10 Jun
My Son’s Reading! On the Toilet! Oh, Sh*t!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My six-year-old son recently started taking a book to the bathroom with him. (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.) Personally, I find the reading-in-the-bathroom habit disgusting. Isn’t the couch more comfortable for reading? Do I nip this in the bud, or will my telling him that the toilet is not for reading be added to the great list of “ways my mother ruined my life?”


It’s a Loo, Not a Library


Dear It’s A Loo,

Do you hear that buzzing sound in the background? The one that’s rapidly getting louder? The one that’s about to reach a Def Leppard-concert-circa-1988 decibel level? The one that’s just about the world’s entire population of mothers screaming in unison:


Yeah, that one. Hurts the ears a little, don’t it?

Now, delicate flower that I am, I’m also not a huge proponent of taking books into the loo. It’s all so very Constanza and God knows what might happen should the reader run out of toilet paper. Shiver. But just like you should never interrupt a man who’s loading a dishwasher, you should also never, ever stop a kid from reading no matter where they’re doing it. Tis a sacred moment between child and words. I think it says so in the Bible.

Anyway, for whatever reason, your son has picked the potty as his literature milieu, so I say let him keep doing it. As long as he’s not flushing every time he finishes a chapter or making you sit in there with him while he does a Number Two and discusses plot points, there’s not much harm in it. Just be proud of him for taking an interest in something that’s not electronic.

That said, let’s all hope this habit doesn’t continue into his adulthood. After all, we’ve all worked in offices where the men “disappear” into the bathroom with the newspaper for hours at a time and then when they come out, nobody wants to sit next to them in a meeting. We used to call them “The Johns.” They didn’t really like it.

So suck it up and deal with it, Mom, because when all’s said and done, you should be happy. Because while your kid may be reading in the crapper, his literacy level’s nowhere near it.


Wendi, TMH


16 Responses to “My Son’s Reading! On the Toilet! Oh, Sh*t!”


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

πŸ˜€ Wendi, you’re really great!!!

I was a reading-in-the-loo kid, but I grew out of the habit; not the habit of reading, merely doing it in the loo. ^_^
The fact is, it was the only place where I could have some peace and privacy and I took my books/comics there for a peaceful 15 minutes (well, it might have been peaceful half hours, but you get my meaning).
Just as long as your son respects the fact that other family members might want to use the loo and comes out in a reasonable time, I say leave him to his peaceful reading. πŸ™‚


Comment by Padded Cell Princess.

If he doesn’t grow out of this habit then let’s pray he doesn’t become a realtor where he may try to make a ‘bathroom study’ a selling point…at that point change your name and hide all traces of relation.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Introduce him to the joys of a book and a bath. Desperate Dietwives is right about privacy.

Just remember that with the bath and book luxury comes the clean the tub responsibility. Only then will YOUR true nirvana be achieved.


Comment by Fletch.

Since when is reading in the loo a bad habit? Why else do people keep magazines by the pot? Was it the Seinfeld episode that changed the way Americans feel about toilet reading and should those cranky whiney idiots be the arbiters of taste? There are professors at Harvard who do their best research on the throne, so why not any of us?


Comment by Karin.

I have 2 rules for reading in the bathroom:

1 – make sure to take the book out with you b/c I hate tripping on a not-so-neat stack of books no one bothers to put away and I hate even more to pick up soggy books.

2 – you may not read in the bathroom after 6pm. This might seem weird but my oldest will spend forever in there w/ her book and won’t let the other 2 in to do things like brush their teeth before bed so those things just need to be taken care of quickly.

I actually am the one who taught them to read on the toilet during potty training – “Sit on the potty while I read you this book. You need to stay on the potty while I read this book and if something happens while you are there.”


Comment by Penbleth.

I contend there is nothing wrong with reading in the loo. It is a time-honoured tradition.

I always read in the loo, the two things go hand in hand.

Let’s shake on it.

BrassyDel Reply:

Begging your pardon, but I’ll shake your hand AFTER you’re finished with your, ah, “literary moment”.

And make sure to wash up. I hear books can be filthy!


Comment by dusty earth mother.

Read in the crapper! Read in the crapper! R-E-A-D in the crapper! (wave pom-poms)


Comment by lberzins1.

I think this is great on two levels.

1) He’s reading
2) He’s on the potty!

He’s found the perfect reason to use the potty. He gets to read a book and expand his mind, while he expands his wonderful potty skills:)

Speaking of which, you might get a kick out of this. I found this link to a great children’s music entertainer in NYC, and she has a song called “I gotta go potty!” It definitely is a fun approach to potty training:)


Prepare to giggle!


Comment by BrassyDel.

The 6 year old has merely discovered one of the truths of life:

Pooping is boring.

Erego, bring a book! PROBLEM SOLVED.
You’re welcome.


Comment by Marinka, TMH.


Why not get him a reading tutor who will teach him to read in other rooms in the house? Gradually, of course. And expensively.


Comment by K A B L O O E Y.

I’ve done it my whole life and have excellent vocabulary. And hemorrhoids (which I just looked up on dictionary.com). Someday I will get a life.


Comment by NZ.

Ugh! I’ve never understood this habit. We only had one bathroom, and were taught to do our business and clear out. Any task not actually requiring the tub, sink, or toilet should be done in some room not having a tub, sink, or toilet. It’s a very inconvenient habit for future dorm and roomates. Or even a someday spouse should they not have multiple bathrooms.

If reading on the toilet is a habit the mom in question doesn’t support, disallow it now, don’t let it get entrenched. Some families allow it some don’t. You’re the mom.

Plus also: why has he started this? Book just too good to put down? Or is there is a place/time to read without distraction. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the volume of toys vs. Comfy chairs and bookshelves ratio in his room.


Comment by Poker Chick.

We’re with Wendy. For a little reality check:

1) Your SIX year old son is reading! Rejoice! Not every six year old is there.

2) Your six year old is not just reading, but reading well enough to read diary of a wimpy kid alone! That is one bright six year old.

3) Your six year old boy wants to read on his own?!

Seriously, perspective, my dear. You need it.

Finally, to add to that, there are several peculiar things about men we may never fully understand. One: their fascination with the size of their genitals, before they can even talk. And two: their love of reading on the toilet.

As the parent of a six year old ourself, we think if your child is not using the book as science experiment material to see what happens when you tear pages and drop them in your poop, accept it and move on!


Comment by ElizabethF.

Oh, I sympathize with you, girl–I had to tell my overy literate 7 year old to shut his book and stop reading whe walking–it’s dangerous!!! FIVE TIMES today between the restaurant and the car. And it has always bothered me that my husband can spend hours on the toilet. Speaking of which, sorry, but I gotta get up and put the kids to bed now–my butt’s getting sore. Maybe it’s time for one of those fancy padded seats…


Comment by The Case of the Missing Toilet Paper | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] this mystery for you. Like any good detective, I was going to do my own independent analysis of toilet paper usage but then I realized why exert all that energy? People have already figured this out! […]

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