Being one of three girls we never really had a problem with toilet seats being left up or pee on the floor. People did mention these things to me when I had two boys in that 'poor you' type of way but I was convinced that I could train my boys to pee on target and to put the toilet seat down.
What I hadn't factored in is the errant nature of willies. Having never had one myself I have failed to grasp the mechanics of these strange things. For a start, little boys, from the earliest age tend to wake up with willies that have woken up five minutes before the rest of their bodies do. Let me spell that out for you in case it isn't clear. They wake aroused, angry, erect, with stiffies. You get the picture. It's obscene really but you learn to avert your eyes. However, they tend to need to wee the minute they wake up which means you can quite regularly have wee carving a brave arc towards the ceiling before landing anywhere but the toilet.
The same thing happens when they have a poo. Not always. But with enough regularity to lead me to believe that boys genuinely find having a poo an orgasmic experience. It might explain their lifetime affinity to toilet humour and their desire to sit there for hours with the paper. If their tackle isn't correctly tucked in during the evacutation procedure, you're going to end up with a puddle on the floor.
Which leads me swiftly onto the 'Tucking In Procedure' or TIP as I like to call it. Unlike girls who can simply plonk themselves on the loo and pee at will, boys need to sit and tuck. This means they have to be scooched far enough back on the toilet/potty to allow space at the front for their willy to be tucked inside the rim. If not, get your dettol wipes out. This is a learning experience for mothers and sons. We don't have to tuck anything in when we pee. It's like the blind leading the blind.
And once they've grown tall enough to not sit on the toilet and they see other kids at school or daddy standing to pee, all of a sudden you're in a whole new world of nastiness. Boys, like men, are not able to do more than one thing at a time. So if you make the mistake of, say, calling your son's name while he's standing and peeing, he will turn his entire body to answer you, spraying the floor, walls and anything else unlucky enought to be in his firing line. Then there's the ol' target practice game in which they see if they can aim all along the rim, skirting the edge in a death-defying stunt, except missing and pissing on the floor. And let's not forget the tandem pee. The one in which both boys need to pee with equal urgency and so decide to pee together which quickly turns into a battle of pee against your enemy. Their respective wee flows criss cross and do battle resulting in full blown carnage, a change of clothes and bleach for the entire room.
My dreams of having little boys who neatly pee, return the toilet seat to it's rightful position, flush, wash hands and leave has indeed been flushed away. I've achieved none of the above. What's worse, is that I tend to discover my failings in a very tactile way. Like any mother, I delay having a pee until it's beyond putting off any longer. I then dash to the nearest convenience before the next fight over who has the most cars breaks out, and plonk myself down breathless, only to discover a wet stickiness all over the toilet seat...and floor...and walls. I then have to dettol wipe myself before heading out and reading them the riot act. Again.
But I can't really blame them. I mean girls can only aim down. Boys have a multitude of options open to them. Their willies are small missiles which they can pivot and aim at will. (Will. Willies. Hmmm. Maybe that's why they are so called??) Let's face it girls - if you could, you would, wouldn't you?