Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Boys and Girls...

The Difference Between Boys and Girls:

Ok, I'm a mom of 4 boys. Boys are all I've ever known, as a mother. I sometimes listen to moms who have boys and girls talk about how wild and crazy their boys are, and I wonder - do I have particularly wonderful children, or do I just not know any better, lol?

Today I doubled my children for about 6 hours, watching my friend's 4 kids while she's in the hospital, awaiting the birth of #5. My friend has 3 girls, ages 8, 3, and almost 2, and a boy age 5. The kids have been around us long enough now that they have become comfortable, so I feel that I really saw their true selves today, and something struck me.

One of the most vital differences between boys and girls lie in bathroom habits. Ok, besides the obvious - let me explain!

Now, I'm the lone woman in a houseful of men, and I have officially thrown up my hands at the boys' bathroom. 4 young boys sharing a tiny bathroom is just a recipe for disaster. I clean that bathroom at least twice a week, and I strive toward once a day. Honestly - it will never be enough. Not to share too much information about my life or anything, so turn back now if you're squeamish...

I knew we were having company this morning, so I wanted to do a quick run through of the main bathroom last night, the one the boys share and is most convenient for company (we have 3 baths, one is the main one the boys share, one is the master bath, and the other is in our partially finished basement). As I was cleaning the main bathroom, I went to empty the trash, and there was pee all over the bottom of the trash can! As in, pee on the floor so that it seeped under the trash can and I found it when I picked up the trash can to empty it. Yuck!! At that point, I threw up my hands, perhaps forever. I sought out my husband and said, "Look. You're a man. They're all boys. Girls do not pee on the floor. It is simply impossible! We may get a drip or two on the seat, but other than that, the pee goes in the toilet where it belongs. I call on the few privledges that exist, being a lone woman in a houseful of men and I tell you - I will not clean their bathroom anymore. You are a man - these are your sons! You will clean this bathroom! You will teach them to clean it, because I have tried for many, many months and it is a losing battle I will not fight. This is your job now." And my husband, dear man that he is, said, "Of course, my sweet!" and proceeded to clean that bathroom.

Fast forward to this morning. First, a caveat. I will admit to you, that we hold to the theory, "If it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down!" school of toilet habits. With 6 people in the house, if we each flushed every time, our water bill would be through the roof! It's something I don't even think about anymore.

Then our company came. With these 3 sweet girls. Within an hour, the oldest girl called out to me, "Mrs Jen! I need to use the bathroom, and whoever was in there last didn't flush! There's a wad of toilet paper in there and I'm afraid to use it!" Um - ok. I flush for the dear girl, and laugh it off. A little while later, younger sister, 3 years old, needs to use the potty. She needs a bit of help, and calls me in there. And then says, "There's pee in there!" Well, yeah, but it's ok, I explain. "But, but - I want you to flush it!" But hon, it's just pee (cuz you know, a *boy* used it last, and 9 times out of 10 they have no need of toilet paper!) "No, I want you to flush it!" she says in a mildly panicked voice. Like that vaguely yellow water would leap up and attack her while she took care of business.

I obliged, of course. A good hostess I am, yessirree!

But, as dh and I were talking after our company left, contrast the attitude of these two girls with the attitude of boys. Flushing? That's for the birds! Boys think, " I can pee all the way to the wall - isn't that neat? Look - I can pee at the same time as all 3 of my brothers, and we'll race to see who finishes - who finishes last! Isn't that nifty! He peed the longest, he wins the pee race, horray! Oh, look, pee on the floor, and pee footprints, that's kinda neat! "

I swear to you, I am trying, trying so very hard to civilize these young boys. Earnestly, trying, really! But, you know - girls freak out if the toilet water is vaguely yellow. Boys might get a bit bothered by the brown stuff, but other than that, it's all just a game, or a mild incovenience! I see now, I really do, why I struggle.

And I laugh. I laugh as I say to my husband, "Guess what? *You* are in charge of the boys' bathroom, oh yes you are!" And me, queen of my house, gets my way! :-)

Oh, and ya know what else happened? The not quite 2 year old, who is still in diapers, and thus did not participate in our potty dramas, guess what she did? She was here just 3 hours before she found the only baby doll we own, who must have been burried deep in our toy chest, in our basement play area, because I haven't seen this particular baby doll since well before we moved 5 months ago. Teddy bears and blankets, my boys are all over that. But no one has ever gotten into the baby doll, even though a couple of my guys are just nuts about babies. But somehow, someway, the not even 2 year old baby girl found this one, raggedy doll and carried it around the rest of her time here.

And I just laugh. Yes, I am the mother of 4 sons, with dirty bathrooms and only one forgotten doll. And as my youngest came out of his room at 11pm tonight and said, "Mom, give me a big hug. I love you so much!" I laughed.

Because I LOVE having boys! :-)

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