Wednesday, December 08, 2010

urine it to get me

As much as possible, I try to minimize the time that I am on the computer when I'm at home and the children are awake. When I am at home, I want to be focused on my kids which usually means that I'm spending time with them or .... cleaning up after them.

Try as I might to ignore the mess, when your feet stick to the bathroom floor, the mess demands that you pay attention.

This entire experience of working in an office everyday, has really been an exercise in growth for me. Because I've determined that if Charlie were working all day, and *I* was at home, our house would sparkle since I love to clean and I am very obsessively good at it. But the fact that my husband is home, while I'm working, means that some type of construction is constantly underway and the likelihood is greater that your feet will stick to the bathroom floor. Fact: A clean house is not a priority for Charlie the way it is for me.

That's fine and deep breathing exercises have really helped me to cope with this reality.

*twitch * twitch*

Tonight when I came home from work, I spent a few minutes talking with the children, and then I scrutinized what EXACTLY that was on the bathroom floor and how in the world it got there.


It's important that you keep your eyes OPEN and aim in the bowl and NOT at the seat, wall, door, tub or tank.

On my way to the kitchen to grab some cleaning supplies, I hopped on the computer to check if something I'd ordered for Christmas had shipped. I was on the computer for no more than two minutes, when Carolyn came over and sat down next to me, and then, she eagerly showed me the art work that she had created that day in school.


Look at this leaf!


Do you like this one, or this one?


(In six year old language, this means: MOM, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME.)

So I stopped what I was doing and I devoted my undivided attention to my daughter. For the two precious hours that Charlie and I spent with our children, before their bedtime, my focus was entirely on them and not at all on the bathroom floor, dust balls, random toys and clothes and crayons that were scattered about the .... well, just about everywhere I looked.

At some point in dawned on me that even if I'd spent my valuable time cleaning, the mess would magically reappear, tomorrow. Besides, in that moment, as a family we were happy and we laughed and everything was good in our world.

Ultimately, I decided that I really need to practice ignoring messes a bit more.

Which would be a whole lot easier if I could revoke the boys standing-up privileges.


  1. I will pass on a little game I used to fix that very problem when my son was a student pee-er (Hmmm... I don't think that is a real word but oh well) I created a lot of game pieces using 1 square of toilet tissue for each and drawing on a bulls eye with a felt marker. He was to use one each time he needed to go and do his best sink the piece of enemy paper with his pee shooter. The game worked pretty well for quite some time and there were lots of giggles from the bathroom, his big sisters just rolled their eyes when he told them he sunk it but I think they were grateful they didn't have to sit on the mess if he forgot to lift the seat which was most times. Good luck.

  2. If you "could" revoke the boys' standing privileges?

    I HAVE revoked them, sista.

    For ALL of the men in my house.

    They can stand to their hearts' content anywhere but in this home. If that somehow reduces their progesterone count and makes them "less of a man", so be it. I do not feel "more of a woman" by being on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor around the toilet.

    Voila! No more stinking bathroom, no more mommy bi*ching, everybody's happy.

  3. BOYS - I have just the one and he's 8years old and I have not yet solved this problem. Watch them as they "go". Their eyes are nowhere near the event. Ususally the head is tipped back and the eyes are drifting off towards the ceiling but it doesn't matter where they are looking because there is a strange, unfocussed look to them!
    Ping-pong balls are reputed to be a solution - the boys can aim for them, they sink if hit and they float well enough to remain in the loo after the flush.

  4. I so need to take some of this advice... thanks for the reminder!

  5. I work every single minute of my day to do what you describe in your post. Because, like you, I cringe and feel stick to my stomach when my home is messy and unclean, and I find that I am quite capable of spending the majority of a typical 12 hour day home with my 3 year old and 2 year old cleaning, tidying up and organizing. Only to have the messes reappear within minutes. It takes great effort to ignore the physical chaos that often surrounds me and to be truly present with my girls and enjoy every minute I have with them at exactly this very moment. I applaud you for making the same effort but just know that I am right there with you, eyes wandering around the house thinking "if I could just take 10 minutes to put toys away, dust furniture, get through stacks of mail/paper, etc. THEN I would feel so much happier plopping down and talking to my kids" when I really just need to focus on the time I have with them now. And my husband also doesn't have the same standards as I do when it comes to cleanliness and orderliness. Any tips on how to cope with this disparity would be much appreciated!


  6. Just post the same sign I saw at Aunt Ann's house. "My aim is to keep this bathroom clean. Your aim will help". love eileen

  7. Eileen - that is a GREAT idea for a bathroom sign and as soon as our children are proficiently reading, it's going UP!

    Veronica - I know exactly what you mean about enjoying things more when they are "just so" but I've come to the conclusion that will NEVER be the case at our house so long as we have children living here. I'll either wear myself out trying to achieve that perfection, or I'll frustrate myself in to oblivion because it's not the way I want it. How do I cope with the disparity between my husband and myself? Well, since I'm not willing to take medication and can't drink wine ALL DAY, I have to just let it go. It isn't easy, but I'm getting better!

  8. My brother is a stay at home dad (who keeps a rather immaculate home, but their kids are teenagers) and he told me that HE revoked the standing privileges. I guess HE got sick of cleaning the toilet area. In his words, "It's not a urinal!" I agree with him and while I'm usually pretty assertive, I guess I stop at telling my husband how to "go".

  9. Uh, oops. I do believe that would be "testosterone" for the men. Excuse my mix-up.