Last night I was at my parents' house, hanging out with the girls and the kids. My sister came out of the bathroom, complaining about the mess that one of our nephews had left in there. The offender's mother rolled her eyes and apologized. "He has the job of cleaning the toilets at home for that very reason. His dad calls him 'The Rainbird.'"
So my sister mentioned that I had taught my sons to sit down from the moment they began potty-training. Yes, it's true. My sons belong to the Secret Sitter's Club, as does their father. And he was taught that very valuable skill by his mother, who would listen outside the bathroom door and tell her husband and sons to please sit down because she could hear that they were standing up. (She would also notice when someone had spent extra time in the bathroom and then serve peaches for dinner. I tell you, it was a long time after Phil told me about this before I could comfortably use the bathroom at my in-law's house.)
After explaining that background to my SIL, I told about the time my MIL, Gert, was watching A-- for me at her house. He was about 3 and 1/2 or so and was potty trained. I went to pick him up and had to wait longer than usual for Gert to open the door. When she finally did, she was wearing her yellow rubber gloves. She apologized profusely for making me wait.
"I'm sorry it took me so long. I was in the bathroom, cleaning."
Then she said something that shocked me, because she is such a prim and proper lady.
"I am so glad you have taught your son to go to the bathroom properly! I am sick and tired of cleaning pee off the walls and floor around the toilets!"
Apparently, Phil's brother, who was visiting with his children (four of whom are boys), didn't pass along the Secret Sitter's Secret. He had brought along a fleet of his own "Rainbirds."
I have laughed long and hard at that story for many years, feeling pleased that my sons haven't created really horrendous messes in the bathroom for me to clean up.
Enter: Poetic Justice.
As I was finishing my story, I heard T-- calling from the bathroom: "MOOOoooooom, I needa WIIIiiiiipe!" My sister offered to help him, but he adamantly refused. I guess I was the only one he would allow into the inner sanctum.
I went into the bathroom, took one look at him, and thought (thought, not said, I'm careful around my kids), "Oh sh*#!" Literally. It was all over the seat, down into his underbunders, and all over one of his hands. He took one look at my face and started to cry. I reassured him that it was okay, just an accident, and we'd get it all cleaned up.
By the end of it, I'd thrown away said pair of underwear, put said child into the tub, disinfected said toilet, and run home and back for clean clothes and kid-friendly shampoo.
I feel humbled.