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Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

When Mom can't get kids to flush, maybe Santa can

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas this year is for my kids to flush the toilet. Yes, I know I'm their mother and teaching them life skills is really my jurisdiction. But don't you think I've tried?

Isn't it enough that I potty-trained them? They even wash their hands! I don't know why this toilet flushing business is so tricky.

For a while there when they were younger, it was actually kind of convenient. "OK," I'd think. "The pipes are working. Good to know." Sometimes my husband liked to freak me out by feeding them beets. But now it's just disgusting.

I don't know why I'm telling you this, Santa. I guess I thought since you have all those elves you'd understand.

Be honest, Santa. Haven't you ever walked into the elf washroom in the middle of the day and thought, "Rudolph's whiskers! Where did those sparkles come from? Why can't those little sprites remember to flush?"

I bet you and Mrs. Claus argue about it all the time. "Why won't your elves ever flush the toilet?" you say.

"My elves?" she shoots back. "You're the one who wanted a toyshop!"

And what about the reindeer? I bet they're always leaving you surprises, too. Especially Blitzen.

Santa, as you well know, it's not just little people who have toilet flushing problems. My husband once had a roommate who was a Gonzaga graduate. "Jim" never flushed either. (To be fair to Gonzaga, he was probably the only alumnus with this issue.) Still, it leaves me to wonder. Everyone knows that Jesuits are super serious about education. So if they couldn't teach that guy to flush, how was his mother supposed to?

In fact, if you search through your mailbag right now, Santa, there might even be a letter from Jim's wife. It'll be the one that says, "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is for my husband to flush the toilet. Don't blame Jim for this bad habit. My mother-in-law was a really incompetent parent."

OK, I might be incompetent, too, but that doesn't mean I haven't tried. That's why I need you to please sprinkle some of your Santa magic over the bathroom when you visit our house this year. Otherwise, years from now, you'll be having this same conversation with my future son- and daughter-in-law.

I'm on the nice list, remember? I spent 4 1/2 years changing diapers. I even slogged through with cloth! That's why I need a Christmas miracle, direct from the North Pole.

Please help me, Santa. My only other hope is the Easter Bunny, and everyone knows that rabbits are really messy.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at http://teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.
Story tags » Parenting

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