Guys: we are gross.

Guys – we are so gross. For reals. I mean – I’m in a house of two gay dads, two little boys (one rather gender nonconforming) and a slightly incontinent female dog.

And I swear that dog is cleaner and smells less than the rest of us.

For example – note the above picture. That is the tiny flat part of the base of our toilet where the bolt attaches the john to the floor. Somehow, even though both kids are potty-trained and have a good enough aim, within five days, that part of the toilet is caked in…um…urine. Without fail.

I swear to you – I clean this weekly.

Until becoming a father of two “standing-up-pissers” I have never, EVER regularly (or ever) cleaned that part of a toilet. Admittedly, I lived in college apartments that could’ve violated health codes, I thought that was more about our kitchen cleanliness, rather than our bad pee-pee projection.

Seriously – what is our deal in the bathroom, guys? I read somewhere, once, that mens’ urine can splash up to eight feet.

I’m not a clean-freak, by any stretch. But: gag.

During my early NYC days waiting tables, I had a hilarious manager who cracked us up, saying, “Men, I do not know what you do in those bathrooms. But even the entitled wall street tycoons render our bathroom a nuclear waste site.”

She was right. Our restaurant was a $30/plate kinda place. And the bathrooms were regularly a million-dollar stench.

(The manager read somewhere that a coffee mug of espresso beans could absorb some beans. She placed those under the toilet. The first night she did so, someone complained. Eye roll.)

Bathroom cleanliness has become a minor issue at my kiddo’s school. Luckily, it’s not a bathroom “issue” for my gender-bender. You might recall he solved his own problem of “which bathroom to go to” by proactively asking if he could pee in the unmarked stalls on the kindergarten floor. (So proud of him for solving that issue, himself.)

Anyway, there’s been a convo amongst a few parents about having un-labeled bathrooms.

(If you have strong feelings about separating boys and girls in bathrooms, you might just want to check out, now.)

Seems to me, especially pre-puberty, a lot of the boys would have a lot to learn from the girls in the bathroom. I mean, let’s face it: girls are not “immune” from raising hell in the bathroom, but…how many of you lady-readers recall seeing boogers all over your elementary school bathrooms?

I distinctly remember being semi-traumatized by our elementary school bathrooms – there were no doors on the stalls. I mean…pooping in front of the fifth graders when you’re in third grade was definitely a precursor to lifelong therapy. But why were there no stall doors? Cuz the boys were maniacs, that’s why!

I heard through my school’s bathroom-discussion-grapevine that several kindergarten girls contracted urinary track infections, last year. Reason being they avoided the nasty boys-peed-upon stalls.

I’m not well-versed in 5-yo urinary track infection derivation, but I’d be pissed if I had a daughter in that situation. Pun intended.

But still – what about a real bathroom-awareness campaign? Yeast infections notwithstanding (no small deal, I’m aware), with all-gendered bathrooms, perhaps the teachers (and parents – duh) could raise the bar by demanding better aim and behavior in the bathroom. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?- a school-wide campaign that shames the boys into being cleaner? Progress, people. That’d be progress.

In the midst of a school yard discussion, one woman said, “but what about the fifth grade girls who might be getting their periods?”

And one bold mother said, “You know? I’d appreciate it if my daughter weren’t treated like a disgusting, unsanitary handmaid in a red robe and white habit when she’s menstruating. Why can’t the boys be expected to mature, a bit, and accept this important part of life without thinking my daughter is disgusting?”

Huh. Strong point. Very strong point.

Heck, sometimes we all need privacy in a bathroom. And there’s a lot to be said for kids crying in private or pooping in private or just having a moment of privacy. I suppose I’m a big advocate of the “everybody” bathrooms that have the European floor-to-ceiling private stalls. That gives privacy.

But just imagine the boogers and toilet paper vandalism and graffiti. Sigh.

Ugh. We’re just disgusting animals, all of us. (But mostly the guys.)

Excuse me. I need to go scrub the dried urine off the white toilet. Who knows what’s caked onto our metallic tile floor.



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