So today I went into the kids bathroom to grab my rubbing alcohol and noticed the shower curtain was dirty. Me, being the nice person that I am decided that I can wash it since they probably don’t realize that they should. So I pull the shower rod down and I was shocked, disgusted, and threw up a little in my mouth. The shower walls were Clemson orange. I lifted up the toilet seat and there was a black moldy toilet bowl. At this point, I was disappointed in myself because there was a room in my house in complete squalor. Cleaning the bathroom is a daily chore that the kids rotate, and I just take their word when they say they’ve completed it. That’s where the problem lies. I have learned that you cannot trust teenagers. They live to get by with whatever they can get by doing.
So today, the first two hours was spent scrubbing that bathroom. It was so bacteria and germ infested I had to take a shower when I was done. I am amazed that the bathroom looked that way. It was like a complete transformation by just having a thorough clean. I normally use all natural cleaners that I mix up in my kitchen, but today I had to call in reinforcements and use Lysol and bleach. I couldn’t take the chance that the bathroom wasn’t properly sanitized then disinfected.
I have been cleaning since I was in elementary school, but my step-kids didn’t really start cleaning until I moved in. So it took me a while to understand that chores are not something they did and it is now my job to train them. This is a battle when you’re trying not to look like the evil stepmother. My parents didn’t do the day to day chores. It was understood that because they are the providers, the least we could do was keep the house clean. And if we didn’t do our chores, it wasn’t a pretty situation. I still remember there was a time my mom was working some weird shift and wouldn’t get home until three in the morning. It was my week to do dishes and I decided sleep was more important than cleaning the kitchen. As soon as my mom walked through the door she woke me up and made me do those dishes. I tried to cry my way out of it. I tried to appeal to her motherly sidr and tell her I needed to be alert in school. I spent more time trying to get out of doing the dishes than it took t ok actually finish the task. I never “forgot” to do my chores again. I’m trying to get my fiance more on board when it comes to chores, but it has been an uphill battle. Apparently his parents didn’t make hin and his siblings do chores either, so he doesn’t understand my complaints. I have made it clear that I expect my kids and his kids to clean. My six and three year olds clean better than the 14, 16, & 21 year old combined. This is not a lie.
It has been a little over two years and I am still finding out that I cannot expect teenagers to have the same standards of cleanliness as I do. But when it comes to the kitchen and bathroom I don’t have much tolerance for dirt and grime. The bathroom is already so germ ridden that I clean mine everyday to combat germs. When it comes to a tub or shower I am a firm believer that you cannot get clean in something that’s dirty.
I said all this to say that no one should trust teenagers when they say that they have cleaned something. Check up on them and make sure they know what clean means to you and what is acceptable and unacceptable. And when they get an attitude like my 16 year old did when she came home to a clean bathroom, slap them in the mouth. If you’re nonviolent like I am, just fantasize about slapping them in the mouth.