"Mommy, we are out of toilet paper," my 4 year old son says as he opens the cabinet to get another roll. "Time for me to fix it," he says as he takes the old cardboard out. (This is probably his second most favorite thing in the world to do other than opening hotel rooms with "magic cards.")
"Before you put a new roll in, would you please pull up your pants, and close the toilet lid?"
"Thank you," I say finishing my makeup. As I watch him carefully insert the new roll of toilet paper, I silently congratulate myself for having (raising) a son who is happy to help with small tasks like this. It occurs to me, however, that though my son voluntarily wipes down the toilet after he's peed (another fantastic habit I'll chalk up to an anal retentive gene I've so graciously bestowed upon him), we've actually never had the "put the toilet seat down when you're done" convo- as I am almost always the one to do it.
"You know, Jonah, when you're done going pee pee, you need to put the toilet seat down."
"Um, because. You need to."
"Why don't YOU put it down?"
And there it was. DNA at it's finest. All this time.... 35 years spent questioning (criticizing) the opposite sex about the way they think, and there it was. They aren't born with it. They don't think about the toilet lid because they don't know about the toilet lid. Their brain is missing the toilet lid logic lobe.
Armed with this lightening bolt, revelation of a moment, I took a deep breath and put my training helmet on: "Jonah, putting down the toilet seat is like using please and thank you. It's a part of manners. It's not nice for a person to walk in and have to put down the toilet seat after you."
"But, mommy, how come YOU don't lift it up for ME? You go pee pee, and when YOU are done, lift it up. So it's ready for ME."
"Sorry, sweetheart, no. That's not how it works," I said before I instructed him on a step that I also think is boys/men genetically lack: "Now, wash your hands."
To my son's future wife, you can thank me later.