About three times a week I remind my 4-year-old boy to watch the whole time he pees. The whole time. Do not get distracted by shiny objects. Do not dance. Do not sing. Do not try to do pilates. Just pee straight into the toilet and nowhere else.
And about three times a week I clean up a pee-swamp from behind the toilet.
I have instituted rules that have failed immediately:
1) If you can't keep your pee in the toilet, a grown-up must always come with you.
3) If you can't keep your pee in the toilet, you have to clean it up right away.
That was tested today. We were playing super-ball-bowling in the bathroom for about 45 minutes. This is a game which mostly consists of my zoning out while he rattles off elaborate rules about imaginary monsters and traps to avoid and then we throw super balls at a row of teeny tiny bowling pins. When they fall down he claps and yells, "Gottagore!" Over and over and over and over...
I took a 5 minute break. I swear, just 5. I'm at the dining room table, the farthest place in the house from the bathroom.
"MAMA!!!" He yells.
We've been working on not yelling to each other across the house but I am TIRED. So I yell, "WHAT?!"
"I PEED ON THE FLOOR!!"
"CLEAN IT UP!!"
"I CAN'T IT'S TOO GROSS!!"
Then my angelic child walks out and says in such a reasonable voice - as if I am out of my mind - "Mama. I am sorry. I am not going clean that up ever. So, c'mon." He shakes his head and he gestures, as if he has no reason to believe that I will not follow.
"If I peed on the floor I would not make you clean it up."
Incredulous he examines my face, "You pee on the floor?"
"No, that's not the poin- ack! Just go!!"
Five minutes later he returns. Triumphant. "I cleaned it up. My hands are washed. But your towel sure is soaked with pee now, Mama."