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December  14

How About A Bathroom Tour?

Introducing Lisa Finan, our Suburban Archeologist, whose humor writing will be a regular feature of Baristanet.

Whenever the two year old is suspiciously quiet, I know she's trying to get a drink of water from the toilet bowl. Should there be a sudden surge of stamping upstairs from the four year old, he's racing to relieve himself. And, if I can't find my husband, I know he's in the "library".

For some, the ultimate home improvement bliss is a new kitchen (designed by an expensive architect and including artfully hidden storage). For me, it's all about the the bathroom. This is the hearth of our home.

Feng Shuists claim it's such a sensitive area of the home that they warn against leaving the lid up, lest the good "chi" or energy escape down the drain. I guess that's what the whole flushing your money down the toilet thing is all about.  Maybe that's why money is always tight when you're a parent. All this time I thought it was property taxes.

In our old digs, the bathroom was not only the smallest room in the house, but also the most inconvenient. It was the size of the ones on airplanes and its location on the second floor made it frustrating. With two kids not entirely housebroken, the Stair Master couldn't have done better a better job on my thighs. Although somehow I never really saw the results."Upstairs Downstairs" took on a whole new meaning.

Eventually, we moved out of the house because of the bathroom. We simply couldn't wedge a family of four in it simultaneously. Inevitably, while Daddy was shaving, Mommy was inserting her contacts. And the kids were visiting. Either we needed more bathrooms, or a larger one, or both.

In our new home, there are so many bathrooms that my hairdresser (read single) asked if any are off limits. Obviously, he doesn't have children. What mother in her right mind would keep that room off limits to her kids in potty training? Go already. And don't forget to flush. Forget them wiping themselves. It's not going to happen for a long time.

Unless you've actually got a tub or shower, by the way, it's not really a bathroom.  For example, our yellow bathroom downstairs is a powder room because that's what you call tiny bathrooms with an even tinier corner sink. Upstairs is the pink bathroom also known as the ensuite or a Jack 'n Jill for the kids. And in our bedroom is the green bathroo --the master bath, adjoined to our room. This is also known as daddy's bathroom.

If you ask me, instead of putting on a kitchen tour next year, Glen Ridge should put on a bathroom tour. You gotta go!

Readers can write to Lisa at [email protected].

December 14, 2004 in Suburban Archeologist | Permalink


So what do you call the toilet in the basement sans sink that is so common in 100-year-old homes in this area?

Posted by: Shabe | Dec 14, 2004 4:34:25 PM

So what do you call the toilet in the basement sans sink that is so common in 100-year-old homes in this area?

Posted by: Shabe | Dec 14, 2004 4:42:00 PM

It's called a "Coalman's Toilet"

Posted by: Carl Bergmanson | Dec 15, 2004 12:14:49 AM

Never knew it had a name. Thanks. I grew up in a two-flat house with coal heat, and that extra bathroom in the basement (we always called it the cellar) came in handy more than once.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 15, 2004 6:27:45 AM

Good information, Carl, thanks. Our CT has defacto become mine as I use it much more than my wife because our CT is, well, slightly more rustic than the rest of the loos in the house. I'm thinking of decorating it with tool posters and pinup calendars like something in a garage.

Posted by: Shabe | Dec 15, 2004 8:31:04 AM

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