Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Toilet Trouble

Who loves ya, Mr. B? Mommy, of course!

Mr. B is my middle child--pure joy as a personality. When he smiles, his whole face radiates happiness. When he's mad or sad, he wails with a loud fury. Mr. B gets along with both brothers, plays nicely and cooperatively, and excelled in preschool. He has a distinctive sense of fashion and has taken to wearing an old chain around his neck like some flashback from 1987. He's a snappy dresser, choosing dress shirts and polos where his older brother would only wear t-shirts with NO collars. When he was 3 he wore yellow rubber boots and a black cape everywhere we went.

Mr. B is also imaginative and troublesome at times. Since he was 2 he's had "Issues" with water. He started by flushing toys down the toilet. Our house has 3 toilets. All 3 have had to be taken apart to retrieve a Robin action figure and 2 toy boats. All 3 receipts from Flush, the company hired to clean our pipes, are stored in his baby book. The total from Mr. B's Toilet Flushing Period was $489.72. You may well ask why we didn't just lock the toilets down. All the toilet latches are childproof and Mr. T (age 4 at the time) needed access to said potty chairs. We couldn't lock one kid out at the expense of the other. *sigh*

This spring Mr. B plugged the basement sink and let the water run all day before I went downstairs to feed the cat. I stepped in over an inch of standing water. Mr. B was lucky he was at preschool that afternoon or he might have ended up in the Emergency Room. He did this deliberately, knowing it was wrong even after I'd stopped him from flooding an upstairs bathroom earlier that same day. I spent a whole day mopping up water that had leaked through walls and soaked through carpets. That water flowed through Mr. D's Closet O' Crappe and everything needed airing out. *sigh*

You'd think the kid would learn.

Last Thursday I had a good thing going--the kids were playing upstairs, I had a fresh cup of coffee and blogs to read, I had a double batch of Lunchbox Cookies midway through their oven time and my chores were caught up for a few hours. Then Mr. T came downstairs. "Mom, I feel like I should tell you something."
Me: (a touch of impatience in my voice because doesn't he know I'm reading Minnesota Matron) "What?"
Mr. T: Oh, never mind.
Five minutes later.
Mr. T: (comes downstairs and sits on last step) "Mom I really feel like I should tell you something.
Me: (irritable because I'm reading Jenn at Juggling Life and I don't want to be interrupted) What? Mr. T if you have something to say, just say it. Otherwise leave me alone.

Mr. T scooted up the steps and in the sudden silence I heard water dripping. No, make that more of a steady splatter. What?

I stood up and recognized it came from the kitchen. I took 2 steps and froze. It was coming through the light fixture in the middle of the kitchen ceiling.

With the speed of a Cheetah, I sprinted upstairs and around the corner to discover a bathroom floor flooded with water and the overflowing toilet contributing to the problem. A toilet overflowing with brown sh*twater.

My shrieks and cursing pierced the air as I panicked. My skin crawled at the prospect of cleaning up the flecks of shredded toilet paper and poop particles. And it was flowing into my kitchen where cookies were baking. Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!

Who do you suppose kept on flushing despite the fact that nothing was going down? The one and only child with Issues. Mr. B.

Gathering old towels, I stopped the flow and shoved the water back, gagging on the smell as I did so. I'm a shade below Jen on the Edge when it comes to my Dirty Bathroom Reaction, but this was worse than the winter flu and potty training combined. Breathing through my mouth I tried to absorb the sh*twater pouring through the floorboards. Then I ran back to the boys' room to scream a little more. I returned to the bathroom fully armed with plunger, rags, rubber gloves and a bottle of bleach. It took hours. Cookies burned. Coffee cooled to a tepid temperature. My blood boiled.

By noon you could eat off of any surface in that bathroom and I tossed the empty bleach bottle in the recycling bin.

The electrician is coming at 4:30 today to fix the kitchen light. Guess where I'll file that receipt?


  1. Possibly you have a future plumber on your hands?? Good grief. Good thing he's so darn cute.

  2. Oh, the fun of having boys!! I had three girls and they were trouble in other ways!! Enjoy the summer and them, because soon they will be gone to to other "girls" and not Mom!!!

  3. I've had the s*&twater overflow, but not into ANOTHER ROOM! Shrieking indeed!

  4. OMFG! I feel your pain, I really do. One of our resident children has, ahem, bathroom issues and, when they finally resolve (about once every five days), we have to plunge the toilet. Every. Single. Week. Since she was five. Sometimes, the plunging goes well, but sometimes it does not and then we have to get out Serious Tools. And then afterward we have to do some Serious Cleaning.

    One day, Mr. B. is going to grow up. He'll have a Mr. B. Jr. who will also have a fascination with plumbing. And Mr. B. will call you and apologize profusely for everything he put you through.

  5. Oh my. Good thing you have a blog, so something good, or at least amusing, comes out of it!

  6. Well, as you already know, there is absolutely no good advice coming from me on this subject. Good luck!

  7. Quite literally the s*it has hit the fan!

    I am thanking my lucky stars mine never blocked up the loo....I would have had a king sized sense of humor failure!

  8. Oh, dear. My heart beat is racing just thinking about it. Ick, ick, ick.

  9. I say: Get the kid enrolled right now in the Future Plumbers of America union...sorry about that~
    Catching up on your other blogs after being away and you do know how to make me smile :)

  10. oh no! we took our toilet apart when our youngest was two and found a baby bottle pop in there. that was a FUN day.

  11. OMG.

    I just don't even know what else to say. Umm ... you'll have fun stories to tell his future mate? Umm ... it's great blog fodder?

  12. Too bad I don't live closer to you (when I get back north), as the work I am doing daily includes unclogging toilets that our clients put things down (you name it, it's been put down there). This includes unscrewing the flange bolts and lifting the toilet off the floor flange and wax seal. Once you've done it 1 or 2 times, its pretty easy to do and only takes a few minutes. With things put down the toilet, we generally use a crank/spring snake which is about 5 feet long and costs about $25-$30 at a Home Depot/Lowes/Menards. With that, you either pull the item back or end up puching it through, and it goes out into the septic tank or sewer. I also change ballasts, fluorescent tubes, incandescent bulbs and various fixtures on a daily basis, too. Good luck!

  13. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I would have cried. He is adorable though so don't sell him...yet...

  14. Yikes! I'm so so so so glad to be past that stage!

    Once Big Kid flushed a friend's pager down the toilet. When we retrieved it, it was like a large sh*tball. gak.

  15. All I can say is...my deepest sympathies.

  16. My guess is you might file it where the sun don't shine? :-)

    Poor you.

  17. Don't the boys have their own bathroom to flood? I mean use? Too bad about the cookies... I have often told my sons that they will need to get jobs to help pay for their damages. Looks like Mr B will owe you a fair amount by the time he starts school Maybe he will grow up to be a plumber!


Spill it, reader.