Friday, February 27, 2015

Boys & their toys

Have boys, they said. 

It'll be fun, they said.

{ok, we didn't get a say in the whole boy:girl ratio, but work with me here}

Boys are awesome. Our boys are awesome. They are loud. They are hilarious. They are adventurous & cute as puppies when they are up to no good. You know that saying 'silence is golden'? Nuh-uh. If the house is quiet it's a telling sign they are up to no good...True. ALL true.

Another truth about boys - they make your toilet smell like an alley behind the local pub. No lie. 

We do toilet checks on the hour every hour - or after each pit stop, to comply with standard OH&S recommendations. A wet toilet floor is a slippery toilet floor, & no one wants to land in someone else's pee. Or even your own pee.

I was aware that the younger (& not so younger) male species may need reminding to refine their aim. I was prepared for drips on the toilet seat & few a strays on the floor. What I was not prepared for was the proverbial showers that would dry in yellow droplets all over the seat & lid. Neither was I expecting to regularly find Lake Bonney on our toilet floor. I kid you not. I had no idea that so much wee could come from such a small person in one trip.

With four boys taking regular jaunts to the lavatory, one of whom has a low capacity, hyperactive bladder meaning he is nearly always busting straight off the mark. Some days I clean the toilet floor more than I load the washing machine.

Over the last four months or so it seemed to exacerbate, likely due to the school holidays & with now four boys using the commode on a rotating door basis. Fed up with having to resort to a towel to clean up the initial mess, going through rolls of toilet paper & bottles of disinfectant on a weekly basis I called all the boys to a toilet door meeting. Mum was serious.

Rule #1

When you go to the toilet, hold your penis! 
Many times I had busted Jack just thrusting his hips forward & then refining his aim as he went. Which was never successful, & often by the time his aim was on target he'd run out steam, so to speak. By then it was too late.

Rule #2
Put the toilet seat UP!

You can't drip wee on the toilet seat if it isn't in your way. {I didn't bother asking them to put it back down once finished. I learnt long ago to pick my battles & right now putting the seat down is very low on the list of parenting warfare.}

Rule #3
Watch where you are weeing.
How do you know if you are meeting water with water when you are staring at the ceiling or looking over your shoulder? 
To reiterate - hold & watch, from beginning to end.

Rule #4

If you make a mess, clean it up. If you need help, ask.

We went back to basics, even though we had covered all of these back at the beginning when they first began running around in jocks. With these rules {verbally back in place} I was hopeful. 
Hopeful my days of soggy socks from stepping in some one's wee were over. Wiping seats, behind lids, walls & floors with disinfectant could be done less than five times a day. Minimum.
For a few days it helped. Lake Bonney never returned & but for a few splashes here & there, it seemed they were taking their responsibilities as boys seriously. Then every now & again I would find a puddle returned, or the beginnings of a yellow shower over a seat that hadn't been lifted. I was able to rule out Ben from the offending list. That still left Jack, Blake & Will. It appeared each of them were guilty, in random order, of breaking one {or all of} the toilet commandments.

Through constant reminding & follow up checks, we're slowly getting to a clean & visitor safe lavatory. Most of the time anyway. If they make a mess they do clean it up - to the best of their ability. The seat & lid now both stay down, so if they need to pee they lift both instead of aiming over the seat. Every boy is holding their hose & watching where they are aiming - a big win.

Seriously, I never imagined getting boys to use & leave the toilet in a clean state would be such an on going drama. We were not lazy with their toilet training or have low standards of personal care & hygiene. It just seems that they are too busy & find the need to vacate their bladder a time consuming interruption to their days. So it was done as quickly & as haphazardly as possible. After all there are soccer balls to kick, bikes to jump & scooters to ride. Who has time to go to the toilet anyways.

In a predominantly XY gene'd large family two toilets are not a luxury.

They are a necessity.

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