Friday, September 11, 2009

You're in or not to Urine

A nephew of mine has a particularly intriguing habit. He is a bright young fellow who is 8 years of age and otherwise normal. Very fair skinned, brown hair, gray wide eyes – the type you know will kill women with his looks when he comes of age. I had gone to avail myself of their restroom one evening a year ago and found it to be in filthy condition with urine splashed everywhere. This was a spectacle I had never seen in a private home. In utter befuddlement, I left the restroom and soon forgot about the incident. Well recently they paid us a visit and we had a wonderful social gathering time. A week later in the guest bathroom I find the toilet seat coated across the entire circumference with concentrated urine - as if it was a ring of fire or a splash of a yellow paint brush on the seat. I withdrew in amazement that an 8 year old monotheistic child was relieving himself like I use my garden hose in the back yard – spraying it everywhere. I had been intending to take my nephews and their father to the shooting range for male bonding but I figure I may have to accelerate that plan because the boy really needs some proper target practice (at least in the bathroom). I am wrestling with the idea of how to deal with such a strange situation. The boy isn’t 2 years old but a tall healthy 8 year old. Would it be socially acceptable for me to point out this oddity to his parents who obviously already know of this habit? Would it be appropriate for me to tell him next time he visits that I’ll hand him a bucket of hot water and a sponge if he goes all ‘sprinkler’ on the seat? Would it be a good idea for me to tell him to sit on the seat or even at least pull up the seat when he goes? Should I ingrain in him gently that cleanliness is half of faith? Should I tell him that the women that he will otherwise kill with his looks may also be felled by his irreverent sprinkling habits? Should I tell him next time to go in my backyard and give the grass some natural fertilizer? What are the acceptable social mores in such a hilariously annoying predicament (note the oxymoron)?

While I pontificate on that, there are other issues that come to mind. What led to such habits in the first place? Is it a lack of discipline? Is it indifference? Is it a mentality that boys will be boys? (And really I don’t think going to town on the toilet seat is a boy being a boy but a boy being filthy). The boy’s parents have an Americanized style of parenting whereby the boy is referred to as “buddy” by the parents. Once I found his mother politely asking him “do you want some water” and he responded “yeah if you want to be my servant go get me some water”. What did she do? She simply smiled and brought the water to him. The boy’s aunts are very much in favor of such relaxed treatment and they use the excuse that if you discipline them then the boys will lose their confidence in speech and confidence in the way they carry themselves. Have you heard a more baloney and fallacious reasoning than that? Disciplining a child for something they do wrong does not curtail a child’s confidence but teaches them the manners and habits of proper civil society. Absent that, you raise brats who think life is easy and when they get knocked in life, they have a harder time to bounce back and be tenacious.

So going back to the question of what I ought to do? Maybe I should simply stay silent and vent on a blog.