The Bathroom Floor


Pretty much every day I do the regular tidying up of the house.  Wash dishes, put away toys and books, wipe down the tables, throw in a load of laundry, and maybe even sweep the floor.  Just enough to maintain my sanity and give the babes enough of a clean slate to create new clutter the next day.  It’s not often that I get to really clean the house.  Yes, I say that like it’s a reward to be able to deep clean because with three kids aged three and under, it kind of is.  I’m alone.  I can listen to music (or silence).  And at the end of it, it looks like I’ve accomplished something.  None of that happens on a daily basis.  Scrubbing.  Steam cleaning.  Sanitizing.  These are major time sucks that require another person to watch the girl, the boy, and the baby, so I can get lost in an antibacterial cloud.  Oh, the glamorous life of this stay-at-home lady.

I took advantage of my mom visiting us by deciding to tackle my bathroom.  I went in with my bucket, scrub brush, sprays, and rags, ready to wipe away the layer of life that had accumulated since…well, my mother’s last visit.  I looked at the bathroom floor, and who knows what hit me, but my good intentions got lost.  Nostalgia took over…

The Bathroom Floor.  What a place.  Not the Magic Kingdom or Barbados, but it does have its share of unforgettable moments.

I remember crying in college on the bathroom floor thinking I was falling in love with my best friend.  There may or may not have been alcohol involved.  Who can be sure?  I do know that he liked someone else, and it was killing me.  I wanted it to be me.  I didn’t think I deserved him, but that didn’t stop my heart from beating his name and wishing that his beat mine too.

I remember hugging the toilet on the bathroom floor several years later after my first happy hour at my first real job.  Teachers are hard core on Friday afternoons!   I felt so adult, so included, and so very sick.  I knew I was starting something special at this place, but it was hard to focus on that with all the margarita that was coming out of my mouth.

I remember standing on the bathroom floor looking at the one sink and one cabinet and wondering how I was going to rearrange it all so that it would fit everything that a Mr. & Mrs. would need to start their new life together.

I remember jumping for joy on the bathroom floor when those two pink lines appeared…and falling to my knees when too few weeks later there was so much red.

I remember stepping on and off the scale placed on the bathroom floor, cautiously watching the numbers increase for nine months.

I remember that unexpected gush of water on the bathroom floor…coming from me…just like in the movies!  So gross and so exactly what I wanted.

I remember looking down at the bathroom floor and slowly watching my toes disappear as a second swelling belly blocked my line of sight.

I remember waddling on that bathroom floor as my ankles turned into cankles, and I could not believe how big my body was getting for the third time.

I remember the bathroom floor being covered in the water from first baths.  The man and I doting over this tiny squirming body.  Two grown-ups trying to clean, although you’d think from the shrieks that we were trying to drown, a little, bitty baby.  Failing and then getting so good at it that we didn’t need a single one of all those new parent bath contraptions or books or tidbits of unasked for advice.

I remember slamming the door and shaking with anger on the bathroom floor thinking I married THIS man?  THIS jerk was my best friend?  Who does he think he is telling me that HE’S tired, stressed, overworked, underpaid, lonely, hungry, never pampered, barely appreciated, and always wrong?  Those are adjectives for ME.  I’m the stay-at-home parent!  I volunteered to give it all up for these three dreams covered in poop and tears and giggles.  How could he possibly know what I’m feeling?  Let alone have those same feelings too.  He didn’t suffer through three years of infertility and a miscarriage and two moves and career changes and financial challenges and then finally have three kids in three years too far away from our family and closest friends.  Oh wait…

I remember the bathroom floor that held me up so many times when I wanted to sink away, that pushed back against whatever emotion I was feeling so strongly, where I danced around in a towel, wondering why I hadn’t been signed by a record label yet, where I may or may not have made up with the man (depending on if my mother is reading this or not), where I crouched into cabinets in desperate search of the medicine, the humidifier, the teething gel, the extra pacifier, the lost hours of sleep in the middle of those endless nights, the bathroom floor where I started and finished so many days again and again and again.

So here I am.  With my cleaning gear in hand.  Looking down at this bathroom floor.  My head swirling.  My heart pounding.  My kids calling out for me from downstairs.  And I decide to let it collect a little more of our history.  Call me a sentimental lady…

Or it could just be that I’m so effing tired that I’ll do anything to keep from cleaning the damn bathroom floor.

This piece was originally published here:

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