There is no old axiom about not letting young children help their dads with complex projects. There should be. In most of these cases, someone ends up crying. Usually it’s the dad.
I learned this recently. The complex task was changing a toilet seat. Okay, so it’s not that complex. But I was an English major. For English majors, changing a toilet seat is a big undertaking.
Immediately, all three of my children, including the baby, volunteered to help. Knowing that refusing their help would cause immediate distress, I accepted. All we had to do was tighten and loosen plastic bolts. How hard could it be?
The oldest two quickly situated themselves on either side of the toilet. They took turns twisting the old plastic screws with a screwdriver. I held the nut on the other side. The baby busied herself by trying to eat a pair of pliers. So far so good.
And to my amazement, they continued to be cooperative. My oldest two still took turns again to put the new screws on. The baby was still busy with the pliers. Things were still going good. Until it came time to put the new seat on, and I had to decide who got that opportunity. Then one child threatened to poke the other with a screwdriver.
Luckily, mommy came to the rescue quickly, and I put the new seat on, and got the baby away from the pliers, since she probably already had enough iron for the day.
The new seat is the Lamborghini of toilet seats. I did not know that toilet seats could have so many features. What sort of a person decides to take a job designing new features for a toilet seat? How do you prepare yourself for such a job? Never mind, I don’t want to know.
My great-grandparents lived with only an outhouse that had nothing but a hole cut in a board. We visited them often. So a toilet seat that has any features, like a lid, sounds like a good deal to me. But this toilet seat has a feature that lets you pull the whole thing off for easy cleaning. It also has, and this is the important one, a slow-close feature that doesn’t let the lid slam down.
Until I had children, I would have never considered buying such a toilet seat. But the game at our house was seeing how hard you could slam the lid down, which may have contributed to the need to buy a new toilet seat in the first place. So buying a slow-close seat was a must.
And how about that slow close feature? It’s amazing. I don’t know if I could live without another slow-close toilet seat lid.
When I was a young child, my mother taught me to put the toilet seat down. And as I became an adult, I continued the practice, for fear more than manners. As a clumsy person, I knew if I left it up, I would drop something in it. So yes, I am a man that puts the seat down. Stand back ladies, I’m taken.
But now that I can close the toilet seat with the flick of a finger, it has amazed me how much work it was putting down the seat. I’ve probably saved myself an hour and a half of back breaking labor over the entire rest of my life, so it was totally worth it. The downside is that new seat did remove the only exercise I got.
Now I have to be careful. If I go somewhere without a soft close lid, I’m liable to drop it without thinking. So if you walk past a bathroom and hear a seat slam down, it’s me. That, or it’s my kids in competition.