Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Toilet Training and June Cleaver

When I was in 6th grade and my teacher Ms Hampton told us we would all stand in front of the class and say what we wanted to be when we grew up and why I thought long and hard. All I ever wanted to do was be a wife and mom. When I stood before the class the following day I confidently reported that while some might find the idea of being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen derogatory I thought it sounded like Heaven. I wanted to be a modern day June Cleaver (of Leave it to Beaver fame), looking fabulous at the end of the day with a perfectly clean home, dinner on the table, and happy well rounded children. And while I am thrilled to be striving towards what I set out to do when I was just 11 years old, I have recognized on many occations just how many things I didn't consider when I made that statement. For example just how are those children going to turn out to be happy and well rounded? It's all up to me...

Being the mother of boys, I am always keenly aware that I am raising someone elses husband and father. I am constantly trying to engrain into their minds things that we women wish that the men in our lives understood. I want them to be tender and understanding. They need to know that sometimes a girl just needs a little something new to lift her spirits. That it is NEVER okay to just sit around and expect to be waited on. My sons will learn to cook, do laundry, clean a house, and sew a button onto their shirts. They will be grateful and not presumptuous. It is important to me that they learn to work hard and get their hands dirty. The list goes on and on. I want them to understand how to fix things. And while I hope that they do well enough in life that they are not required to do all the fixing, there are just some things that everyone ought to know.

I had one of those rounding out moments today. Garrett who is home sick again, came running in to tell me that one of the little girls at preschool had plugged up the toilet. It was about to overflow. He was in a complete panic, and his eyes were wild. He couldn't comprehend my calm nature as I walked briskly down the hall. "Hurry mom!" he yelled. I walked in and turned off the water behind the tank, and explained to him what he needed to do next time. His face was all screwed up with his lips pinched in a look of complete disgust. He just couldn't fathom bending down that close to where the water could possibly be flowing out. Oh I see so its better to wait a little longer and allow that chance of the water overflowing to become even greater and let someone else be grossed out? Sorry. At my house, if you plug it up, you can unplug it. It's your mess.

Apparrently he has had a huge fear of overflowing toilets. Especially public ones with so much water pressure. He says he never flushes any toilet until he is completely ready to run out of the room just in case the toilet overflows. I had no idea...I decided it was time for a lesson on the toilet. I took the lid off of the tank and explained how things worked. Then we got out a favorite book of ours called The Way Things Work. It picked up where my knowledge got a little sketchy. He had so many questions and wanted to run several scenarios by me to see what he should do. I think the fear has subsided. No son of mine will be found clutching his pants, running from a bathroom, in fear of the toilet water. EVER.

In sixth grade couldn't have imagined that before I got that yummy dinner on the table I might possibly spend my day teaching my son the inner workings of a toilet. Do you think June did?


Janelle Ehat said...

That's so awesome! I love it! You are such a great mom Jen!

haley said...

Oh, great, I bet that was Clara. She said she missed her recess because she took too long in the bathroom. Sooooo sorry! I love that you are trying to create good husbands. Your daughter in laws will loooove you!