To My Dear Sons,
I love you more than my own life. There’s probably not much I wouldn’t do for you, including giving you that last bite of my ice cream. I mean … if I’m stupid enough to eat something yummy in your presence instead of hiding behind the bathroom door like any sane mom would do, I figure it’s fair game and I should probably just give up and share.
I’m a good mom … mostly. I lied and told your father the cat knocked over his genuine made-in-Bavaria beer stein.
I helped you clean up the Lego minefield that you artfully built in our living room. The one that was “too hard” to clean up when I decided to be the buzzkill who wanted to vacuum.
I consistently stretch “five more minutes” into at least 10 … usually 15 so you can continue doing important stuff like watching the end of Mickey Mouse Club House. You have that funny nightly ritual of busting out your own special dance moves to the “Hot Dog Hot Dog Hot Diggity Dog” song. I respect the dance moves, little dudes.
My dear sons, I realize that physics classes are far in your future, although maybe this is a good time to share that your mom got an “F” in freshman general science, so please set your expectations low for homework help in a few years, m’kay? But I have figured out two things about boy peeing:
1. Your penile appendages are much, much smaller than the circumference of the toilet bowl.
2. When urine is exiting your body, keeping said body positioned firmly in front of the potty greatly decreases your chances of unplanned sprayage. Is sprayage a word? I’m not sure.
There are many aspects of being a boy mom that I love. I never have to worry about epic battles over ponytails versus French braids. My ego thrives on hearing “Mommy, you pretty” on days when I make zero effort on my appearance. Maybe flattery is a tactic to keep me from noticing that there are 36 Nerf darts on the entryway ceiling … yeah, the one I need the 12-foot ladder to clean. I love the cuddles, the giggles and the way you make getting filthy dirty look like so much fun.
But I do not love cleaning up pee. Boys, get it together.
I do not love that “boy bathroom smell” I’ve become all too familiar with. Moms of the penised, you know what I’m talking about. That funky smell that a truckload of Clorox wipes will never get rid of. The smell that my best Yankee candle might temporarily mask if I weren’t afraid to leave an open flame in the general vicinity of small boys.
It’s an age-old question: how does liquid coming out of a small orifice not land in the very large (relatively speaking) round bowl of water? After observing your bathroom habits, I now understand how the little pee puddles magically appear on the floor with great regularity. And yes, my darling children, I understand that your brother is always the guilty party and that I’m incredibly silly for asking questions like “who did this?” or “who forgot to flush?”
Here are some pee-moves that I’ve witnessed that greatly detract from your goal of a perfect aim – it is a goal, right? Humor me and pretend you’re trying.
1. Turning around mid-stream in an attempt to see the television show in the next room or to see if your brother is playing with your toys. Keep your eyes on the road ahead of you, my sons.
2. Playing Angry Birds while trying to pee. I appreciate the initiative to try and multitask but … no. Just no.
3. Peeing is not a two-man operation. You do not need to take a wingman into the john with you until you are much, much older and I’ve had a chance to fully explain bar etiquette. Having too many cooks in the kitchen increases the chance that some of the soup (ahem) will not end up in the pot.
4. Peeing in hours of darkness without turning on the light doesn’t help your odds of hitting the potty. I know you’re brave kids that have conquered your fears of creepies that go bump in the dark (for the most part). Indulge your mom and turn on the lights so you can see where you’re aiming that thing.
5. Pulling on your “little friend” and attempting to make any sort of whirly, swirly, curly design as your urine stream hits the water. There is a place in your life for creativity. That place is not the bathroom … at least not for a really long time. If you wanna be creative, go find your damn crayons and keep that thing pointed downrange.
I’m sure you will grow up to be wildly successful and confident men that will marry women that will buy me really expensive gifts on my birthday and at Christmas to show their gratitude for raising such fine specimens. I don’t want to be getting covert stink eye at the dinner table every Christmas because I didn’t make sure you knew how to pee in the pot at least 86% of the time. So please absorb the wisdom in this pee manifesto … and don’t forget to flush!
This article was originally published on