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My six-year-old has a new habit these days. To get in and out of the bathroom faster -- I presume -- he sees no reason to lift the toilet seat while peeing.

Now, I always thought I had to focus on teaching the boys to put the seat down, which I've been quite thorough on over the years. But apparently, I wasn't thinking like a little boy. And so, I'm now teaching him to put it UP! The best lesson, though, was when he sat himself in his own droplets of pee on the seat. That was truly the cure-all.

It could be worse. He could have sprayed his pee all around the bathroom, as my brother did when he was first learning to use the potty -- and which mom always said seemed intentional on his part. For that one, mom made brother, then a preschooler, clean up his mess.

Or he could have pulled a stunt that happened at a friend's house during an afterschool play date. Three boys (two brothers and a classmate of one) played wonderfully for a couple of hours or so. Classmate's mom called, and my friend told her the kids were model children. Just before classmate's mom arrived at the door for pickup, friend heard a ruckus in the bathroom upstairs. Turned out more than one boy had to pee at the same time. Rather than waiting their turns, the boy who couldn't wait took the advice of the friend -- and peed in the trash can.

So, how did mom deal? Making the boys clean it up, of course.

Are toilets and boys just made for disasters? Are these incidents part of the norm of raising boys? What little boy incidents have caused you to cringe in the past and chuckle now?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  May 16, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers
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After having spent many years cleaning up pee from a prior husband and brother, I have had a new rule in my house for the current men.

If you piddle on the edge of the toilet, you must clean it up. Just wipe it with a bit of toilet paper and toss in toilet. I instituted it when my husband and I started living together. I asked him if he wanted to clean up my pee and he said no. So why would I want to clean up yours? 'Nuff said. He does a pretty awesome job of keeping the toilet clean.

When his step-son came into the picture, I asked him to teach him the same rule. He kindly did and it seems that both of them clean up any little accidents all by themselves. If anything, our little accidents come from the step-daughter. *sigh* She just turned 3 so hopefully it will get better with practice.

Posted by: Billie | May 16, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It's not just boys. When I was about 5, and my sister was about 3, Iwas occupying one bathroom and mom must have been in the other. When my little sister also had to pee, I applied logic in the way only a 5 year old can. And sadly, I really remember thinking this out. I figured, since we use toilet paper to wipe ourselves after we finish going to the bathroom, it must absorb all the pee. So I told her to put some toilet paper on the floor (tile, thankfully) - several layers, since she wasn't just wiping, and to sit down on the toilet paper and do her business. Which happened to be #2.

Needless to say, mom was not terribly pleased. But somehow I escaped mom's wrath on that one, and my little sister had to help clean up her own mess.

It may be more common with boys, but never underestimate the reasoning and logic of a little girl to make the situation work out in her favor.

Posted by: jb in va | May 16, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

this totally grossed me out. when my nephew was about 3 or so he was crazy about dorito's. well his grandma, my mom, would leave an open bag on the kitchen table within his reach. he would grab one lick all of the flavor off and put it back. so innocent me would walk by, grab a dorito and put the whole thing in my mouth. NO crunch, NO flavor, AND soft and soggy!!! GROSS!!!

Posted by: nall92 | May 16, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

How about having a class of mostly boy pre-k's!! I have 1 bathroom, 12 boys and 7 girls. All year we have been telling the boys that they have to put the seat up before going and to NOT pee on the seats. It is pretty gross.

Posted by: pre-kteacher | May 16, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Billie - you had to teach an ADULT to clean up after themselves?

Posted by: huh | May 16, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I can only say this in an anonymous forum (though I'm not sure why the stigma is what it is) but my husband sits to pee. If we had little boys, they would, too. Husband is from another country, one completely obsessed with hygiene, and his mother taught him that when you're in the home-- anyone's home-- you must sit down to avoid any accidental sprinkles. Standing up is for public restrooms only. This is because ordinary toilets are not suitably engineered for standing up, and no one puts a urinal in a private home. Hence: sit to pee. I couldn't be happier.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that although malodorous urine from a healthy individual is sterile.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

while potty training my son one thing we always taught him was to pee before we left the house. he wasn't interested & then about 5 minutes into our trip he'd have to pee. we cured that by asking him if he wanted to pee on the statue in the garden in the front of the house. he would never pee in the toilet before we left but he was sure proud of how he could hose down that statue!

