Toilet Paper 101

I have previously celebrated how coming into the lives of children who are 4 and 6 means no potty training for this stepmom. But what I didn’t expect to do was conduct a kitchen table class on Toilet Paper 101.

We had occasionally cautioned the kids not to use too much toilet paper. But clearly the message was falling on deaf ears. After having the kids in the house for 24 hours last week, my husband Tim informed me that we had gone through two rolls of toilet paper–and with no victims of the stomach flu to blame (thankfully).

So, the next morning at breakfast, I staged a toilet paper intervention at the kitchen table.

“Have you ever noticed,” I asked, pulling on the end of my prop, a toilet paper roll, “how there are squares of toilet paper?”

They looked at me with a bit of disbelief that this was a part of breakfast, but slowly nodded.

“Boys pee standing up, but girls pee sitting down,” I explained unnecessarily. “So when girls wipe, they should use four squares.” I counted them out.

I was met with blank stares.

“But when you poop,” I continued, “you need more than four squares. But you should start with four squares. Maybe six.”

More blank stares.

I tore off the sheets for a better visual.


I was met with wide-eyed stares that weren’t quite bewilderment, but bordered on it.

“Okay. Well, that’s it,” I said. I turned to Tim, who had observed my impulsive display from the stove. “Mission accomplished,” I declared.

He raised his eyebrows and nodded. “Sure.”


Someone remind me to add toilet paper to my shopping list.

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