Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Informant

It seems I'm always writing about the oldest boy, Josh, but it's hard not to. He's such a great source for material.

Josh can be a little forgetful with some of life's simpler tasks. Like properly using the bathroom, for instance. I'm not talking about biological issues; I'm talking about the logistics of using the technology properly. To deal with this, I created a list of the 8 Essential Steps to Using the Bathroom. I made Josh repeat them numerous times, and if he fails to follow all steps, he must write them down. They are:
  • Turn on the light.
  • Close the door!!!!!!! (the #1 source of failure)
  • Use the toilet.
  • Close the seat.
  • Flush the toilet!!!!! (the #2 source of failure)
  • Wash your hands.
  • Turn out the light!
  • Leave the door open (for some reason, he always uses the bathroom with the door open, then closes it when he leaves).
Since we started employing the 8 Essential Steps, we've seen progress, though there are still numerous missed steps. Luckily, I have an informant in the house to help enforce this rigorous procedure.

So here's how today began for me. At 7:14 a.m., Matthew (who shares a room with Josh) approached the bed, stood beside my face and said the following: "Daddy, what is wrong with that boy? I just walked past the bathroom and the door was open."

"Is Josh using it?" I asked.

"Poop," was his answer.

I stayed in bed with my eyes closed and listened as Matthew went back out to check on his older brother. "Josh, did you forget one of the steps?" he asked. "Josh, you're forgetting your steps! There's another one you missed ...!"

I probably should have intervened and told Matthew not to be a tattletale, not to be bossy, and not to act like he's a parent. Instead I stayed in bed and laughed. I'm sure I'll pay for my laziness some day – maybe 10 years from now when I'm paying the counselor's bill – but it's difficult to be the good parent all the time. Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh. The kids can be damn funny.


  1. I see another "Since your the oldest....." task coming on...

    Better yet, make him The Enforcer, and The Informant will soon be out of a job.

    Here ya go:

    Light On, Light On,
    Close the Door
    Door shut, door shut,
    There's a little more
    Flush it, flush it
    Wash your hands
    Turn out the light
    and your the man!

    ...Have Josh write and illustrate the above poem, as the oldest of the group, to set the example for his brothers, and everyone, how to promote good bathroom etiquette.

    As the oldest, Josh must hang his well praised creation in the bathroom to remind his brothers and other young guests who may come in to use the bathroom.

    Making him the manager of toilet etiquette will make him the King, Enforcer of Rules. Give him a crown to wear for a day for this achievement. (Burger King)

    He will never forget again.

  2. That's a great plan, but to give him the crown for Toilet King, I would have to actually abdicate it. There's no way I'm giving up the crown so easily :)