“Wait, wait, wait, let me get this straight… someone POOPED on the floor?” By the sight of the heads nodding up and down, I knew I’d surmised correctly. My mind started racing… “What do I do? Who would do that and not clean it up? How can I give whoever did it an opportunity to clean it up anonymously? We did NOT cover this in dorm parent orientation…”
Before I could answer the questions in my head, one of the dorm girls insisted that I needed to see it, looped her arm in mind, and half-dragged me up the stairs to the dorm bathroom. As I hesitantly peered into the stall, I saw poop on the ground, poop in the toilet, and poop sprayed all over the toilet seat. Seriously not an exaggeration and seriously gross.
As luck would have it, the girls had youth group starting at 7PM and before I could even decide what to do next, they all bounded out the door, leaving me staring at a disaster of a toilet stall. Though I racked and racked my brain, I just couldn’t think of a way to allow the “pooper” to clean it up without causing extreme embarrassment. And so, before I could give the idea too much thought, I grabbed a roll of paper towels and a bottle of bleach spray and headed in.
All the while I cleaned, I avoided breathing through my nose and just kept telling myself, it’s just poop, you’re a mom you deal with poop all the time, just don’t think, just spray and wipe, spray and wipe. A half bottle of bleach spray and nearly a whole roll of paper towels later, that stall was cleaner than clean, but I still had to figure out how to address the issue with the dorm.
After I spent ten minutes washing my hands, Jared and I talked and decided what was done was done, but that our goal needed to be ensuring it didn’t happen again. As the girls returned from youth group, we were sitting in the living room waiting for them, directing them to join us to have a brief meeting before bed. In my calmest possible voice, I told the girls I’d cleaned it up- making sure to emphasize that I’d used a lot of bleach so that they wouldn’t start avoiding that stall- and that I wasn’t mad, but that if something like that happened in the future, they were old enough to step up and clean it themselves. Then, just as I was instructing them not to tease anybody it happened to, they all burst out laughing and yelling… “It was a prank!” Cue. Jaw. Drop. Again.
Once again, 9 voices started talking all at once, explaining and describing their part in the hoax. They couldn’t believe that I hadn’t realized their display was really a combination of soggy toilet paper rolls and mud, but, as I tried to explain, I wasn’t exactly studying what I was cleaning up; I was holding my breath, squinting my eyes, and just trying to finish as quickly as possible. As I got over the shock, I was so relieved it wasn’t real, that I couldn’t possibly be mad and even joined in their laughter. It had been a well-played prank and a great reminder not to be surprised at the places these dorm girls will “go”.