Thursday, September 27, 2018

30 Ideas of Things To Do Besides Scrub Urine Out of the Carpet

Potty training my toddler was rough, and by "rough" I mean by Day 3 I'd fashioned a carpet cleaner holster on my belt and depleted every retailer in a 10-mile radius of paper towels like I was stocking up for the Apocalypse.

He eventually figured things out.

Of course I'm thrilled that both my toddler and my floors are staying dry, but it's triggered an unexpected existential crisis: I've been effectively fired from my full-time job scrubbing urine out of the carpet, and now I have no idea what to do with myself.

A post-potty training guide for parents who suddenly have a lot of time on their hands.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Now that I'm no longer the household CEO (Chief Excreta Officer) I'm just an idiot standing there with a spray bottle of Spot Shot wondering what to do with all my free time. I suppose I could:

Alphabetize my high school CD collection. You never know when the time will be right to throw on the soundtrack for 10 Things I Hate About You.

Do some detailed yardwork, like trimming the grass with scissors. Actually, I've spent so many years scrubbing Number One out of the carpet I'm not sure we even have grass anymore. Let me check on that and get back to you.

Sort the kids' Lego bin by size, color, shape, and frequency of use. To be clear, the kids still prefer to find Legos using the "dump it out" method, but that's not the point. The point is that it's time-consuming and I can.

Spend all day taking Buzzfeed quizzes. Sooo excited to find out what my patronus is based on my favorite salad dressing.

Comb the Internet for news articles with comment sections. Ruthlessly correct everyone's grammar and spelling.

Go through all the PTA handouts my older kids bring home. I've been too busy cleaning up human waste to read them, and even if I had read them I couldn't have donated or come in to volunteer because my wallet and car keys were buried under a pile of sopping wet underpants.

Finally finish my kids' baby books and read them out loud to telemarketers in excruciating detail. Being done with diapers makes me 12 shades of emotional so look out, timeshare guys.

Read all the emails in my spam folder. While I was hunting down suspicious puddles throughout the house, I've missed out on numerous inheritances from wealthy Nigerians to whom I'm somehow distantly related.

Train the fruit flies that have invaded the house. Next, I will Google how it's possible that fruit flies have a life span of 5 minutes but I'm dealing with them for a month after letting a banana go soft.

Become a devout follower of Pinterest cleaning schedules. This probably won't happen. (See the fruit flies.)

Lovingly stroke the washing machine and talk about all the things we used to do together. So many pairs of soiled underwear. So many memories.

Take up decorative glass blowing. I hear it's an insanely involved hobby. Plus, a house with a toddler can never have too many swirly-colored breakable things that serve no practical purpose.

Read the unabridged 1,500-page version of Les Misérables, carefully looking for personal messages from Victor Hugo.

Write, produce, and direct an original animated short about a woman who has finished potty training her kid and literally does not know what to do with herself now.

Start ironing everything. Even socks.

Master the art of Chinese calligraphy. Once I've put in the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell recommends, I can hand-letter invites to an ironing party.

Start obsessively buying and hoarding school fundraiser items. Become known as "crazy candle lady" amongst the neighborhood children and quickly amass a lifetime supply of wrapping paper.

Memorize the produce codes at Safeway and on weekends, hang around customer service quizzing the employees. And no, I don't have anything better to do.

Take night classes on taxidermy. Seriously, I have time for the entire continuing education course catalog now. Sign me up for everything.

Carve miniature donkeys out of soap. Why donkeys? Why not!? I'm done potty training!!!

Memorize all 7,000 entries on the list of government-approved baby names in Denmark. This could be an interesting conversation-starter. It's been a while since I talked to anyone but the Walgreen's cashier while he rings up my carpet cleaner and Advil.

Make up an imaginary political office and run for it. I'm talking campaign signs, door-to-door visits, meet and greets, kissing babies... the whole nine yards. I'm really not very busy at the moment.

Open an Etsy store to sell floor rugs woven with hair I collected from my hairbrush. After a week of talking and thinking about nothing but scat, my nerves are a little frazzled. I could use the meditative repetition of hand-weaving a 10' by 12' tapestry.

Embroider inspirational sayings on all my dishtowels. Because sometimes we all need a reminder to live, laugh, love.

Make mixed tapes of popular boy band music from the 1990s and hand them out on the subway like religious tracts. Today's teenagers don't know what they're missing.

Sew tiny Halloween costumes for neighborhood squirrels. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Also no. But it will probably be pretty dang cute, and it's not like I'm doing anything else.

Buy a traffic guard vest and stand at random intersections to help people cross. It's called citizenship. Look it up.

Use shadow puppets to act out the 1941 cinematic classic Citizen Kane. My son may not appreciate it, but up until just recently he didn't appreciate dry underwear, either, so what does he know?

Sculpt my likeness in butter and use it as a holiday centerpiece. Thanks to all the time I have on my hands now, I will win Thanksgiving this year.

Translate the entire works of Shakespeare into Pig Latin. It's tedious work, but someone has to do it. More accurately,  have to do something  and this is the best I could come up with. It's hard thinking up 30 activities that have nothing to do with cleaning up pee accidents after the life I've led.

Life feels different without 18 loads of laundry and a sofa to clean every day, but I think these suggestions could help me pass the time. Or some of it, at least.

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2 comments:

  1. "Comb the Internet for news articles with comment sections. Ruthlessly correct everyone's grammar and spelling." YES!! DO this!!

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  2. Huh. I must have missed the memo or you decided it was none of my business (I suspect the latter but am going to go ahead with the former) advising that there will be no more diapers in your house (maybe your own but that is decades away presumably). I am, naturally, dejected. Also hurt. Would it kill you to have one or two more babies to make me happy...twins are fine. Also, this list was damned imaginative and if this is what we can expect in lieu of diapers I suppose I will adjust...begrudgingly.

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