Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fun with Toilets

Peregrine, who was so excited about flushing to start with, has nearly abandoned the practice altogether now. Yep, it's, ummm...... interesting? But twice in the last while he got so carried away flushing that he clogged the toilet and flooded the whole bathroom. When I asked him what happened he said "I flushed and flushed and flushed and flushed and flushed and flushed." I guess it's either all or nothing for him.
I've had some interesting toilet experiences in my life. My earliest memories are from when my parents were in Bible school. We lived in student housing and shared communal bathrooms, which we had to go outside to use. As a kid it was all I knew, but looking back on it with a Mom's perspective, not so fun. Some family friends didn't have a bathroom, just an outhouse. I still remember the cold seat and having to dump a scoop of ashes down the hole afterward. Many years down the road I spent time backpacking in northern Washington and learned to leave camp with a shovel, just like God instructed the children of Israel to do during their sojourn in the wilderness. I have many memories of Mexican toilets, the ones that you can't put toilet paper in, and how grateful we were in one village where they dug a hole for us to use, since they just squatted by the side of the path! (The pigs took care of the piles, and I hoped they wouldn't serve us pork!) In Liberia I learned the fine art of the bucket-flush, since there was no longer running water in the houses. I was glad I'd been pre-warned and practiced before going since my first attempts backfired on me, literally. In Thailand I was introduced to the squatty-potty, in it's most basic form a hole in the ground, although it was often made of concrete or ceramic and had foot-grips on either side of the hole. I actually grew to really like the squatty, and if we ever built a house I'd consider putting one in. (In the second bathroom of course!) There were the toilets on Indian trains- the best thing to do was to not drink anything and try to avoid having to use them. But when necessary, it was a challenge to stay balanced- while squatting- and try desparately not to touch anything as the room was so filthy, plus hold on to my precious toilet paper and try to keep my skirt off the floor. At a Rainbow Gathering in India there was a long trench dug in an open field. That was pretty uncomfortable as there was no privacy. But by that time I'd learned to hold my skirt in such a way that I could be discreet even in the middle of a field! And as much as we tried to act as the locals did, I never could give up toilet paper. The first time I had to use a public bathroom after returning to the U.S. I was slightly panicked because I didn't have any toilet paper with me!
Well, that was probably way more toilet talk than most people want to know. I'm thankful today, for indoor plumbing that works, for toilet paper, and for little boys. Even when they forget to flush.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I love the toilet talk! And I prefer squatties. I think I'll build one of those in a house if it's large, but I'll also put one of those deep Japanese tubs in!
    Peregrine's obsession with flushing sounds like Kai's obsession with the tap.


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