I’m afraid I might be failing as a father.  I work so hard to teach my girls to be polite to their friends, sit quietly at the dinner table, eat healthy meals, put away their toys, love their mother, all of the most essential life skills I can think of, but somewhere in this cloud of spinning plates I dropped something.  I thought my dizzy juggling act was going just fine and then one of the fragile pieces of “Life Lesson” tableware came crashing to the floor and shattered into a million pieces.  I looked down at my feet to see what vital skill would never be successfully taught to my children.  Scattered around were the busted shards of a plate that read “Flush the toilet when you are done using it”.  My children, my fantastic amazing beautiful obedient children, will apparently never know the joys of flushing a toilet.  They will enter into adulthood fully equipped with every other possible skill, but this one will forever elude them.

I have two little girls (who will go nameless out of respect to their good public character) that have a bad habit of never flushing a toilet.  It is impossible for them.  I routinely have to go on a tour of the house after getting home from work, simply so I can visit each of our toilets and force one or both of the girls to delete it contents.

So, I was a bit upset this morning when I encountered yet another unflushed toilet.  I yelled for my oldest daughter, and she obediently rushed down the stairs rattling off her excuses before I even mentioned what the problem was.

“But Dad, I flushed the toilet!” She said as she bounced off a step. “I know I did.” She continued with the next one. “I always do.”

I stood in the bathroom and waited, “Just come flush the toilet.”  I said calmly between clenched teeth.

She reached the bottom of the stairs and I heard her sigh.  “I remember flushing it just this morning, just like I always do.”  She entered the bathroom.  “I know I did…”  She turned the bathroom light off.  “It’s crazy.  It had to have been someone else that forgot…”  She grumbled under her breath as she started back up the stairs.

I stood in the dark bathroom alone in front of a still unflushed toilet.  “Clara!”  I yelled after her, “Clara, come back!  I think I discovered part of the problem!”