Tales of Traditions and Toilet Seats

Living in a house full of boys often means that even the smallest things can turn into an unexpected challenge.

Like not falling into the toilet at 5 AM. Who knew that would be so difficult?

But, I digress.

A few years ago, I wanted to focus on Advent a little more in our house, and concocted a good, yet overly ambitious plan to make that happen. We already had an Advent wreath that we kept on the kitchen table, so I just picked up a booklet of Advent reflections at our local Catholics’ R’ Us. I figured that, every night at dinner, we could light the Advent candles, read the little reflection and say grace before our meal. I had visions of quality family time, new traditions in the making, and Hallmark-movie perfection.


What I got were two kids who fidgeted, complained, whined and attempted to kill each other over who got to blow out the candles. I also got a skeptical husband who looked at me like I had been drinking the magic Kool-Aid.

I, however, am nothing, if not stubborn. Each year, I tried this tradition again, only to surrender by mid-December. My Hallmark-movie plans usually crumbled into the reality by the 15th. By then, I was fighting the little terrorists just to eat dinner in the first place; getting them to sit quietly through ninety seconds of reading was not worth turning into a screaming banshee.

This year is our first Christmas in the new house, and while I still set up the Advent wreath, I had no intent to try and fight the same battle as previous years. I figured I would just read the reflections to myself, and get over it. After all, if I haven’t learned to check the status of the toilet seat by now, it’s probably my own dang fault if I fall in.

Well, imagine my surprise when, on the first day of Advent, my oldest asks if he can be the first to light the candle and read the reflection. Which he did…beautifully. Somewhere along the way, and through the years of fussy complaining, my attempts as making a new family tradition DID actually stick. Will wonders never cease…

Thus far this year, everyone, including my husband, has willingly initiated and participated in our little Advent tradition. My youngest can still be a little fidgety, but considering that I was about to abandon this idea completely, I’ll take my victories however I can get them.

This past week has given me hope that the heathens can, in fact, be taught. Just wait till you hear my plan to get them to put the toilet seat down:

It’s a doozie!

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