A mother's musings on boys, bathrooms SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

NEIGHBORS

April 06, 1993|By MAUREEN RICE

Mothers who have little girls just don't know what they're missing when it comes to cleaning the bathroom.

To a mother of boys, this task is undertaken to the raucous sounds of trucks, electronic toys that grandparents delight in giving your male offspring, or shouts and clangs that indicate their latest version of the game "kill the other child."

The bathroom in a male-dominated household is like nothing you've ever seen if there are only females about. A mother of girls can confidently expect to clean the bathroom and have it clean for a day or so. A mother of boys can expect to have it clean only until the next time one of her sons visits it.

There are several gambits a mother of boys can employ to alleviate this problem. There is, for example, the "little talk." After the 50th "little talk," it becomes a "big talk" -- which is a euphemism for "Mommy loses her temper."

In due time, with a little coaching, the boy(s) are big enough to clean the bathroom themselves. They will never exercise the care that you would, but it usually has a good effect on the average state of the place because they don't like cleaning the aftereffects of their visits anymore than Mommy does.

When they get to that point, the long-suffering mother smiles a grateful smile and thinks the problem is gone.

It is, too -- until she sees her son's friend in the back yard taking advantage of a tree. "What are you doing?" she shrieks. And the shocked child replies, "Joey said I couldn't use the bathroom unless I wanted to clean it."

*

Eldersburg Elementary students may be "crabby" this week, but they've already proven that they also have big hearts.

The students who jumped rope there raised more than $5,000 for the American Heart Association. Money leaders included Denise Pickett, who raised $200; Stephanie Runkles, $148; Nick Behr, Lauren Fox, Kylie Skinner and Erin Waterman, $125; and Crystal Valonis, $97.

The top-contributing team consisted of Erin Herman, Renee Villard, Julie Hevey, Amanda Dash, Melissa Nagle and Stephanie Runkles.

"I'm always tickled at how well the kids jump," said Sandra Kennedy, physical education instructor at the school. "I've done this for eight years, and we always raise thousands of dollars."

Tomorrow these big-hearted students will listen, along with the rest of their classmates and assorted adults, to Priscilla Cummings, author of "Chadwick the Crab" and other children's books with environmental themes.

The author, whose books relate to the Chesapeake Bay, will sign books for the children and discuss how a book is published -- including how to deal with rejection -- with junior authors at the school.

*

This is Earth Month, and April 22 is Earth Day. Now is the time to make plans to contribute to saving the planet.

A good place to start is at Piney Run Park.

If you want to get involved and have a good time, join Deanna Hoffman and others in the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup effort April 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

"Everybody over the age of 12 is welcome," said Ms. Hoffman. "Twelve is the minimum age because of safety requirements."

Information: 795-6043.

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