Posted by: quark | May 16, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I must know, which country is obsessed with hygiene?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Not France!!!! :)

Posted by: Anglo | May 16, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Is the husband who sits from Japan? Maybe it's just that he's used to their fancy toilets with heated seat and built-in back massager. I'd sit, too, with that kind of high-tech amenity. :-)

Posted by: tomtildrum | May 16, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I had a husband that sat down to pee. It was a little strange since I hadn't known any men who did that but didn't care one way or another.

It was when I moved on to my second husband that I realized what a benefit that was... no pee around the toilet.

For the person above who was surprised that someone had to tell their husband to clean up... those men do exist.

Posted by: Anontoo | May 16, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Sitting husband is from Iran. But all his years living in France didn't break him of the habit. Sorry, Anglo! :)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same son who masturbates and picks his nose all the time? It doesn't surprise me. The blogs this week have been pretty disgusting.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm with 2:51. You and your family sound disgusting. This is definitely TMI.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Iranians are obsessed with hygiene? I never knew that. Strange.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse


You have males who can (and do) put the seat down? I'm in awe! Can they replace the empty toilet paper roll, too?

I'm not joking. In my house I'm the only female, and I'm the only one who can actually put the paper on the roller. If it runs out during the day while I'm at work, someone will usually get a new roll out of the cabinet and leave it somewhere in the general area of the toilet.

I'm in the habit of looking at the paper holder and the toilet seat before attempting to use either. If the roll is empty, I like to get a new one before doing my business, and I expect the seat to be up and to have to put it down for myself.

If other males are more trainable than mine (DH is 51, sons are 15 and 10) somebody please tell me how this is accomplished, or better yet, come to my house and train mine! Please!

Posted by: Sue | May 16, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Stacey, while your post was itself not misandry, it was practically begging for people to come in and write with their sexist misandry. Men are not dogs and the idea of "training" them is condescending and utterly sexist. Sue, you are a sexist pig. All of you women, with your arrogant condescending attitudes, should be ashamed of yourselves.

Now, let me educate you women as well: You should not put down just the toilet seat. Rather, you should put down the seat AND the lid. Why? Because flushing the toilet causes microscopic spraying of the toilet water around the bathroom. So, in fact, if you don't put the lid down but you do put the seat down, your seat will be lovingly covered with a light spray of toilet water. Too little to notice, but far more disgusting than what you're talking about.

Most important, though, if you want to raise boys to be great men, you will not engage in your sexist attitudes with them and you will NEVER talk about training your husbands. It's a revolting thought on the condition of your marital relationship that you even think that way.

Posted by: Ryan | May 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Ryan. How many women leave the seat up for the men in the house? Not many, I'm sure. If men can be 'trained' to put the seat down, then maybe women should be horsewhipped into leaving the seat up for the next male user.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Why, thank you.

I didn't realize that accepting the status quo of my household (guys leave the seat up, and don't replace the empty paper rolls) was being a sexist pig. I'm now enlightened, and shall commit no further offences against the male gender.

Hmmm. Does noticing/observing younger son's favorite water-conservation method (not flushing) also makes me a sexist pig? Perhaps I should ignore it, and let DH deal with the "floaties" and our cats' annoyance with the lack of fresh water in their favorite drinking location.

Oh, wait - the cats are both female, so their unhappiness with a resident male's bathroom habits must also be a reflection of *their* sexism.

(Oops, was that my outside voice? I should keep the sarcasm inside my head, shouldn't I.)

Posted by: Sue | May 19, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the realities of raising our terrific little guys...this was so hilarious to read, and so right-on that I had to chime in. How is it that our "perfect" little gentlemen lose all semblance of civility when it comes to the bathroom.

Thanks for the commentary!
Chris H.

Posted by: Chris H. | May 30, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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