Ever since I went back to work, and Mike started working full time as well, it's been a struggle to keep up with the housework. Especially when you have the standards that Mike and I have, because we're crazy. We're both just neat freaky kind of people.
Example A: my husband cleans our bathrooms. He cares that much about them being as clean as possible. I mean, I'd clean them if he didn't, but he seemed so enthusiastic about it that I let him take the reigns on that one after we got married.
But since the work thing interfered, (and the addition of another kid) squeezing in housework has been a real challenge. We can really only do it on the weekends, and thus have to space things out more than we'd like. For instance, about a month ago, I could hardly stand the bathrooms. This is the first time this has happened in nearly 7 years of marriage. Our bathrooms were DIRTY. It doesn't help that we have a 5 year old boy who apparently has lingering aiming issues. But I literally couldn't take it anymore. That very weekend, we prioritized the bathrooms and got them cleaned.
And yet, not nearly so much time has gone by, and last week I noticed that the upstairs bathroom was grossing me out again. At first I thought it was just me. Maybe I was being too picky? Perhaps it was the trash? I mentioned it to Mike, and while he didn't have time to do a full scale cleaning, he promised to do a quick bathroom freshening. I focused on the mounds of waiting laundry and breathed a sigh of relief.
That night I went into the bathroom. It still smelled. I looked about furtively. The fixtures appeared cleaner but Mike hadn't thrown the trash. God only knows what Hank has put in there. I figured that must be it and took care of it.
Later that night, I woke up to nurse Anne and stopped to use the facilities on my way back to our bedroom.
Why, why, did the bathroom still smell?! I started to worry that maybe I was developing the sense of smell of a super hero. Was it just me?!
I mentioned it to Mike the next day.
"I'm going to just clean it Saturday, the full version. That should take care of it. It's because Hank is missing the toilet."
Ok, well, whatever. As long as the bathroom doesn't smell like a public restroom, I'm a happy camper.
That Saturday Mike cleans the bathroom. We all breathe a sigh of relief.
Shortly thereafter, I go to use it.
IT STILL SMELLS.
By this point I'm pretty freaked out (I'm not pregnant, RIGHT?!?!) so I say nothing. Mere hours later, Mike says:
"Why does the bathroom still smell?"
"I don't know, but I was wondering the same thing!"
I wanted to add, "PLEASE MAKE IT STOP" but I showed remarkable restraint and kept my mouth shut. I could hardly go in there without gagging.
A short time later, the smell was so overpowering I could think of nothing else but my bathroom.
"Honey? Did you wash the bathroom throw rugs when you cleaned in there?"
He always does, so I thought it was a rhetorical question. Apparently not.
"No. They always clog up the washing machine and I just washed them not too long ago, so I skipped it this time."
"OH. *exhales* That must be why the smell remains. We'll just have to suck it up and wash the rugs. I can do it by hand if need be."
"No, I'll toss them in the machine. I'll just clear the drain real good when they're done."
Once again, I'm relieved. That *has* to be why the bathroom still smells. The next day, when I come home from work, the rugs are in the washing machine. They are cleanly upstairs a short time later. I happily go to use the facilities.
IT STILL SMELLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was just about staggering from the fumes by this point, and by time I managed to crawl downstairs, Mike greeted me with a very serious expression and doe eyes.
"There's something terribly wrong in the upstairs bathroom."
Yes, yes, I know. By this point, I'm starting to wonder if the rivers are going to turn to blood and pestilence run rampant through the land. Mike looks sheepish.
"I should have thought of this before, but maybe we should change out the toilet seat. Maybe pee is getting stuck somewhere in there."
I don't know, but by this point I was willing to do anything short of dynamiting the bathroom to rid it of the vile stench. "Lived in" I can live with. "Smells like the New York City subway station where I once saw a homeless man urinate right onto the floor" is another thing altogether.
The next day, Mike had procured a new toilet set cover and installed it. Soon thereafter, a cinnamon scented candle burned from atop the toilet tank.
It still smelled. But not nearly as eye-wateringly.
I let a little time go by, and the smell seemed to dissipate. So maybe it was the toilet seat. We've already had a gentle talking-to with Hank about the importance of proper aim. Because for the love of all that is holy, we can't go through this again.
We'll have to move.