12 Truths About Boys And Bathrooms


Whoever said that a man’s best friend is a dog lied. A man’s best friend is his penis, and that friendship goes all the way back to the first day someone tried to cover it up with a diaper.

In my house I have cleaned up enough messes in our family bathroom to know that boys are wild animals. I say that with love. They are compelled to heed the call of the wild with every urge to whiz. What most moms don’t know when they sign up for the motherhood gig is that potty training starts on day one and continues right on through adulthood.

Don’t believe me? In the spirit of honesty and unabashed sharing I will share a dozen dirty truths about boys and bathrooms. Grab your rubber gloves and a glass of wine, ladies … you’ll need them!

1. Potty training starts the day your son is born. It’s true. The day a nurse or midwife hands you your son you will immediately be thrown into potty training. It will start with being peed and pooped on while learning how to finagle a cloth diaper or how to fold a disposable diaper into a neat and trash-ready package.

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2. Welcome to poop rodeo. I am almost certain that an infant boy trying to prevent his mother from changing his freshly filled diaper invented wrestling. The amount of wriggling, squirming, and whining that a child makes during a diaper change is like a demonstration for his right to be naked all the livelong day. In this process to be as free as a bird, your little wonder will get poop everywhere.

3. Boys LOVE to talk about their poop. Every single morning I hear at least one comment from my four-year-old about his poop. He wants to tell me everything about it from its size to its color to just how stinky it is. If that isn’t enough, the child wants to ask me questions bout my thoughts on his poop. I get it, already! You made poop! That’s great! Guess what?! I make stuff too! I made YOU! Imagine that.

4. Farting will become a full contact sport. The fastest way to make a boy laugh is to make flatulent sounds. By the time my oldest son had turned three he realized that he could make himself burb, and by extension he could also conjure up a fart in a dire moment of comedy. This hidden talent has morphed into a game of farting on people by running up to someone (me) and tooting followed by squeals of delight.

5. Houseplants that sit on the floor are potential targets for “pretending to pee outside. My poor rubber tree plant. The thing died one winter after we discovered that our son had been practicing how to pee in a bush outside. His imagination went wild when he was told that in the spring he could pee anywhere he wanted if he was in the woods.

6. Boys will discover their fun parts MUCH sooner than you think. Before their first birthdays both of my sons had firmly discovered that their most awesome body part was indeed their peen. Not a day goes by that either of them hasn’t grabbed, shaken, twisted, or pulled on their fun parts at least 100 times.

7. Peeing on the toilet seat, the floor, and possibly the bathtub will become a sport. I swear there is a secret point system to this game that no one is telling me. I find pee puddles everywhere in the bathroom and it drives me absolutely bonkers. Sometimes I wonder if the boys in this house are conspiring against me.

8. Putting the seat down will be a life long battle. My husband is 37 and still hasn’t mastered this feat of engineering: a toilet seat has a hinge on it, which makes it GO DOWN. I utter the phrase “put the seat down” about as often as my constant threat to put someone in timeout for jumping off the couch or trying to tie something to the dog’s tail.

9. Peeing outside will be the single most amazing thing in the world to a boy. The day my husband told our oldest son that he could pee outside was the same day that he realized what freedom is. The kid has peed on nearly every flowering plant in my garden beds. He has claimed more territory on our 3 acres than the family dog has.

10. Explaining why Mom doesn’t have a penis is awkwardEvery mother knows that peeing alone is something that will likely never happen in her house once she has kids. If those children are boys the inevitable observation will be made that Mom doesn’t possess a penis. Try explaining that to a two-year-old without incurring more awkward questions. Well, dear, I don’t have a penis because I have a vagina. No, I said vuh-gina. Yup, it’s what girls have. I don’t know, it just is. Because it just is. No, I can’t pee outside. Uh…go ask your father.

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11. If a boy asks for privacy at the age of four, it is because he is trying flush toys down the toilet. There is a rule at my house that unless you are old enough to know why a person would need privacy in a bathroom then you don’t get to have it. Case in point: my kid keeps trying to flush stuff down the toilet. He totally fascinated by the whooshing sound and the fact that things seemingly disappear (like his dinner last Thursday).

12. The whole world will know when you son finally poops in the toilet. It will happen one day when you are grocery shopping that your son will tell the checkout girl that he made a giant poop in the toilet and that it stunk up the joint. And guess what? He flushed it all by himself too! And then later, he will retell this story to the neighbors. If you try to make a phone call he might be excited and ask to tell his story to whomever you are talking to…like the mortgage company.

Potty training isn’t just about teaching a child to do his business on a toilet without destroying the bathroom…or his pants. It is a learning process about how a body works, social boundaries, humility, humor, and a poor mother’s patience.

Related post: 10 Things Boys Should Know About Being Men

About the writer


Follow Sarah Cottrell on Facebook where you can keep up with the fun! As a Maine-based writer, Sarah is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Scary Mommy. She is a co-author in several books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series.


Bridget 2 years ago

Oh so true! I just had to explain to my 3 year old why mommy doesn’t have a penis. He walked in on me in the bathroom (of course) and goes “OH NO WHERE’s MOMMY’S WEEWEE? YOU NO HAVE ONE?” luckily I was just able to say “mommy doesn’t have one because she is a girl, and girls don’t have “Weewees” but boys do and your a boy and so is daddy that is why you 2 have them” and of course if new thing to do is say “Oh” and walk away!

