It had to happen . . . When you are raising and writing about three boys, eventually you are going to have to write about the toilet.
Someone recently mentioned to me that I should “train” my sons to put down the toilet seat after they have finished conducting their business. Their argument was the same one we have all heard: If the seat is up and a woman doesn’t look where she’s sitting, she’ll fall in.
It’s not a delicate image to be sure, but my question is why should this even happen in the first place? What sort of world are we living in where women aren’t looking where they’re sitting? I check out every seat I choose to park myself; and if the danger of landing on a hard surface and in cold water is a possibility, I’m going to look twice.
The truth is women do look. They notice every splash, every ounce of residue, every stray scrap of toilet paper. They bring things in their capacious pocketbooks with which to clean and sterilize. They’re looking–and disinfecting–make no mistake.
Granted, in the middle of the night when you are trying with utmost care to stumble in the dark to the bathroom without disturbing your REM sleep, the possibility exists that there won’t be much inclination for observation. However, if you are male and the seat and lid are down, there is work to be done. Eyes have to be open, an effort needs to be made.
As my sons grow, I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that I will soon one day be surrounded by and sharing a bathroom with four men. The ratio itself is enough to make me think I should probably defer to them on this one. It doesn’t make sense for four people to have to adjust what they do for one person. If things were reversed and we were raising three girls, the expectation most assuredly would be that my husband would put the seat in the position that was most convenient for the most number of people.
So, not only am I not going to insist that they put the seat down; I’m actually going to leave it up for them. Will I instruct them that when they’re in other people’s homes they should put it down when they’re finished? Of course. Will we explain that good manners dictate that there will be times and places when and where they need to put it back? Naturally.
And though I know that any woman with whom any of my children may one day form an alliance may have a bone or two pick with me, I’m going to stand by this one. Believe me, she’ll have plenty more than the position of the toilet seat to bring to my attention.