Minivan Momologues
Illustration by David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star

Hey there! Just taking a little informal survey today. How many of you folks out there plunge into a murderous rage when cleaning your bathrooms? Let’s see a show of hands. No one’s judging. Go ahead — raise your hand.

Because I’m sure it can’t just be me.

Every time I tackle that job — which is once a week, although it probably should be once an hour — I wonder if the fumes from my anger might mingle with the bleach in the tub cleaner and cause some combustible accident that could cost me my eyebrows.

I get so riled that even my lavender-scented sanitizing wipes can’t calm me down.

Such a mess.

It’s like the Great Pacific garbage patch in there: wet washcloths heaped on the counter, hair-filled brushes and ponytail holders strewn alongside random Nerf darts, discarded plastic caps belonging to mystery products nowhere to be found, empty shampoo bottles, toothpaste smeared on the toilet. How does toothpaste end up there? Never mind.

Formerly blue hand towels are blotchy and bleach-streaked thanks to a potent pimple cream that wrecks havoc not only on zits but linens. I wonder if I should call in some microbiologists to swab surfaces and see if any new life forms have been created.

Slap a sliding lock onto the door and the kids’ bathroom would fit right in with special-event Porta-Potties. That’s how gross it is.

I spritz and scrub and shine, but you’d never know it. All that work just goes down the drain — unlike the food bits left in the sink. Once I found half a sandwich. Yes, grub sticks in braces, but that is ridiculous.

Do they sell those dental sinks with the constantly swirling water for home use? I don’t know why it’s so hard to remember to rinse out the bowl.

I’ve tried all the tricks of the trade that are supposed to minimize my efforts, tossing Efferdent into the toilets, yelling at the, ahem, poopetrators until I’m hoarse, stringing police caution tape across the door so no one can use it. Nothing. Makes. A. Difference.

So instead, I’ve dialed back my efforts. I may tell my kids to always give 100 percent in everything they do, but I’d say I’m at about the 35-45-percent range when it comes to bathroom cleaning.

I do just enough to keep anyone from contracting foot fungus but it’s a far, far cry from beating Mr. Clean in an ultimate scour smackdown.

I know what you might be thinking — make the kids do it! But I prefer to offload chores like vacuuming that, if poorly executed, won’t result in a MRSA outbreak. Learned that the hard way.

Ya know, I think I could probably write an entire series of columns devoted to how much I hate household chores. Huh, maybe I will. It is summer after all. Up next: the unbearable lameness of dusting.

Contact Kristen Cook at or 573-4194. On Twitter: @kcookski No. 3 marked the end of school by taking his much-reviled spelling book and smacking it around with a baseball bat. He even offered it to Dog No. 3, who has eaten plenty of his homework in the past year. Surprisingly, she did not participate in the paper mutilation.