We’ve all been there, the bathroom’s been ignored for too long, and you can no longer stand the sight of the scum that’s forming around the taps, and the bath toys which now seem to be dominating the bath.
I’ve partly ignored mine because the thought of scrubbing round all those awkward nooks and crannies fills me with dread, but more so because I never seem to get the chance having very two active boys following, and watching my every move. However, today like a fearless knight ready to do battle, I’ve donned my marigolds and grabbed the bleach. With two boys in tow, here is my ‘How to’ on cleaning the bathroom with a toddler, and a baby.
Parent: Equip yourself with the relevant cleaning paraphernalia, e.g. Bleach, glass cleaner, cloths etc.
Children: Point to the said paraphernalia and continuously ask, ‘What’s that mummy?‘, ‘What’s that one mummy?‘, ‘What about that one mummy?‘.
Parent: Place the cleaning products high on a shelf so your little angels can’t reach them. We don’t want any trips to A&E or worse.
Children: Try your very hardest to reach the interesting looking bottles mummy has just put on the shelf, risking life and limb in the process.
Parent: Place the baby in the door bouncer so you can see him, and clean in the comfort knowing your toddler isn’t a) sitting on him, b) trying to ride him, or c) smothering him with a teddy. Meanwhile set up the toddlers Thomas the Tank Engine train set (in a very simple oval form, I don’t have all the time in the world you know) in his bedroom. Put a kids playlist from Spotify on, and that should entertain them for the duration of cleaning. Return to the bathroom and the let cleaning commence.
Children: Baby – Bounce to your hearts content or for about ten minutes until you fall asleep (how can you possibly bounce yourself to sleep?) Get taken by mummy to cot for a snooze.
Toddler – Play with the Thomas track for approximately 4 minutes before asking your mummy for a biscuit. Eat the biscuit, play for another 4 minutes with the occasional Godzilla kick to Thomas and Harold’s carriages. Go into the bathroom and ask ‘What you doing Mummy?‘, ‘Why?‘, ‘Are you a cleaner?‘. Return to playing for another few minutes then threaten to open sleeping brothers bedroom door and wake him up. Get told off by Mummy. Throw a quick tantrum, pick nose, then return to playing trains.
Parent: Clean for approximately 10 minutes before having to remove marigolds to recover sleeping baby from his bouncer, and take him to his cot for a nap. Return to clean bathroom for about 4 minutes before having to venture back downstairs to the kitchen for a biscuit for your bottomless pit of a toddler. Return to cleaning, occasionally having to stop to check what the crashing noises from the toddlers room are. Tell toddler to stop acting like Godzilla, and to look after his toys. Return to cleaning for about two minutes, then answer various questions from toddler, ‘I’m cleaning‘, ‘Because after a while things start to get mucky and need cleaning‘, ‘No I’m not a cleaner, but sometimes I feel like I might as well be‘. Return to cleaning only to have to stop and shout ‘No‘ before the toddler wakes his brother up. Deal with a tantrum, then explain why you told the toddler off. Return to cleaning.
Children: Baby – Wake up from short nap and make random shouty noises so mummy will hear me.
Parent: Stop cleaning again on account of waking and shouty baby. Cuddle baby then check time realising it’s lunchtime. Hang up cleaning gloves in order to be a chef, and cook lunch for hungry little people. Give little people food, quickly eat some food yourself, clean little faces and hands, then sweep up crumbs and 10% of lunch from floor. Put a bit of CBeebies on for the kids, watch Mr Tumble prat about in various guises whilst you sit and try to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Children: Toddler – Whine ‘I’m hungry‘ at mummy whilst she tries to make lunch. Ask ‘Where’s my lunch?‘ a couple more times just in case she didn’t hear the first five times. Take a few random toys to mummy and ask her to hold them. Get incredibly excited when food is finally ready, then dissect it like a biology student.
Baby – Throw a few random bits of food on the floor then mash a bit of cheese in hair. Screw face up at having face wiped then stare at mummy on her hands and knees whilst cleaning up previous handiwork.
Toddler – Watch Mr Tumble in awe whilst your little brother touches everything on the hearth.
Parent: Move baby away from the hearth for what feels like the twentieth time. Finish drinking coffee, decide it’s time for round two of cleaning after over exposure to irritating Cbeebies songs ‘Show me, show me, blah blah blah‘. Set up kids for round two of cleaning. Toddler playing nicely with trains once again, and baby happily playing with annoying ‘I’m a friendly lighter bear‘ toy. Marigolds on cloth in hand time to tackle the rest.
Children: Toddler – ‘Yey! Show Me, Show Me is on. Aww Mummy’s turned it off. Nooo. Oh well more trains. Sounds good to me‘.
Baby – ‘What is this annoying bear thing? You’re a friendly what?‘
Toddler – Take a huge dump in nappy then proceed to run around mashing it up without announcing it to mummy.
Parent: Whilst cleaning, get a whiff of what can only be described as dog food mixed with turnips and old cabbage. Sniff baby’s bottom like a trained police dog, no sign. Ask toddler if he’s done the deed to be welcomed with denial. Chase after toddler and change said nappy trying hard not to gag. Happily return to the bleach smell in the bathroom and complete cleaning with no further interruptions.
Children: Take various toys into the bathroom and mess room up as soon as it’s been cleaned.
So there you have it, a simple step guide to cleaning your bathroom with a toddler and baby in tow. A stark contrast to the hour it used to take me pre-children. It’s ironic that pre-children, the bathroom was probably in less need of cleaning, but got cleaned twice, if not three times more than a post children bathroom. It just goes to show the lack of opportunity and increased amount of effort that’s required, can really hamper my desire for a sparkly clean bathroom.
It may have taken me half the day, but by George it looks clean now, unfortunately the same can’t be said about the rest of the house.
It’s a constant cycle. Sigh!