Do you see this clean toilet?
I’d like to take credit for it, but I can’t, because I didn’t clean it.
My 6-year-old did.
I was drawing a bath for Colt when he said, “Mommy, I cleaned that potty earlier.”
“You did what?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“It was REALLY gross,” he said, making a disgusted face. “So I took that brush over there (pointing to the toilet wand) and I scrubbed the potty.”
My first thought was….
HELLLLLL YEAHHHHHH!!!!!! My 6-year old can scrub toilets, this is UH-MAZING!!!!!!!!!! What else can he do?! Pack his own lunch? Wash the windows? Mow the lawn?
I’m ready to start subcontracting out the labor around here!
My second thought was, “Damn, I suck.”
My child doesn’t even have a clean toilet to use.
His toilet is so gross, he felt compelled to clean it himself.
Like those feral children you see on the news, left alone for hours on end, forced to survive on potato chips and dirt, because their mother is a hooker.
I’m not even a hooker.
I work part-time behind a desk.
What am I doing that I can’t even provide a clean space for my child to urinate?!!!!
My third thought was, I wonder if he washed his hands afterward? Most likely not.
I pictured him squishing and splashing the poo water around. Filling up his water guns. Taking his lego mini figures for a dip.
There is definitely E. coli everywhere.
The germaphobe inside me was FREAKING. OUT.
I’m pretty sure I saw a viral blog post just last week of a boy who was playing in a toilet and drank the water and died. How could his mother have been so negligent?!
But instead of verbalizing any of these thoughts…
I swallowed and said, “Great job buddy. That really helps me and dad out a lot. Thank you.”
I didn’t say, “Damn straight kid! Bout time you started pulling your weight around here!”
I didn’t say, “I’m so sorry you had to do that. That’s mommy’s job, and I haven’t been doing very good at it lately.”
I didn’t say, “Oh my God. Did you splash poo water around? Did you sanitize your entire body afterward? Don’t ever touch that yucky toilet again! It’s a death trap!”
Trust me, I wanted to say some weird combination of all that.
The exhausting thing about being a mom is not the hard labor involved. (Given my dirty toilets, I’m clearly not doing much of that anyway.)
The hard part is trying to figure out what you should, or shouldn’t say, in any given situation in order to NOT fu@k up your kid.
And in addition to not fu@king them up, you actually want them to be nice. And responsible. And not entitled.
You want them to do things like take the initiative to clean the toilet when it needs to be cleaned.
Without a trophy. Without a lecture. Without an apology.
You want them to clean the toilet when it needs to be cleaned just because it’s dirty, and it’s nice to use a clean toilet.
Hey…..maybe we’re doing something right after all.