Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Toilet Paper Fairy

I'm sure every mom goes through this.  It's an everyday, ordinary, take-it-for-granted thing, yet I am so amused by it sometimes that I feel compelled to write a post about it.  That, and I'm checking Blogspot to make sure I can post at all.  A friend can't, and I'm making sure it's not all of Blogger and maybe something on her end that she can fix easily.  Everything seems to be functioning ok for me, but I'll finish the story I started.

Because you are my faithful reader and I love you. You're welcome.

My four children and I share the second floor bathroom with my mom.  So that's 6 people going in and out, taking showers, brushing hair and teeth and, of course, doing what needs be done in the way of private business.  It's no complicated math formula to know that the more people you have using something, the more supplies and materials are needed to keep it functioning properly.  We buy disposable goods in bulk; paper towels, 409 cleanser, garbage bags and toilet paper.  That plump, 2 ply roll of keep-your-tushie-clean tissue is purchased at Sam's in great packages, to be stored in the hall closet, under the sinks, in the little by-the-toilet tissue cabinet my mom bought (holds 4 rolls), and downstairs in the supply room in the basement where all sorts of 'extras' are stashed in the event of a bomb or snowstorm or tornado or zombie apocalypse keeping us from ever getting to Sam's again.

Recently it has come to my attention that I am perpetually the person who replaces the roll when it is either at the very end with only a few squares left on it, or an empty cardboard tube completely.*  We don't use it up any more quickly than is considered 'normal' use.  My kids know that too much paper will cause problems in the already old and needing attention plumbing system of a 35 year old house.  They have been taught that, in the words of the Charmin bear commercials, "less is more".  Yet, time and time again, when the roll does at last run out who is it that is there to replace it with a new roll?  Yup! Me!

I don't mind it.  It's all part of my regular and never ending mom duties.  Sweep the kitchen.  Cook supper.  Force the walking germs to take a bath.  Wash dishes.  And the laundry! The never, ever, ever, EVER ending or lessening mountain of socks, jeans, shirts, underwear, sheets and towels that is the lot of every mom to gather, wash, dry, sort, fold and put away.  My kids help with many of the daily chores and duties, to the best of their ability.  They even thank me for what I do, on occasion.

But no one ever notices the toilet paper.

They don't notice when it's nearly out.  They don't notice it when it's just been replaced and it's a full roll.  And as I think about it, and some of the children (especially the boys) are less particular concerning personal hygiene, I'm concerned that they don't notice (or care) if it's an empty roll and I haven't gone in to replace it yet!  Oh, no!!

It's like to them, there is a magical fairy- like a cousin of the tooth fairy, maybe- who comes in when they are not looking and leaves them a new roll of TP.  Wonder what that must be like at fairy family reunions?  The dew-drop fairies and the flower fairies, and the snowflake fairies and the sugar plum fairies who work at Christmas time must take it out on the regular job fairies to no end.
"What do you do?"
"I'm a sugar plum fairy.  I bring sweet dreams and holiday joy to children.  What about you?"
"I'm a toilet paper fairy."

Who was the person who provided the last full roll of toilet paper for you to use?  Do you even know?  Maybe it wouldn't hurt to offer up a little prayer of thanks.  After all, there are countries where there is no such thing as toilet paper.  We shouldn't take so much for granted.

But as I said earlier, I don't mind being the Toilet Paper Fairy of this house.  It's my job to keep the bathroom clean and functional and I try to do a good job of it.  Just don't expect me to wear wings and wave a wand.  Unless the toilet brush counts as a wand. ;)

*I excuse my mom from not replacing the roll because she is at work from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days, and even then some days has school after work and isn't home until much later in the evening.  So, home at night enough to use it, but not really any other time, and certainly not often enough to be the one it falls on to replace the roll.


  1. I don't know. I've been responsible for my own TP needs for at least a decade now, and frankly, I think I deserve a pair of wings.

    I could take or leave the wand.

  2. (Well it lets me post comments, so why won't it let me post my blog?????)

    Anyway, yes I am now more aware of the Toilet Paper Fairy thanks to your words! Now that we have added three more people to my in-laws' house, I try my best to be the TP fairy here so my poor mother-in-law (who recently broke her toe) will have one less thing to worry about.

    Thank you, Lord, for the TP fairies of the world!