The Top Fifteen Rules for Boys (Written by Boys for Boys) RULE #11 CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESSES and RULE #12 WIPE YOUR BUTT CLEAN (NO REMNANTS)

We’re nearing the end of my sons’ “house rules” designed to make my husband and me happy.

In today’s rules, Rule 11, Clean Up Your Own Messes, applies to me, because I end up cleaning up their messes unless I threaten their little lives. And, even when doing so, my four-year-old Luke will suddenly be too injured to pick up his toys, or too tired, or too sick. Patrick, who’s nine, is pretty good about it. He’ll never clean up unless I tell him to, but then he’ll just say, “Yes,” and get down to business. On occasion, I have found that he’s deceived me: He’s told me that all of his clothes are put away, and then I find them all piled at the bottom of this closet. But this is pretty typical nine-year-old behavior. When I call him on his deceit, he says he’s sorry and immediately does what he was supposed to do in the first place.

Rule 12, Wipe Your Butt Clean (No Remnants), applies to my sweet husband, who does about 99 percent of our laundry, and me. We all know what happens if the butt isn’t wiped properly–my husband calls it “bacon strips”–and he doesn’t want to have to see it or smell it when he’s sorting through the darks and whites. But because Luke hasn’t perfected wiping, I always have to do a re-wipe, a final wipe, in order to protect my husband. Four and a half years, and I’m still wiping his poop.

But I’ve still got the better deal. My husband does all of the laundry.

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