Up or Down?

It had to happen . . . When you are raising and writing about three boys, eventually you are going to have to write about the toilet.

Image courtesy of Google Images. (Our bathroom is nowhere near this fabulous.)

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.


7 thoughts on “Up or Down?

  1. They too can sit to pee thus leaving the wallpaper on the wall, the floor less like a skating rink, and the radiator less rusty.
    Or, you may purchase a porta potty, they come in various stages of elegance at an RV site or West Marine near the Middletown PO.
    Actually, staking out one bathroom just for you makes sense.

    • They are supposed to clean up anything left behind. That is a non-negotiable. However, their standards and mine may be different!

  2. In our house, we have a seat and lid down policy. At all times. Everyone has to lift and close; it just depends on your gender whether you have to lift just one or both. We’re an equal-opportunity household 🙂 A long time ago someone once commented that you would never leave any other nasty bowl of water sitting around and it just made sense to me. Besides it has helped many a fallen item end up on the floor instead of in the toilet – bottles of medicine and an iPhone to name a couple of expensive examples. Not that I would have any personal experience with that..ahem!

  3. In a house that girls out numbered the boys it was both seats down regardless of who used the toilet. And for boys clean up after yourself, or learn to set. Flushing was and is a requirement again regardless of who used the toilet

    It also kept the pets from drinking out of the bowl and little children playing in the bowl.

  4. Well Sammie Sam, You have yet again made me smile with a topic that has not entered my mind for many years. With boys in their 20’s and each having their own women in their lives, I believe that although this was never a lesson I specifically taught they learned it all on their own. Thanks for making me smile!!

    Sweet Suzzie

  5. I never had a son but, I do have a grandson almost 3 years old.. His mom, my daughter is having some difficulty training him.. He will go at times but then other times, he wants nothing to do with it…. Love the idea about putting the toilet seat down.. My husband sometimes forgets but, all it took was one time with me getting up in the middle of the night, and not looking and falling into the toilet.. All I can say is, now he tries very hard to remember to put the seat down….Your boys are adorable…… Will continue to follow you…. Thank you .. Cindy

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