Monday, December 25, 2006

Parenting Hack: Disabling the auto-flushing toilet

If you are a parent of small children like myself you can probably relate to a situation that I commonly find myself in. I take our 4 year old girl to the public restroom because, well, she's gotta go. And when we get there we see that the toilet is one of those auto-flushing models, you know, with a light sensor that can tell when an adult has sat down and stood back up and hence flushes automatically. I put emphasis on adult because as you may know this doesn't always work so well with a child, especially squirmy ones. Inevitably, the toilet flushes too soon, and these tend to not be wimpy flushers either. The flushing action can remind one of Charlton Heston as Moses in the Ten Commandments parting the Red Sea. And children find this very disturbing, obviously.

Well, on a recent trip to the "facilities", I came up with a simple hack to get around this problem. Simply take a piece of toilet paper (paper towel would probably work well too) and drape it over the light sensor. The child can then safely use the toilet. After the child has dismounted and everyone is ready for a flushing of biblical proportions, remove the toilet paper from the light sensor, which will activate the flushing, and drop it into the toilet.

Happy parenting!

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