "This room's MINE!"
And the boys can all pee in the hall.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, the reason we moved to our two-bathroom house was because we had too many GIRLS sharing a bathroom. And yet, even now my poor husband still has to wait his turn!

(And who says you have to clean up after your kids? Where is that written? We give the girls the privilege of cleaning up after themselves. I believe in delegating chores! And it's never too young to teach them -- my three year old loves to scrub toilets!!)

Jen R. said...

I know how you feel! We're a one bathroom family too. Ours is TINY but I only have to share with my hubby. Baby is still in diapers, but she does crawl in anytime we're in there. Most annoying thing ever though is that my husband will STILL not go pee or #2 in front of me. It's been almost 2 years! I BEG him to let me...I can't believe I'm telling you that I beg my husband to pee in front of me! ha ha ha oh the blogging world!

Lisa said...

I'm too lazy to go back and find all the places in this post where I went "OH!! EXACTLY!!" and comment about them. Oh yeah, the college fuses not blowing!! Complete mystery! There were other places, too.

I just loved this post. You're funny. Sorry about the bathroom, but thanks for sharing because it was very entertaining to read about. I read about your woes on Melissa's blog before I came here. You've got lots of people pulling for you!