While at the library the other day, I read a really cute book called Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown. When I returned home later that day, I realized something.
Children also make terrible roommates.
Since one of my child roommates is male, my toilet is covered in pee all the time. So is the floor around the toilet. Often, my children leave the toilet clogged without bothering to tell me. I usually notice the stench before I see evidence of the crisis. My children also have some sort of secret power for sensing when I clean the bathroom so they can immediately go mess it up again. At this point in my life, I have given up on ever taking a bath because it’s too much work to move all the toys out of the tub first.
I have finally managed to get my children to wash their hands before eating, but they manage to leave soap streaks all over the sink. The hand towels end up dirty, wet, and crumpled up on the floor. I also find dirty underwear left in the sink on a regular basis. Children also seem to throw up about as much as your old college roommates did. I’m just glad that I no longer have a pail full of dirty diapers making my bathroom smell like a portable toilet.
I am usually reluctant to even enter my children’s bedrooms because they are so dirty.
I’m not sure how such small little people can accumulate so much useless junk, but they seem to be experts. It’s often difficult just to walk through their bedrooms to their beds. I’m also convinced that the only reason there haven’t been any bugs in their rooms is because they are so thorough about eating all their food before hiding the wrappers under their beds. One time, I even found a random container of pee in one bedroom because my child roommate was either too lazy or too scared to go three feet down the hall to the bathroom. One of my children put up an entire wall full of stickers while the other child plucked off all the wallpaper that I had so carefully applied. My children have also managed to coat their rooms in petroleum jelly, which leaves a long-lasting, greasy reminder.
Children also make terrible roommates because they leave their possessions all over the house. Small, hard items, such as blocks or toy cars are usually found by a parent’s bare foot, often in the middle of the night. If anyone wants to use a sofa, chair, or table in my house, they must first move a giant pile of child debris. Not surprisingly, these same messy children often seem to have lost toys. Invariably, they accuse each other or me of taking them. Socks also seem to disappear with alarming frequency. I often find them in the sofa, under a bed, or somewhere even more random, like inside a dollhouse. The unpaired sock pile is growing into a mountain these days. Once, my children left their sidewalk chalk out in the rain and were shocked when it all melted away.
If you live with children, you should probably hide all of your nice things. If not, they will be destroyed.
My children have managed to use crayons, markers, pencils, stamps, and paint over so many surfaces of my house and furniture. Sometimes the stain comes out, but often it doesn’t. When my children were little, they would fling food from their high chairs all over the floor. Now they just drop crumbs all around the table and wipe their dirty hands and faces all over unsuspecting walls, furniture, and bystanders. My children have managed to break a ceiling fan, a lamp, a jewelry box, and countless toys, of course. They also have a terrible habit of ripping the weather stripping off doors.
Child roommates also have a strong tendency to borrow your things without asking first. And they never return the items later.
Despite all these terrible habits, I have a suspicion that I will miss my children terribly when they move out and I am left with an empty nest. Then again, I’ll still be stuck with one of that species of only slightly less messy roommates more commonly known as a husband.