Cursed bathrooms, noisy drains and the complexities of pandemic living make this family’s shower schedule complicated. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Cursed bathrooms, noisy drains and the complexities of pandemic living make this family’s shower schedule complicated. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Hop into spring with a refreshing shower — if you plan it right

Coordination is required to avoid disrupting hubby’s work meetings and son’s schoolwork.

Battling over shower schedules is nothing new in the history of American families. Who gets to go first? Will there be enough hot water? Don’t forget the infamous shout: “I need a towel!” But the pandemic has added a few more sudsy layers of complexity in my house.

For the past year, my husband has worked from home in our bedroom. His meeting schedule can last from 6:30 in the morning to late at night. The poor guy spends most of his waking hours sitting next to our dresser, staring at multiple computer screens and trying to ignore the noise of every kid in our neighborhood screaming on their backyard trampolines.

I have a lot of sympathy for him, really I do, except when I need to shower after a sweaty morning workout. No way do I want to photobomb his Zoom meeting, so I slink behind him, army crawling across the floor, until I reach the bathroom. When I stand in front of the sink I’m still visible on his screens. That’s why I bring all of my clothes with me into the shower so that I can emerge fully clothed and not accidentally flash someone.

Notice I clarified “morning” workout. I can only use the master bedroom shower between the hours of 2 and 11:30 a.m. Afterwards, the shower makes my son’s room — and this is a direct quote from my teenager — “completely unusable!” He can’t hear his online school videos over the sound of the water running. During the morning, he’s still asleep and the shower is fair game. But at night he needs to be able to concentrate on his school work.

Luckily, our house has two showers. Unluckily, our hallway bathroom is cursed. Long-time Herald readers might remember that on Christmas Eve 2015, our upstairs toilet overflowed and rained down “level three contamination water” all over our kitchen table. I don’t recall the exact total, but I believe the insurance company spent over $19,000 in repairs. The water had seeped through the heating vents and into the laundry room as well. The linoleum needed a special asbestos abatement professional to rip it out.

Thanks to the poopapocalypse, our hallway bathroom is relatively new. For some reason however, the bathtub/shower combo is slow to drain. My daughter hates using this shower, and I don’t blame her. After two minutes of showering, the water rises ankle deep. The last time I called a plumber, he up-sold me on $1,800 worth of things to have done on the house, plus he talked me into spending an additional $200 on magic blue enzyme liquid that was supposed to clear out drains. Spoiler alert: the blue liquid doesn’t work.

“Why won’t you call the plumber?” my daughter asks when she stomps out of the hallway bathroom.

“Can you keep it down?” begs my son. “I have a test.”

“Ahhhhhhhhh!” scream the kids on the backyard trampolines.

“Don’t worry,” I say, as I lug the container of blue liquid out of the laundry room cabinet. “I can fix this.”

Nope. Actually, I can’t.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Pinto greens and beans, in this case, spinach, is a Hispanic take on a favorite Pittsburgh Italian dish. (Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS)
The classic Italian ‘beans and greens’ gets a Latin spin

A charred tomatillo salsa adds a bright and zesty finish to this traditional comfort food.

Ancient White Park cows belonging to Burt Degroot Wednesday afternoon on a pasture on Ebey Island April 1, 2020 (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Snohomish rancher raises an ancient breed of cattle

The distinctive British horned livestock have been around since the Middle Ages.

Public Health Essentials! (Snohomish Health District)
How employers can help defeat this pandemic through vaccination

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

According to Toyota, the 2021 Sienna minivan’s front design was inspired by the Shinkansen Japanese bullet train to impart a sleek, speedy and confident appearance. (Manufacturer photo)
2021 Toyota Sienna might be a game-changer for minivans

All new from the ground up, this fourth-generation version is styled to the nines. Seriously.

A pile of shoes by the front door can be annoying, but it is also evidence of loved ones living together under one roof. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Remembering to cherish the things a mom takes for granted

Here’s to the noise, the mess and the laughter that fills life between now and when the kids are grown.

Dr. Paul on battling adversity when it feels like a ‘dark night’

The Dalai Lama says: There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done — yesterday and tomorrow.

In the Netherlands, pot users go to coffeeshops — not jail.
A coffee shop conversation about marijuana in Amsterdam

If you pass a shop in the Netherlands full of plants displaying a Rastafarian flag, it doesn’t sell much coffee.

TAP Air Portugal rescheduled my flight — can I get a refund?

TAP Air Portugal reschedules — and then cancels — John Schmidt’s flights. He wants a refund, but the airline is offering a voucher. Who is right?

Eric Adler, the mystery man who is on Twitter as @EdmondsScanner (E. Wong)
Revealed: The mystery man behind the @EdmondsScanner tweets

He’s a 50-year-old mail carrier who dusted off his English degree to curate 6,000 tales on Twitter.

Everett Public Library presents “Introduction to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest” April 13 via Crowdcast. (Herald file)
Outdoors classes and activities around Snohomish County

The listings include Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest updates and REI Lynnwood workshops.

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Potting Shed Creation's seed starts are the ideal way to get your plants growing. (food52.com)
The 14 must-have tools for both new and seasoned gardeners

OK, so you didn’t plant that pandemic garden in 2020. Here are the best tools and essentials to get you planting this spring.