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7 Apologies I Owe The Family Bathroom, Now That My Kid's A Toddler

When you live in an apartment with just one bathroom — often referred to as the Family bathroom — it tends to see a lot of action. When the people who use that bathroom include a child under age 3, a lot of that action can be quite unsavory between potty training, messy baths, and their limited understanding of the the word, "no." Our own bathroom has weathered a lot, especially since we had kids. So I think I need to speak to the apologies that I owe the family bathroom now that my kid's a toddler (and on a general search-and-destroy mission of our bathroom).

My first son (who is now 5) was a more restrained and careful child, aware of making messes from a very young age. The Family Bathroom had nothing to fear from him. But whoo boy. My second child enters our bathroom like a boozy frat boy after the party, peeing into other people's trash bins and dumping buckets of ice water on randoms. I have to be on high alert every time we are in the bathroom together because I know that my son is either going to touch something he should not touch (my razor), squeeze a bottle of something he shouldn't squeeze, splash water everywhere (from the toilet, the tub) and of course, pee somewhere that isn't the toilet.

For all of this and more, I owe our Family Bathroom a few, "I'm so damn sorry's."

I'm Sorry For All That Pee In The Tub

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Even though I go through the motions of putting my toddler on the potty seat so he can start to get used to the idea of peeing on the potty, he without fail waits until he is in the bathtub to pee. Literally every time. Our tub serves as his urinal almost every night, which is why Clorox and Scrubbing Bubbles are two of my BFF's and why I just can't get on the green clean bandwagon right now.

When you're dealing with so many bodily functions on a daily basis in places that one associates with "clean" (i.e. a nice, clean bathtub to relax in), you want to make sure you've washed out all the toilet-related junk before taking a nice soak. Is that so wrong? Still, I know it isn't nice to pee where you bathe, and I am sorry on behalf of my toddler, Family Bathroom.

I'm Sorry For Using The Bath For Other Toilet-Related Activities, Too

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This one gets me every time. My toddler will be sitting happily in the tub (too happily), singing to himself, and not being particularly purposeful in his movements. I should be taking note of this, since his bath time play usually involves throwing toys over the edge of the tub, dumping water on me, or stealing things from his older brother who is also in the tub.

Then, all of a sudden I'll hear his brother shout, "Ew! Yuck!" and that's when I know without a shadow of a doubt: there's a poop in the tub, aka the Night Ender, aka seriously-why-is-this-happening-to-me-I-give-up.

My poor bathroom. You have seen some things.

I'm Sorry My Toddler Thinks Toothpaste Is For Decorating

Once my toddler gets his little paws on the toothpaste tube and I've turned my back on him for 30 seconds, you bet he will go to town on our bathroom like he's holding some fun glitter paint and our entire bathroom is his construction paper canvas. He is the Jackson Pollack of the family bathroom (though I don't think you would deliver such high praise, now would you, Family bathroom?).

I don't think our bathroom appreciates it in the least, particularly because it is not even a nice, refreshing, mint flavored toothpaste, but the kid-friendly natural kind that tastes like stale, berries with a side of chalk.

I'm Sorry For That Moldy Smell I Cannot Get Rid Of

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Despite my many, many attempts at the "no splashing" rule, my toddler just doesn't understand what the point of a bath is without exuberant, joyous, splashing. A small splash in our bathtub is nothing short of tidal-wave proportions, and even though I really do my best (really, because I do care) to sop up all the puddles that follow every bath, there are inevitably spots I miss. And those, Dear Bathroom, turn into this horribly, musty, moldy smell that drives me bananas because no matter all the methods I have tried (thanks to Google), nothing seems to work.

Some days I find myself obsessively sniffing around the edges of the tub searching for the origins of "the smell" so I can locate the most offensive parts and douse them in Clorox spray, followed by Tilex spray, hoping that this is something I can attack and kill like an ant infestation.

Family Bathroom, just send me a sign!

I'm Sorry There Is No Longer Any Attempt At "Decor" In Here

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What do you mean the potty seat, the step stool, the multiple sacks of squeezy bath toys, the life-size tugboat, and those hooded towels that look like sharks and ducks don't scream HGTV? I'm kidding.

Hey, remember when the Bathroom Takeover By Baby began with that first "gateway" item, the ugly Fisher-Price bath tub in the shape of a whale? I struggled for the better part of an evening trying to find a nice place for it to hide in, where it would remain discrete. I wanted to be able to walk into the bathroom and be like, "What baby?" But there was no hiding it. It was an eyesore. You knew it. I knew it. And now we both know: the tub was just the beginning.

I'm Sorry You Have To Hear The Same Three Books Read Aloud Every Night

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Let me explain, though: potty training a toddler requires repetition and precision. We read the same three awful books that I never want touching our bookshelf again every night when I put the kid on the potty. Every night.

Yes, these are books that were probably given to us by people who have never met a child, or who bought them off of a street corner operation that also doubled as an incense shop, but I have forced my toddler to fall in love with them. He requires that I read each one twice as he sits on the potty not peeing or pooping. And I feel you, Family Bathroom. I know you are just as sick and bored of them as I am, but this is our life right now.

I'm Sorry No One Leaves You Alone

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Then again, we all have a reason to be in here. Especially in the morning, when my husband has to shave, I have to do the voodoo that my curly hair requires in order to not look like Sideshow Bob, my 5-year-old son needs to pee, and the toddler just wants to hang because everyone else is in here so he brings in his box of Lego toys. There's really no other way.