I managed a house full of boys most of my life. With one girlie sandwiched in between them all.
I know boys and toilets.
There’s a lot about boys and toilets ya’ can’t help. Due to their being boys and mom’s being a girl, they tend to object about being checked on very much. Although I would barge in on them if I thought it necessary, and they knew I would.
And sometimes it was plumb necessary. No pun.
When you find incriminating puddles and sprays all over the bathroom they use—well, let’s just say it wasn’t their sister’s doings. Nope.
They might even all deny it, but they all knew I knew one of them did it. Or two.
If I tried drawing their dad into the debates about who would clean up all that mess, he’d chuckle and tell them to mind their mom. Not too convincing, he.
Usually, I made them clean it up, and then maybe made them go back over it because it wasn’t clean enough, and then when they were not looking, I’d get in there and get it clean. I mean, what’s a mom for, if she cannot tell the difference between boy-clean, and clean?
Most of the time, these guys were pretty good. Really. They hung up their towels and draped their wet bath mat over the tub to air out, and flushed when necessary. Not bad for a small herd of ‘em.
There was one thing, though, that they seemed unable to do: They never let me know when their bathroom was almost out of toilet paper, so I could buy more, so the whole house could have enough.
Mind you, they understood the concept of helping keep the grocery list up to date. They never failed to let me know when the cold cereal was low, for instance, and eventually they learned to let me know when their deodorant was low. They actually wrote these entries on the list, themselves.
But toilet paper? Nah. Not so much. Not at all, in fact. How many times does a kid have to humble himself by hobbling over to the door half-clothed, like a ghetto wardrobe gone berserk, and hollering downstairs for someone to please raid the master bath for a roll just for him?
Seemingly an endless number of times.
It is twelve steps up to that level, and down again on the return trip. I know. But I fixed those guys. Yes I did, because I was growing tired of it, if they were not.
I bought a package of pink toilet paper. When they were not looking, I put one roll on the bottom of the stack in their bathroom closet. And I waited.
At first, they did not notice, since the bottom roll in that stack was obscured by a stack of wash cloths. Eventually, though, the rosy truth came to light and the questions began. Why is there pink toilet paper in our bathroom closet? (Of course, their sister did not mind at all, although she also used that room.) How come we have to have pink? And on it went.
I offered the meager answer: They did not have to use it, if they did not want to. I let them puzzle on that one awhile.
And sure enough, when the pink roll was all there was left, they caught on: Tell Mom we’re out of paper. Of course! Do it!
Didn’t take very many applications of that lesson.
In fact, as soon as more white paper appeared in the house, the pink was returned to its guard post behind the wash cloths, never, to my knowledge, to reappear.