I love my children.
I love love love love my children.
There is nothing my children could do that would make me stop loving them.
I’m going to try to tell you this without gagging more than a few times. If you are squeamish, GO READ SOMETHING ELSE. I mean it. You’ve been warned.
So. Um. Where to begin? At the beginning, I guess.
My children can be somewhat forgetful. Chickadee often loses things. Monkey frequently forgets how to read. You know, the standard kids things. And lately, they’ve both taken up a fabulous new trick.
Go on, GUESS!
If you guessed “they forget to flush the toilet,” you are correct! Don’t you wish you lived at my house?
With Chickadee, this becomes an issue when she doesn’t flush in the upstairs bathroom right before the kids go to their dad’s house for the weekend. Twice, now, I’ve walked past that bathroom (which I pretty much never use, as there’s a bathroom downstairs and another in my room) and detected the odor of… rank urine. Prompting me to flush and scrub and mutter less-than-kind observations about my firstborn.
It’s gross. But manageable.
With Monkey, it’s become a real problem, and here is why (and also where you should stop reading if you really are squeamish and didn’t stop reading, earlier): Monkey suffers from chronic constipation. Oh, he’s better than he used to be, for sure. But most of the time, when he manages to poop, the toilet clogs.
(Wrap your brain around that, if you will. The smallest member of our household is the one dropping logs large enough to bring the plumbing to its knees. He’s so talented!)
When you’re a small boy who often clogs the toilet, what do you do? Do you try to use the bathroom more often, so as not to be producing mammoth mounds of poop? Do you try to use less toilet paper? No! Don’t be silly! You just stop flushing the toilet! It can’t clog if you don’t flush it, you know.
So. The kids are hanging out with their dad today, celebrating Columbus Day. I puttered around the house, doing some work, and then decided to go out and run some errands. But I’d had rather a lot of coffee, you know, so I thought I’d better go to the bathroom before I left. In fact, I had to pee pretty badly (you’re welcome).
I walked into the downstairs bathroom and lifted the lid.
My arm shot out and pulled the flusher before my eyes had time to finish registering what I was looking at. The water rushed into the bowl, turned a rather predictable color, and began to rise.
I gagged. It was to be the first of many gags.
I lifted the seat with one hand while grabbing my trusty plunger from the undersink cabinet with the other. Insert plunger. Plunge. Plunge. Gag. Plunge. The water seemed to be receding a bit, slowly, and I needed more water to aid my plunging efforts, so I flushed the toilet again.
More plunging, more gagging, as the bowl filled. I thought again, mid-gag, about how I really needed to pee, and maybe I should stop and go upstairs and relieve myself. But no, I’d be done here in a minute. No worries.
I plunged away and the water level went down again and I thought that one more flush would probably do it. I hit the handle for that third—most certainly NOT charmed—time.
The water level rose. I plunged. I gagged. The water level… kept rising? What? Wait! Stop! NOOOOO!
The chain inside the tank chose this time to have a little kink, and the flapper couldn’t close, and so the water continued to rush into the bowl.
The bowl which was still clogged. Clogged and full of things OTHER THAN WATER.
I plunged with renewed zeal as I fairly THREW the decorative tray off of the back of the commode (handy for holding a box of tissues and a can of Lysol which the children take turns spraying on each other), and finally had to let the plunger go so that I had both hands to remove the tank lid and fix the chain.
The flapper slammed down just as the “water” (I use that term loosely) began to run onto the floor and I began to scream.
Yes, I screamed. I was home alone, so I guess it’s not a big deal. And the toilet’s self esteem doesn’t seem much damaged by strangled shrieks of “NO! NO NO NO NO NOOOOOO!!!! FUCK!”
I screamed and a dry-heaved and I plunged until the clog was finally cleared. And then I stood there and screamed and dry-heaved some more.
Finally I went into the kitchen and gathered up a bottle of bleach and some gloves and a scrub brush and some rags and paper towels.
I scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees. I scrubbed the toilet, outside and in. I flushed it a couple of more times, to make sure it was truly clear.
I stopped screaming, but I continued to gag. I walked upstairs and changed my clothes and came back downstairs and put the bleach away and left my clothes on the floor of the bathroom with the rest of the cleaning items and found some matches and some kindling and set the bathroom on fire and closed the door firmly and went out to buy groceries. Without stopping to pee.
Gorgonzola was on sale. I’ve been meaning to pick some up for a recipe I’ve been wanting to try, so I bought it, even though I’m never eating again.