Family / Kids / Parenting

The Boys in the Bathroom


Apparently, there have been numerous (which is a journalistic-sounding way of saying I have no idea how many) studies done on the impact of same-sex marriage. The impact of same-sex marriage on children. On society. On the law. But I have yet to find a single study, or even a polling question, that discusses the impact of same-sex marriage on bathrooms. (Okay, this conversation has a decidedly male slant, so all you same-sex married women can go ahead and duck out for a bagel or a few Craisins at this point.)

See, we have ourselves a modern-day all-male household up in here, and so the bathroom becomes a very, um, special place. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for universities that have a Queer Studies Department should designate a class entitled “Intermediate Loo: A Survey Course.” Bet it’d fill up in the first six minutes of registration.

I presume you all know where I’m going with this line of inquiry: why in hell boys can’t seem to pee into the goddamned center of the toilet, and the effect this has on the ambience of the bathroom and surrounding area. And by “surrounding area” I mean our house. This unmistakable fragrance isn’t particularly alluring, unless you have fond memories of hanging out in the back alley of a strip joint on a breezeless August night. And it’s not even happening because of a toilet leak or something, which would’ve been way easier to get remedied-just call in the experts from Drain Masters Plumbing or its likes and have the toilet fixed. Ta-da! The stench of ammonia was gone. But this unique problem, unfortunately, is something that no plumber can fix. I can tell you for a fact that when the Bed Bath and Beyond people see me coming, they roll their eyes and intone, “Oy. Here comes that scented candle fetishist again.” Not to forget, water logged in the bathroom can also cause plumbing issues, such as pipe rot and clogging, which is unavoidable if kids keep splashing. This can also increase the chance of having to hire a plumber for fixing bathroom problems.

Now, I’m guessing that in all-female homes they probably just Gorilla Glue the toilet seat down and call it a day but our singularly XY chromosome predicament is getting our sons to put the seat UP. Because it makes the hole bigger. Which incrementally increases the odds of at least SOME of the urine making it to where it’s supposed to end up. But the scenario usually goes something like this: I pass by the bathroom in which I see one of the boys – it doesn’t matter which, they’re both equal-opportunity splashers – whizzing with the toilet seat down, at which point I say (okay, shriek) “Put the seat up!” Which they do. Mid-pee. Without halting the stream. Now’s the point at which you can do your little visualization exercise. Suffice it to say I need to use the best bathroom cleaning products I can find in order to take care of the damage. This fixes the issue for the time being, but it doesn’t mean that the larger problem is solved.

And here comes the punch line of the story. Little boys grow up to be men, and in so doing, their coordination improves, their understanding of the nuances of shared space improves, and their consideration for their fellow citizens improves. Not always, as you tend to read about the conditions that single men tend to live in, full of dirty sinks and moldy bathrooms that only professional Advanced Restoration companies can fix. But alas, it is harmful to the self at least, and not others, mostly. In fact, we tend to mature in many ways…save for one.

Yep. The only difference between little boys and big boys is the quantity of fluid waste that decorates the room.

And what have we learned? That the next time we go toilet shopping, we select one that comes in yellow.


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