A few months ago, my parents invested in a bidet seat. Yes. A bidet seat. It’s a toilet seat that functions as a bidet.
Did they put it in the master bathroom, right off of their bedroom? No, they put it in the downstairs bathroom, the one everyone uses when they have parties and gatherings or even just neighbors stopping by. Further, they encourage people to use it. Like, “Hey, before you go in there, let me tell you about our cool, new toilet seat! You can get a mini shower and an air dry! Not to mention, the seat is heated! We hope you enjoy it.”
I’d like to say that nothing in my parents’ house, my childhood home, is weirder than being accosted about the function of their bidet/toilet seat before you go do your business, but I would be lying. Oh, what a strange house it is.
Of course, they also want to know how you liked it after the fact. When you rejoin the group, no matter how big the dinner party or whatever, my dad will ask in front of everyone, “How did you like it? Did you test out the water feature? How about the air-dry? We love it!” So you get maximum embarrassing questions and too much information about my parents’ bathroom habits all in one shot.
This is not the first, nor will it be the last, strange piece of technology, furniture, or household item my parents have invested in. Shoot, even their house is a testament to being different – it is frequently mistaken for the airport office (though who in their right mind truly believes that Ilwaco, Washington’s 2000 ft runway requires an office, I don’t know) because it does not look like the more traditionally-shaped homes around it. No, it’s all kinds of weird. My mom’s countertops are yellow. The entire house, both floors, are covered in linoleum. They have a small, lighted runway and a compass rose inlaid into that linoleum. Did I say small? I meant 8 feet long. Instead of using a regular coffee pot, my mom has a weirdly-shaped percolator that once it comes apart so you can drink the coffee in the bottom half, the top part can’t be set down anywhere except in a second pitcher. To me, that involves a lot more hassle than it’s worth to make coffee. Sometimes they cook dinner on a block of superheated salt set up on a campstove in the dining room. I could go on.
Let me clarify: I love my parents, and they should be able to buy whatever makes them happy. Truthfully, their attraction to household oddities explains a lot of my personality, and I have as much fun as they do with most of their weird possessions. Most.
The first time we went to that house with their new bidet seat, sure, I tried it. But I certainly didn’t feel clean after being blasted with water, and the air dry, in order to fully dry my nether regions, would have taken forever. So I forego most aspects of the gadget and I enjoy the heated seat instead.
However, a few months ago, during that first trip after bidet purchase and installation, I heard a shriek! and a certain 3-year-old began to cry, issuing great sobs of fear from the bathroom. Oh, can you imagine? He had, of course, gone to go poop on the toilet and then grabbed the remote control to operate the water and air dry. Except his little butt isn’t where the bidet seat is pointed and that kid, well, he got a bit more than he bargained for. I’m pretty sure we had to do an entire wardrobe change because there he was, screaming at the top of his lungs, tear-streaked, poopy butt, and covered in toilet water that had sprayed him from head to toe. I’m not sure he had any idea what he was touching when he picked up that remote.
Now, when he’s in the bathroom, he tells me, “That’s a no-no touch, right mom.” Right, kiddo. I’ve tried to teach my parents to childproof, and you would have thought that the incident of the pepper spray would have convinced them, but here we are again.*
*Did I tell you about that? I can’t remember. And I just can’t bear combing through the archives right now. Suffice to say, pepper spray is pretty nasty stuff and shouldn’t be left where toddlers can reach it.