Friday, February 25, 2011

Just roll with it

This ran in several Patches, including my home page, Hellertown/Lower Saucon. Did I mention what an awesome editor Josh Popichak is?

I have three fully capable children, not hampered by any type of physical impediment. So why can't they replace the toilet paper?

Instead, they take a roll from the nice little stand next to the toilet, and deposit it on the vanity, where it gets wet from the sink and ultimately, half the roll is of no use.

These are the same children who have taught themselves to play musical instruments, learn complex graphic arts programs, played complicated video games, researched in depth technical papers for school, and taught themselves to knit adorable hats and mittens. But apparently that little spring mechanism is rocket science to them.

And Heaven forbid that they run out of additional rolls on the handy little toilet paper caddy.

I've been amazed at what they do to avoid going into the hall closet, get out one, just one roll, return to the bathroom, and place it on the dispenser. It's as if the hall closet is some foreign land being guarded by the Marines; if they dare open it, death will come swiftly and surely. I've actually gone into their bathroom to find an empty toilet paper dispenser and an expensive box of Puffs Plus roosting precariously on the sink. And three rolls on the caddy.

You have to understand; in order to get to the expensive box of Puffs, you have to bypass the hall closet, where the regular toilet paper is stored, go into another room, walk back, again passing the closet that houses the proper paper, open the plastic shrink wrap and rip the cardboard off the top of the box, and move objects around on the vanity in order plop the Puff's container down.

One time, I decided to conduct a little test. I purposely didn't add the tissue to the handy little stand, which was well within reach, of the, um, "throne".

Next, I took the lone box of Puffs from the living room and put it into my bedroom on my make up table, behind my mirror, camouflaged by tubes of makeup and assorted creams. And waited.

Sure enough, days later, I went into the bathroom, and there sat the box of Puffs. I went into my room, thinking that perhaps they'd found another box somewhere in the house, but no, no; they found the box that I'd hidden. Again, they bypassed the hall closet at least twice in their efforts to avoid attaching a roll of toilet paper to the dispenser.

I've spoken to other moms who seem to have the same problem with their very own minions. One friend, Andrea, finally gave up, and purchased a pole style dispenser, and miracle of miracles, a new roll showed up on the peg. Needless to say, she's elated.

Moms rejoice for the littlest things.

There's also a lack of basic skills with other bath room tasks. It's like some unwritten law that all kid types abide by. I've had to replace a bar of soap that technically can no longer be called a bar. I think the more accurate description is a sliver, so thin that you can read the paper through it.

The pricey hand soap pump that was purchased to match the d├ęcor of the bathroom has called the shower stall home more times than I care to admit. So apparently, cardboard soap boxes vex them as well. What makes it worse is that it's made of porcelain and should it break, the result would be an even pricier trip to the emergency room.

What is it about common bathroom and household functions that turn our kids into cavemen, struggling to light a fire?

One time, one of the ferret's toys ended up in the middle of the stairs. I began to bend down to retrieve it, when I had a thought. Why not leave it there and see how long it takes before one of my kids picked it up. At the very least, Ferret would play with it and it wouldn't be there much longer.

The toy was smack dab in the middle of the stairs, in the middle of the tread. The kids would have to step to the side while clinging to the banister in order to avoid it. I was truly optimistic that one of them would move it.

A week later, I finally picked it up.

I was baffled. I could only imagine the Olympic worthy feats they probably employed; hurdling, pole vaulting, tight rope walking, and swan diving were tops on my list of imagined tactics they'd utilized. They'd had to have done something, accessed some kind of other worldly skills, just to keep from picking it up. I even pictured myself holding up score cards.

On the bright side, they really did teach themselves to play musical instruments, and do all that other stuff I told you about at the beginning of my little rant. And they're good kids, making sure that Mother's Day doesn't go unnoticed, for both me and their grandmother. They're quick with a hug, and for the most part, don't mind running to the store and doing other things around the house. Heck, I've even trained them to do the laundry!

I'm continuing to hope that at some point, they'll be able to figure out that befuddling little spring. If not, I can only imagine the phone call in the middle of the night after they've moved out. "Mom, can you come over and put toilet paper on the roll?" I'll laugh really hard.

And then I'd go.


  1. Aw, thanks for the compliment! Did I mention what an awesome writer you are? :) Keep it up!

  2. It happens all the time especially if you have kids. Cleaning the bathroom is a tedious job indeed.


The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
She was pretty dumb.