I had a list of things I wanted to do this summer. I don't love "to do" lists. Mostly they happen when I have too much to do and can't keep track of it mentally. And I prefer my life to be so simple I can actually keep track of what needs to get done in my head. (Except what I put on google calendar. Obviously, I love google calendar.)
But this summer, with the kids finally getting older (Chana asked me why we haven't done homeschool trips in years, when so much of her elementary school education was done via trips, and I said, "I haven't been able to leave the house without losing my mind in the last eight years.") and me having free time, things I wanted to do kept occurring to me until I finally started keeping a list. It is a delicious list, though. It's a list of things *I* want to do. Not as a mom, or a person in charge of a household. But as a creative, intellectual human being who wants to stretch. (Or merely as a person with some spare time. For example: "bring broken necklace and bracelet to jewelry store to be fixed.")
One thing I didn't put on the list but did come about because of this new phase of life is that I ended up training the boys to clean the urine from around the toilet. Their ages are 10 (adhd), 7.5 ,and 6 (mature). Turns out it is the perfect time of life for these particular children to learn this skill.
Ages ago, before I had any sons, a friend of mine mentioned that the urine gets intense in the bathroom and that she had to clean it regularly. So when the boys started using the bathroom, I duly got spray and kept it nearby and wiped up regularly, grateful for the heads up. Instead of lamenting that life was this way, which I undoubtedly would have done without the warning, I just accepted that this was how things were, and handled it. Whenever I came in to use the bathroom and it smelled like urine, a quick swish and swipe and everything is great.
At the beginning of the summer, I went in and smelled urine, and thought to myself, "Why am I doing this? They are all capable." I decided then and there to train each one of them. I pulled Elazar in and taught him. And then the other two, the next two times.
Get spray bottle and rag from cabinet. Spray around toilet, including front and including walls. Wipe with rag, especially near bolt caps. Return rag and spray to cabinet.
And now, whenever I go into the bathroom and it needs a swish and swipe, I call one of them in. So far they've done it about five times and I'm still supervising them. I think one more time and Elazar can do it himself without supervision, and Aharon is not too far behind.
One of my friends (who also has three boys) told me that when she toilet trained her boys, she taught them to check for pee on seat and floor and wipe it up with provided baby wipes. Another friend told me that her husband was taught to always put the toilet seat down after he wiped around the toilet bowl with toilet paper, and he modeled that for their two boys. Perhaps one day we will move on to some of that. For now, I'm delighted that when I ask one of the boys to clean around the toilet, they do so.