As we work on potty training, there are several rules that I’m trying to teach the wee ones.
1) Make sure you use a clean public bathroom
2) Don’t let your clothes touch the floor in a public bathroom.
3) Before sitting down on a public bathroom toilet, use toilet paper to clean the seat as best you can.
4) ALWAYS wash your hands when you’ve gone to the bathroom.
5) Use soap when washing your hands after going to the bathroom.
6) Don’t forget to flush.
7) Close the toilet lid, too.
8) When in a public bathroom, use your foot to flush.
9) Don’t waste toilet paper. When peeing, you only need one square.
As you can imagine, getting these rules to sink in with the wee ones is sometimes a bit of a challenge. I can’t tell you the number of times that Mister Man has come out and announced he washed his hands and then later admits that he forgot to use soap.
I suppose I should be grateful, however. Mister Man is totally potty trained, and Little Miss is working her way there (after a streak of no streaks, the streaks are back). And they don’t tend to announce that they have to go immediately when there is no bathroom forthcoming. And they are pretty good about most tasks I lay in front of them.
Flushing is sometimes a problem for Mister Man. And closing the lid doesn’t always happen, something I can blame on Daddy’s influence, of course. However, when you own two cats, having a closed lid is a necessity. When Mister Man sees firsthand why the lid should be closed, he’s appropriately grossed out and remembers to close the lid again for awhile before starting to forget again.
But I know for a fact that some of it is sinking in. When they are on the potty, both children will take their toilet paper and then surgically remove every scrap of toilet paper that keeps the sheet from being a perfect square. Mister Man has been known to throw perfectly good pieces of toilet paper into the toilet simply because the paper was ripped or a corner was missing.
I’ve explained to them repeatedly that when I say just one square, I don’t mean that it has to be a perfect square. Unfortunately, this part of my exhortation doesn’t sink in. Or at least it hasn’t yet. The good news is that the wee ones know their shapes really well, right?
And it’s better than Mister Man’s occasional habit of using the toilet paper to wipe, then throwing the paper into the toilet and only then ripping it from the roll. He does so well at sequencing stories in preschool, I’m seriously debating sequencing the potty steps for him.
But until then, how do I convince the wee ones that a square isn’t always a square?