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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TP Rations

(You know it's been a slow week when all you have to blog about it this:)

We're on rations around here...toilet paper...I'm tired of buying it...not tired of using it--big difference.  It's the children--and I don't mean Doug or Andrei.  It's the little women of our household.  I noticed a few months ago that we seemed to be going through a lot of the paper.  I noticed that Annsley sure was having an abundance of empty toilet paper rolls for her arts and crafts projects.  It was always in the back of my mind when I put on a new roll, but I could never quite remember when the last time I replaced it, so I kinda thought it was just me.  Well, it's not. 

I finally caught them.  I had just bought another new package, and put one on the roller at approximately 4:30 PM Thursday.  Noon on Friday the roll was empty. 

And so we began our 3 steps to Wise Stewards of the Toilet Paper Training training.  I reinstituted the 5 square rule.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I told them to count out five squares and that's it.  It's not "let's wad up the toilet paper the size of a pom pom to wipe the delicate parts of our body."  Kennedi told me she didn't know how to count 5 squares.  Yeah, right. 

Notice I said reinstituted.  When Annsley was two, she became pretty self sufficient with the potty training and preferred to be left to her own vices in the bathroom. Literally, she would hold her hand straight out from her little body as she sat on the toilet.  "Go Mom.  I'm fine!"  I figured if she was going to be left to wipe herself at two, she needed a little direction with the use of toilet paper.  In a quandary about how to show a toddler how much toilet paper is "enough", I decided to go with a quantitative measure:  ie. 5 squares.  And should my little rule follower follow you into the bathroom and you choose to use 6 squares instead of 5, she would let you know about your excess use! Trust me and the grandmas on that one! LOL 

Anyway, Kennedi was introduced to the 5 square rule as well, but I never really followed up on it.  Yes, I became lax in my mommy skills.  And it really didn't become an issue until a few months ago when I noticed that my children were becoming wasteful with several items around the house.  It could be pouring half a bottle of shampoo into the bath tub to make a bubble bath...or dumping the last of the hand soap in order to get to use the new stuff that smelled differently...or purposely getting muddy in the late afternoon before church in order to wear new clothes that evening...and so on...

So, Friday afternoon I showed them both how to count out the toilet paper lest there be any miscommunication.  Problem solved.  Or so I thought.  Sunday I happened to be in the bathroom while Annsley was in there doing her thing.  I watched her systematically count out her squares, making an ever so slight tear at each square.  "That's my girl!"  I thought.  Then, I watched in horror as she did it 4 more times.  (And this was not something that required repeated wipings....)  Sunday evening I found about half a roll of toilet paper in the trash can--compliments of Kennedi.  When I asked her about it, she said that she had counted out too much toilet paper, and threw the rest away. 

OK, so it wasn't going very well.  I know what you're thinking...this story can't get any better...Out of my frustrations we are now on toilet paper check out.  I am in charge of the toilet paper.  All of it.  Queen of the TP.  If you need to go to the bathroom, come get your toilet paper before you go.  Surely, this will get their little attentions.  Quite frankly, it was a lot of work for me yesterday as I finally had to put a roll in every room so I could remember where they were.  Last night I asked Annsley how she liked having to ask to get the toilet paper.  (I'm thinking that she thinks this is way below her standards.) In a much too chipper voice she says, "It's OK Mom!"  Kennedi, on the other hand, has kept repeating, "Mom, I'm so sorry I wasted so much toilet paper!"  I have toyed with the idea if this doesn't work, then I can always just give them each a roll all to herself, and when it's gone it's gone...but then what do I do?  That would be a bit self defeating.  Maybe  a sticker chart for good stewardship...

The fact that I just wrote an entire post about the wiles of our toilet paper saga makes me think I'm off my rocker trying to teach my kids to be good stewards of the all important toilet paper.


Mary Ann said...

I so enjoyed this post! You really are so creative and wise. Best of luck with your project. I'm not sure what I would do...

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