What if we turn the old toilet bowls into bidets? We could use salt water and it would severely reduce our toilet paper. What do you think?
SALT….. WATER….. BIDET’S!
You might need to read that sentence again.
This was a really crazy idea but I’m in for cray. Hey, we have 11 kids and we live on a boat, sailing up the coast with our composting toilets and our 16 man life-raft at the stern –
HOW MUCH CRAZIER CAN WE GET!
I was all in.
We’ve Gone French!
And not just the kissing!
The thought of almost no toilet paper was so cool. Yet the washing of my butt sounded so strange.
Having never used a bidet before, I had no idea what to expect other than that scene from Crocodile Dundee. Not much of a preparation cause he actually put his foot in it.
We went a-head with it (you see what I did there? HA HA HA. I crack myself up).
Steve got a porcelain drill bit and began the conversion. He drilled a hole into the back of the toilet bowl and put in a copper pipe. The copper pipe’s end was then capped off and tiny holes were drilled into the top of the pipe for the water jets.
We hooked a tiny in-line pump up and turned it on.
Here is how it worked.
It is a little weird to show the world how we put together the device that is going to clean our butts but again…
So now for the installation.
Our toilets (heads) are oddly shaped as I suppose most boat toilets are. So we had to remake the shelf at the back and completely change the hosing.
We are changing Sumbawa all the time and getting her to a better state to look after all 13 of us on board.
One of the improvements has been worms!
Yes, we have decided that Sumbawa was lacking without worms. She clearly wasn’t wriggly enough, so this had to be rectified.
What made us decide to bring worms onto Sumbawa?
Seriously, our toilets were driving us insane. They were constantly getting blocked. This was either due to the amount of hair in the mascerator or the Lego pieces that would end up in there.
At one stage, we even had a chicken leg bones in the toilets – BOTH TOILETS!
I’m pretty sure the kids didn’t poop them out but with our kids, you never know.
Anyway, they were driving us insane (the toilets not the kids), then the last straw was Maritime.
Something had to be done.
So we decided at that very moment to go with composting toilets.
Composting toilets seem to be a THING with sailors at the moment and unbeknown to us, we joined in the thing-ness.
But where are we going to find a composting toilet that is adequate for 11 Kids?
Easy! We made one!
So where do the worms come into it?
Steve found out, through much searching, that worms would help compost the poop faster than just letting it sit. He didn’t tell me this until he was out.
Do you ever wonder how these conversations go?
Today, you get to hear how this conversation actually went. Steve was out when he first mentioned worms, so this conversation was all via text.
This is the exact conversation that Steve and I had over text when he mentioned worms for Sumbawa.
Steve – What do you think about worms to accelerate the composting process? They eat half their body weight every day.
Me – No worms. Starter is better. BTW (by the way) we have run out of EVERYTHING!
Steve – Apparently both work together really well. No starter available but using organic compost as your layer works really well. I have some vegetable bags too.
Me – WHAT! You want to grow vegetables in the toilet? Worms on a boat sounds like something is wrong. Sort of like cockroaches. I HAVE WORMS ON MY BOAT!
Steve –‘Hysterical laughing!’
Me –What if the worms get out? Can they get out? Would it be like maggots but with worms? Is that gross? Or would they stay put?
Me – What if we get worms in the bilge? What will they do? What if we have food stored in there? Will they compost the food? Well we have food covered worms or worm covered food? Can they infest? WHERE WILL IT END?
Me –Will they turn into wood worms? Will they eat our boat?
Me –WORMS SUNK OUR BOAT!
Steve – ‘More Hysterical laughing’ Oh WOW! You are unbelievable!
Me –What! I’ve never heard of worms on a boat before. Except wood worms and they are BAD!
Steve –Even Blade is giggling! (Blade was out with Dad)
Steve –NO!They JUST EAT COMPOST!They do not have a private union or conspirative nature.
Me –ARE YOU SURE? HOW DO YOU KNOW?
Steve –LOOK YOU’RE JUST FOOD DEPRIVED AND NO THE WORMS DID NOT TAKE IT…. Although the kids come close.
Me – HA HA HA! Ok, worms are ok as long as we have a meeting – you, me and the worms. I need to make sure they understand their boundaries.
Steve –Are we talking about the kids now HA HA HA!
Me –NO THE WORMS!
So now you know how my mind works. I was laughing so hard writing it and had so much fun reading Steve’s replies.
The moral of this story is –
I’ve got Worms in my Head
And their nice. They do escape though.
Steve picked up all the parts, then came home.
Now was the time to start putting it together.
We got a storm water pit for the composting bucket
and a leaf catcher for the pee bit.
Then Steve put together the holding tank.
Steve then went about assembling them for both of the heads, while we removed the old toilets.
That was not a fun job but I took it upon myself to do it as I wanted to learn how they are assembled. I had kids help though of course.
Once the old toilets were out, Steve then had another strange and Brilliant idea.
I come to you now, with tears in our eyes because something has clicked within me.
I am writing a book about what it is like to raise our kids. It been a bit of a challenge because I have not known HOW we did what we do.
Now, I know WHY we raise our kids the way that we do and HOW we do it. What I have discovered is
I Believe in Our Kids
Not just in Our Kids but all kids. We just need to let them shine.
I realised that Our Kids shine when we give them a safe place.
But there is more than that. A safe place is not enough.
They need to be able to test themselves and us. Which is good for our kids and absolutely frustrating for us parents. They need to take risks.
As parents, we have all been or soon will be, in that position where our kids yell out for us to come look at them. So we walk outside, possibly a little miffed that we have to leave our cooking, or iPhone or whatever we were doing to come look at them again.
We step outside and we yell
“Where are you?”
The reply comes
We follow the voice and our eyes finally land on them – up a tree.
Not just a little bit up the tree but RIGHT UP THE TOP OF THE TREE.
At that moment, your stop breathing, your heart stops beating and time stands still as you try as your brain tries to just compute what you have just seen.
You can see your child’s pride in themselves. They are so happy with themselves.
They have just pushed themselves further than they had before. They have just achieved success and they are BEAMING!
As your brain finished computing what you are looking at, out of our mouth screams
“OH MY GOD! GET DOWN FROM THERE!“
Then you watch their face drop. All they wanted was you to be as proud of them as they are of themselves. All they wanted was for you to tell them how clever they are. All they wanted was your acceptance in the risk that they took.
But as parents, we see the danger. Yet we remember as kids being in that very same place, yelling for our parents to come and look and them screaming at us to get down.
But we also didn’t see the issue. We climbed up there without their help or guidance. We worked out which branches to hold, which were too thin and which were just plain scary.
We worked out, by making our own assessments what was safe.
And when we reached the top, we were elated! We had done it! We had achieved something that we were scared to do and we weren’t sure that we could do. But we did it!
This is what they feel.
What they need is a Great Leader!
Being that leader that praises them and congratulates them even when you are so fearful for them is hard. But it is what they need. They need to know that we are so happy for them, that we are so proud of them for what they have achieved.
Then, we as parents can add in something wonderful. We can get them to show us something else on top of climbing up the tree, that will make us even more proud.
We can ask them to show us how they get down!
This is a clever play on words and if we do it right, they will be overjoyed to show us how they get down or even better how they got up in the first place. Which means they have to get down first.
I know that kids need a safe place in which to grow.
Kids also need a safe place in which to test themselves and their parents.
Being a great leader, is giving them both of these things – with love!