Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sanitary Sunday for the Sane

No baby crying, no kids starving and no phone ringing. Ahh! The bliss of a blog moment.

Okay, you noticed my title and probably wonder what in the world would inspire such a subject. I never seem to participate in Wordless Wednesday, or Works-For-Me-Wednesday, or Kitchen-Tip-Tuesday, or Friday Funnies, or any of those catchy phrases that define the topic for the day on several of the blogs I visit. Instead, I've decided to make up my own just now. Actually, I was going to write this post last Thursday but then didn't get a chance. I never could come up with a good one for Thursday anyway. As is the custom of things put aside, I didn't get to it until today... Sunday.

I've had a heavy topic on my mind lately. A real heavy one. We could call this post, "The Topic" since it falls in such a stark category. Hopefully we won't broach this subject again, at least for a real long time, but for now I think we need to discuss the following.

The topic at hand involves a toilet. I know, I know. It doesn't get much heavier than toilet talk. Especially when I'm referring to a toilet commonly used by a little boy who utilizes his full height for something that needs all of his stature and then some. I think you agree that this is a pretty weighty topic now.

So, the fact that we have only toilet in our home and no urinal, I was desperate. I mean, I hate to be so brash in my honesty right now but I was finding it frustrating to find small puddles of, well, of THAT and realized early on that simply wiping the puddles up with mere toilet paper was probably not very sanitary.

For the record, I LOVE cleaning toilets. Toilets and sinks are my favorite to clean. You probably think that's gross and perhaps your least favorite chore. Let me assure that yes, dirty toilets and dirty sinks are gross. But, in hardly anytime, a little elbow grease can have a bad toilet looking really good. And I love it when my work has a fast turn-around rate -- you start the project and the thing looks bad; in a matter of seconds, you are finished and the thing is a shiny piece of porcelain. Unlike laundry where you sort it, wash it, switch it, dump it, fold it, put-it-away and then start on the next load. Takes forever to see progress... unlike toilet cleaning.

But, I don't like cleaning toilets constantly. I like to enjoy my progress; not keep repeating the chore over and over every time my child has to use the bathroom. I was honestly getting a little weary with the fact that my little boy seemed to arrive in the bathroom just on time every time so was only given enough time to aim in the general direction of the toilet instead of aiming precisely IN the toilet. Aiming AT the toilet and aiming IN the toilet are two entirely different things. Plus his stature is a little wanting so that makes a difference too. Teetering on your tip toes into something that is a tad too tall anyway is enough of a road block from keeping you from getting the job done efficiently. And not being efficient in the bathroom when you're a little boy is just not a good thing for whoever regularly cleans the bathroom.

As if the puddles weren't bad enough, I investigated further one day when the bathroom smelled especially ripe. I found by looking in just the right light, that there was a spray of dried, well, STUFF on the wall and I realized that a little velocity practice had been going on in our civilized house. Folks, I live in the United States of America and reside in a modern Midwestern town; this isn't a third world country. I believe in freedom but not the kind of freedom that allows, well, THAT to be relieved anywhere it strikes your fancy. It's one thing to use a tree for such talents but we do not use anything inside our home for, well, THAT STUFF.

Upon examination, the top trickles were almost 4 feet high. And my son is only about 3' tall. While observing his achievement on the bathroom wall, I had to wonder if he thought he had succeeded in his pursuits. I'm sure he was impressed but I sure wasn't.

I washed all the walls in the vicinity of the toilet a good way up and sanitized the entire toilet. I had a good talk with my boy's father, who by the way, was more than slightly amused by what our son did. Though he was almost impressed, he still promised to talk to Landon.

In the meantime, I needed to find a solution for all the little "accidents" that happened several times a day in our bathroom and have been ever since our son became "potty trained." For those of you with baby boys still using diapers, I have one words of advice for you: don't potty train your son until he is tall enough to stand in front of the toilet. In case you don't know this, potty chairs are for girls. Boys stand. Even when they can't reach, they still stand. Trust me on this. Potty chairs with pee guards big enough to contain an elephant should he try out the plastic little throne, is only deceiving: potty chairs are a girl thing. A pee guard does no good when the boy stands at the toilet instead.

Normally what I did to these obnoxious puddles of what-the-pee-guard-on-the-potty-chair-that-my-son-doesn't-use-since-he's-a-boy didn't get, was attack them with generous sprays of Fantastic cleaner and evacuate the areas with sterile paper towels. But, keeping both in our tiny bathroom and trying to stay on top of the messes with constant bathroom upkeep similar to what most people do once a week, was getting weary.

I decided to splurge: I bought antibacterial cleaning wipes instead. In no time, I can have the entire toilet area spic and span WITHOUT using clumsy paper towels, rags and a spray bottle of disinfectant that I don't have room for.

This keeps me sane, the bathroom sanitary and is even simple enough to do on a busy Sunday. Now Landon can continue to grow big and healthy and hopefully smart and tall and someday, just someday, I might actually have a clean bathroom in between the times that I clean it.

A weighty topic indeed but reality all the same. Especially when you live with a little boy like I do.


Jean said...

You could get that little boy a stepping stool just hig enough to put him at the proper angle to hit the pot everytime if he is not expermenting on how high up the wall he can aim.

Seeing as how you have another male child only three years younger you might not be free from this cleaning duty for quite some time.

You seem to have lots of fun at your house.

Tania said...

A friend of mine told me she taught all her boys (including her husband) to always sit on the toilet. They had carpet in their bathroom and this solved the problem. They are all grown and still sit instead of stand for sanitary reasons. Unless of course they are in a public restroom. (-:

bonnie said...

i'm fifteen and happen to babysit an adorable little boy that is four. potty training has improved,aiming wise, but we had to use the cherio method. you know, aim for the cherio and hopefully hit it?? Anyway it was a fun game e thought and i was pleased not to have to clean up the walls. but if he just isn't tall enough to reach, i suggest a stepping stool or just make him stand up and go in the girl's potty seat. and if the seat doesn't work you might get a stepping stool since alex will most likely have the same problem in three years!!! good luck.

Pat VE said...

My sister gave you one of the things we used (in the last century). A little stool made just the right height by a carpenter works nicely. Suggestion 2--use 2 or 3 Cheerios as things to aim at. Just do not reward success with any that fall on the floor. :-) Pat

BrittLeigh said...

I remember the times he aimed at the garbage can.... standing on the other side of the toilet. I think I discovered that (and the pee on the toilet rim and the floor not to mention the garbage can) the day you had Alex. :)

Jean said...

The extreme remedy is get a toilet like some of the ones that we saw in Germany. They have a special device that cleans the underside and upperside of the toilet seat at the same time as the toilet is flushed and the bowl is brushed. Of course I didn't notice any brushes or mops jumping down to clean the floor. They were pretty nifty public toilets in any case. You had to pay cash to use them not a nifty idea.

Sarah said...

yup... 3 year old boys and bathroom time!! What a joy.. Maybe Landon and David have been secretly sharing ways to frustrate their Mothers :). Actually he is doing better now. Our other boys all sat to go until recently but David makes more of mess doing that it seems. Any way hopefully he doesn't see this comment when he is a teenager - I am sure he would be mortified!

Good luck. Try a reward for no messes for a day or something. Or have him lean forward over the edge of the toilet while standing on his tiptoes and holding with one had onto the back of the toilet so he doesn't fall in :) All in all.... try to say sain and pray for patience and patience and patience :)

thanks for sharing about your life with all of us... you have such of way of making the frustrating and mundane, humorous. Thanks. !!!!