Music to my ears

I wanted boys. If I was going to try and give birth to babies, I wanted the babies to be boys.

I was born into a family of four girls and one boy. Estrogen was the dominant hormone, and I found myself craving testosterone.

Please understand, I have nothing against girls. Honest. I like girls. In fact, some of my best friends are girls.

What I failed to see with my Y-chromosome tunnel vision was the maleness that is attached to the boy. What do I mean by maleness? Well, I mean passing gas and laughing, scratching bellies and other parts, crumbs on the counter, crumbs on the couch, stinky socks, and the worst – toilets. Shudder

Living in a home with 3 men, I am outnumbered. The super power of estrogen succumbs to the super power of testosterone. Or does it? Perhaps once a month my super power reigns, but I digress.

One night while in bed, I started a conversation with Rob. “I need your help.” I began. “I really need your help.”


“Rob. Are you awake?”

Snort. Cough. “Huh?”

“Rob, I need your help.”

“With what?”

“Toilets. Rob, I’m outnumbered. You guys – you, Joe and Charlie – are oblivious to the toilets. I get it. I do. However, this is not a frat house. I wanted boys. I had boys. Go boys!  Now, can you boys help a girl out? Please encourage the boys to flush. Please. I don’t want them going to the houses of friends and not flushing. Do you? Please, Rob. Please. Help this singleton girl out.”


As Rob drifted back to sleep, I got out of bed. I pulled out some index cards and a Sharpie. On one card I wrote, “Close the lid.” On another card I wrote, “Flush the toilet.” And, on the third card I wrote, “Wash your hands.” I got some tape and stuck the notes above the toilet and light switch. I meant business.

When I woke up the next morning I heard, “Hey Joe! Hey Joe! Come see what Mommy put up in the bathroom!”

Strategically placed reminders for my boys.

The laughter that followed left me with the impression my words would not be heeded. In an effort to let the guys know I was serious, I walked out to where they were and I said, “Joe and Charlie, these notes are here to remind you. I’m serious. Close the lid, flush the toilet and wash your hands. Do you understand?”

Really? I say to myself. Am I really having a conversation with my boys about flushing toilets and washing hands? Must these boys be taught to flush and wash? Is it a skill? Is it not instinctive?

Hark! What was that I just heard? A flushed toilet. And wait – what’s that? Why that’s the sound of water coming from the faucet. My boys! My boys! My boys are flushing toilets and washing hands!

Shh… listen. Hear that? The sounds coming from the bathroom is music to my ears.

22 thoughts on “Music to my ears

  1. In the school where I work, when you walk down the kindergarten hallway, you’ll find almost the exact same notes posted outside the restrooms. They must be taught. Good job mama!

  2. I will have to steal your index card idea. I only have two “boys” in the house and only one bathroom so it’s a constant battle of “please, for the love of all that is holy: CLOSE THE LID!” I also have to remind my son not to pee when he’s half asleep. Not a great mess to clean up the next day.

    1. “please for the love of all that is holy….” that cracked me up, Darla. Too funny! That and the visual of a boy peeing while half asleep. Hahahaha, oh wait – I guess I have to clean that up.

    1. Thanks Georgette. I see it now, “Joe, what did you learn over the Summer?” “I learned to close the lid to the toilet, flush it and then wash my hands! Cuz, my Mom posted notes on the walls.”
      Yep. Mom of the year. I can feel it.

  3. The minute I read the words, “and the worst- toilet,” I just about laughed out loud. Why? Because I’ve just barely gotten up, and the first thing I had to deal with was the ever present 3 drips of pee on MY toilet seat. I live with 2 other males, one of whom is still in training; still learning to pick up the seat!! And, he also needs flushing reminders. I’ll have to post notes and see if anyone reads them. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Glad I could be of some assistance, M2M. I am surprised how well the notes are working. Adding “Please wipe seat” isn’t a bad idea. Common courtesy and all.

  4. How adorable Lenore!
    I use to toss a few cheerios into the toilet to teach my little boys to pee in the water and not on the toilet edge or floor. You know, sink the cheerios? They can be taught.
    Your reminder cards were a great idea.
    Awesome Mommy!

    1. Thanks, GMom. I love the idea of Cheerios. Someone gave me that idea when we were in the potty training stage. I suppose it would work just as good for the AIM HERE stage. And we all know, with men, the AIM HERE stage never ends. Oh, I’m kidding guys.

      The reminder cards are working. Woo hoo!

  5. I don’t mean to scare you, BUT there’s a nasty little game my boys learned a few years ago…probably on the bus. It’s called “crossing streams.” It’s some sort of competition that involves using the facilities at the same time. Well, as you can imagine it’s quite the disaster. We now have a strict rule that forbids more than one child in the bathroom at a time. Just wanted to give you a heads-up.

    1. Ha! I’d thank you for the head’s up, Young American, but my boys have already done this thing called ‘crossing streams’. And they will never – ever – do it again. (smile) So, while I won’t thank you for giving me a head’s up, I will thank you for helping me feel normal. It is good to know my boys aren’t the only boys who have competed in a peeing contest. Seriously? Did I just say that? Wow. Men really do have peeing contests. (hahahahaha. Oh goodness.)

    1. On behalf of your wife and your boys’ future female friends I say, “Thank you. We appreciate all the constraining of maleness we can get. Though understand, we may change our mind at any moment.”

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