David 2 years ago

I could help but chuckle at your list. While I found it amusing, other than the farts and burps, my son is absolutely perfect – nothing along the lines of the things you get to “enjoy” daily. No yanking, twisting, pulling, “massaging” his wanker. He always puts the seat up and is literally the best child a person could want (all bias aside – seriously).

I was guilty of quite a few of the items on your list, when I was a boy, but, being ADHD, I did a LOT worse than most kids at a lot more things. I’m surprised my first bath toys weren’t a toaster and an iron.

Jason Bonello 2 years ago

AS FOR #8. Yes the seat also goes up. If you don’t want piss all over the seat then put it up after you use it. It goes both ways. i always figured that if there are more boys than girls in the house the seat stays up. If the other way around it stays down.

Diane 2 years ago

Umm…I think these are more TODDLER things than boy things!
Our daughter does most of that too!
She has been SO excited about poop…we’ve had to take pictures. :\
Fortunately, I can usually convince her that nobody wants to see them (except Daddy…she insists on that one…and it is his OWN FAULT!!!).

Teresa (embracing the spectrum) 2 years ago

And I have to remind my boy to put the seat UP when he pees, for heaven’s sake!

Justine Turner 2 years ago

Yup… and I’d add that my 12 year old has peed in the litter box and tried to convince me that the cat could pee in swirls!

jennlw 2 years ago

We put the seats AND the lids down after each use because we used to have a dog that drank out of the toilet and then would have accidents in the house because she drank so much water. 😉

One of the problems with my 8 YO boy is that he poops and leaves it in the toilet for the next user to find! Very gross discovery, especially for his two older sisters! I suspect he does it on purpose.

Heather Brazell 2 years ago

My kid and husband would pee outside all the time if they could.

Heather Brazell 2 years ago

Omg is it sad that I read this and about fell off my porch laughing having been there with my 5yr old and my grown ass husband? I swear they don’t out grow any of these

Simona Mikulasovicova 2 years ago

LOL… I’m scared :)

Carrie McEnaney Luhmann 2 years ago

7+9 so true for my 9 year old

Jessica Robinson Corbin 2 years ago

#8 – I have to say is not a problem in out house. We actually know when there is a guest in the house because then it’s left u

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Kerrie Morris 2 years ago

Lol sooooo true….I also have learned, as the mum of 3boys, that sitting naked on their brothers head and or mooning or flashing has to be genetic or something cause my little boys are constantly getting their big brother when he least expects it….bless I cant help but laugh sometimes with the sheer comic perfection…further proof that really boys are a bit of a lost cause from the start.. my best hope is to get them to adulthood with all limbs n brain function intact n that they are good men.. then sit back n let the wheel of karma entertain me in my golden years lol

Renee Puzio Troisi 2 years ago

Great read!

Jennifer L Hansen 2 years ago

We heard someone on the radio call the vagina a “front-butt” so…at a young age my son was accidentally enlightened to the female anatomy. He laughed n snickered a lot. But yea, no more explaining how boys n girls are different.

Fred Raymond 2 years ago

I had three younger sisters. I could write a similar column about what I found in OUR bathroom on a regular basis. Nothing like opening the toilet lid to find a bloody tampon swelled and floating. Or what I found next to, but not in, the waste basket as I was on garbage duty. Blood on the toilet seat was a regular occurrence despite my mom’s harping. My sister’s rooms were so messy, my mom in desperation often threw all their clothes in the front yard and hung their “unmentionables” in the trees in hopes this would change behavior. It did not. Her next move was she tossed all their stuff on the roof, which my pop had to retrieve. This helped a bit. My dad confided in me that more than once, as he came home from work, he saw the chaos in the yard and just drove past.

Anonymous 2 years ago

Why can’t we just teach boys to effing SIT?!! Seriously, save your sanity people. Great article!

Martha Horn 2 years ago


Lisa Newlin 2 years ago

So true! My favorite was the one about him being alone and flushing toys down the toilet.

Oh, and peeing outside will always be cool to boys. Sad but true.

Great post!

Faith Eichhorst 2 years ago

Cute, but 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, and 12 are completely not boy-specific. Oy, the adventures in my house.

Rebecca Louise Herbunot 2 years ago

Awesome as a mother of 3 boys it certainly rings true in some aspects in others not at all. Can’t say my kids have tried to flush toys down the loo. I also clean parts of the toilet I never knew where there

Jennifer Zuniga 2 years ago

Love this !!! I can remember when Austin was around 3 or 4 we would just leave the house and he’d insist he had to go potty. I soon realized he only had to go b/c he loved peeing outside the car on the side of the road in the ditch. Don’t worry they were secluded country roads.

Megan Corthell 2 years ago

Number 11 is my favorite!! We conquered potty training with potty prizes, just make sure they don’t get flushed. I’m serious.

Kayla Myers 2 years ago

So true being a mom and raising a boy is not easy they poop and pee wherever

Stephbo 2 years ago

My husband is 46 and still thinks peeing outside is one of the greatest pleasures in all of the world.

Sandra Fung 2 years ago


Kristen Johnson 2 years ago

Ha! Hilarious and very true.


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