Today, I am cleaning the bathrooms in my house. And, from a kneeling position with rubber-gloved hands raised in the air, I am once again asking the questions that have tied my knickers in a knot for the last 30 years.
Why is it that boys who can hit a round basket in a school gymnasium from a distance of 50 feet can’t hit a round bowl in a bathroom when standing toe to toilet? Why is it that men who can look up and hit a duck in motion with a bullet can’t look down and hit a stationary commode tank with a pee stream?
My guys aren’t hygienic idiots. They have learned to shower a few times a week. They change their underwear occasionally. And if I buy the deodorant that makes them smell like that bare-chested man who can ride a horse backwards, walk on water, grow a full mustache and look really good in a towel, they will smear it in their armpits, gob it under their knees and dab a little behind their ears if they have dates that night.
So, why is this particular task so difficult? How do I motivate them to overcome their urination disabilities and become pee-pee proficient?
When my boys were small, I tried bribery. I offered them what we called, “Potty M & Ms” as a reward for peeing in the toilet. We had marginal success. Even the promise of sugar-coated chocolate didn’t motivate my second son to head for the bathroom before the “I reeaally have to go” dance had him in full convulsions.
On the day I was to know the gender of my next child, my second son burst through the front door, sprinted to the bathroom and made it to the commode just before he wet his pants. As he turned to see my thumbs-up of approval, he sprayed down the commode, the sink, my shins and all four walls. I cried later that day when I saw pictures on my doctor’s ultrasound screen of my unborn child with another little water hose.
Despite my lack of prior success, I am not above trying bribery again if I could think of some catchy names for new incentives . . .
Perhaps, Leave the Commode Clean Candy? Or, Piddle in the Middle Money?
When my boys were in middle school, I began to require that they clean their own bathroom. I made their obsessive-compulsive sister the project manager and gave her the authority to make them do the job again if they did not clean well the first time. If I could ignore the fighting, crying, sponge throwing and dunking that happened when my daughter stuck her head into the toilet to see if the boys had cleaned under the rim . . . and I could . . . that worked well.
When my sons entered high school, that method fell apart. It required that they be home longer than the time it takes to eat, sleep and watch the University of Kentucky play basketball. The only things they have time to do in the bathroom now are relieve themselves and run. So, the job is mine again and I and my sponge would be ever-so-grateful if they would remember to finish relieving themselves before they start running.
I have decided that desperate situations call for desperately creative measures. I am seriously considering taking the UK over-the-door basketball hoop that my third son got for his birthday and supergluing it to the toilet bowl rim. If my guys won’t hit the bowl for me, maybe they would score their shots for the University of Kentucky. The game is called, “Wee Wee for the Wildcats” and each player gets two points every time his shot goes through cleanly. Points are deducted if a shot bounces off the backboard.
I am deadly serious when I say that my guys need to learn to play this game by my rules. Because, with the Mr. Clean on my bottle of disinfectant as my witness, I swear that if my sons and their father don’t stop peeing all over my bathrooms, I’m going to superglue some of their other things to the toilet bowl rim.