New Berlin boy gets Kohler-made toilet as dream present
Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE - A boy from New Berlin who is fascinated with toilets has a wish granted by a local company that makes high-end toilets.
Dustin Kruse, 4, now has a double-flush toilet with a self-lowering lid at his home after he asked Santa Claus for it.
"They did it right after his fourth birthday. Delivered, installed it, everything," said Michele Kruse on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Wisconsin's Morning News.
She admits that her son has had an unusual interest in toilets for years.
"It was shortly after he was 18 months. He was early. It started with port-a-potties," explained Michele who also said that the interest produced early success in potty training.
"That was a bonus."
That interest, however, brought an interesting moment during a visit to Santa Claus at a Milwaukee-area mall.
"When he was two, he asked Santa Claus for a urinal," said Michele.
"I never heard Santa laugh so hard at the mall. He said 'That is the first time I have ever heard that.'
"Santa brought him a Peter Potty urinal. He loves that urinal."
What does he love about toilets and similar things? Michele explained that it's about the mechanics of these objects.
"I He will look at the urinals, or he wants to look at the port-a-potties, analyze everything, even down to the 'Where does it go after you flush the toilet?' He would be able to tell you that when you flush the toilet, it goes into the sewer system, then to the water treatment plant, then into Lake Michigan."
Michele said that he used to go to other people's houses and ask to see what kind of bathroom systems they used.
"He would go to your house, or anybody's house...'Could I please see your bathroom?' He likes to see what kind of toilets they have. We've become familiar with all the brands of toilets."
The most familiar brand around our area is, of course, the Kohler brand, made by the Kohler Company in Sheboygan County.
The Kruse family took advantage of that fact.
"We called Kohler to get brochures, so they sent us all the brochures. He would read about the single-flush toilet, the double-flush toilet or the electric toilet."
Then came a visit to Kohler headquarters, on a trip back from seeing Thomas the Tank Engine at a train event in Green Bay.
"Prior to going to Green Bay, we had called Kohler to see if we could get a tour," said Michele.
"Because of his age, they don't have a tour, but they mentioned the design center...We were there for three hours, and he just loved it. He was able to flush the toilet. They had urinals in different rooms. It is a very fascinating place."
Michele explained that Dustin found a particular type of toilet, a dual-flush brand that allows people to either make a full or a half flush.
"That's when he said, 'Mom, this is the greatest toilet. Wouldn't it be great if I could have this?' Then he said, 'I'm asking Santa Claus for this toilet."
At first, Michele and her husband let the request go, but he kept at it, then wrote the Kohler Company.
Three months before Christmas, right after his fourth birthday, came the toilet that has furthered his interest in something most of us take for granted.
As Michele put it, "it's fun."