Thursday, May 31, 2012

water crimes

Yeah, so Mr. B had this water thing when he was little.  It started when he was about 2 years old, coinciding with the birth of Mr. G for anyone wishing to apply the stuff they learned in Psych 101.  He flushed a toy boat down the upstairs toilet, causing the toilet to back up just in time for Christmas when my folks were staying with us.  My father valiantly attempted to snake the pipes, but we ended up calling a professional.  The company we called was appropriately named "Flush."  For $300 they removed the entire toilet (blocked to the gills with ewgrossickickick) and extracted the plastic boat from the bowels (pun intended) of our house's pipes.  This incident also resulted in some nasty flooding on the bathroom floor.  We wrote it off as the natural combination of possessing a toy boat in a bathroom--of course a kid would want to see if it would float after flushing the toilet--a typhoon test of sorts.

About a month or so later Mr. B flushed another toy down the toilet in the master bathroom.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  The bill was more, no frequent customer discount from "Flush."

At this point I began searching for toilet lid locks.  Trouble was, Mr. T was only about 5 years old and required access to the toilet.  There is no toilet lid lock designed to keep out a 2 year old while allowing access to a 5 year old. 

 
The grand finale to Mr. B's flushing obsession happened when he and Mr. T got into a fight over an action figure.  Mr. B grabbed the toy and flushed it down the stool in the 1/2 bath, the third and final toilet in our house.  Why flush the toy?  So his brother couldn't play with it, of course.  A toddler's logic is always jaw-dropping.  I called "Flush" and reported the issue--we ascertained what had been flushed days after the fact when the plugged up toilet and inventory of our household items corroborated with Mr. T's testimony.  (They don't call me "Sherlock" for nothing.) 

The lady who answers the phone at "Flush" is one of those genuinely funny people--she asked if Robin (the Boy Wonder, sidekick to the Dark Knight AKA Batman AKA Bruce Wayne) had worn his scuba suit and taken his water purification pills before his foray into the depths of our waste removal system.  Even a worn-out, sleep-deprived, overwhelmed and underpaid SAHM like me had to laugh. 

And I had to laugh.  My sense of humor is one reason why I saved the receipts from each of our "Flush" service calls in Mr. B's baby book.  A study of these receipts indicate that it's less expensive to get through the pipes of a second story bathroom--straighter route perhaps?  I save copies of the BIG bills incurred from parenthood so that when the boys ask for college tuition someday, I'll explain how they are SOL because they actually owe ME for home renovation costs.  I'm kidding!  But I will show them what they cost us because wouldn't you want to know?  Plus it is kind of funny--years after the fact--that Mr. B cost us almost $1,000 (including the cost of 3 tried-and-rejected toilet lid lock kits) during this flushing phase.

When he was 3 or 4 Mr. B ran a garden hose from the back patio through our living room window and left it running.  That flooded our living room rug, soaked several toys, couch cushions, books and stacks of magazines.  Yes, yes I did lose my shit that day and screamed myself hoarse. 


Mr. B's final act took place when he was in preschool.  He and Mr. G played in the basement one morning and then came upstairs for lunch before I walked Mr. B across the field to school.  While Mr. G refused to nap (because all of my kids quit napping at age 2 which is another justification I give people asking "Don't you want to try for a girl?"--but seriously, who asks the mother of 3 boys if they're going to try for a girl?  And if you ARE one of those people who ask that question, just quit already.)  I tried to clean up the debris from lunch.

After clearing the table, I heard Violet meowing from the basement where we kept her litter box.  She normally only meowed for a reason, so I headed downstairs to explore.  I got to the bottom of the stairs and my foot splashed.  Water was pouring out of the basement bathroom from beneath the door.  The locked door.  I ran upstairs for the key, unlocked the door and discovered the bathroom sink was plugged and both faucets were running full blast.  They'd been running like that since before lunch sometime. 


Half the basement was under water, although the damage was limited because years ago we'd had a pipe burst in our old house, so this veteran didn't use cardboard boxes for storage anymore.  Mr. G ratted his brother out and Mr. B was one lucky kid to be safe across the field sitting in his preschool classroom.  I spent that afternoon on my knees with rags and a bucket, cleaning up yet another mess Mr. B had made with water.

Thankfully the kid was cute and outgrew this phase.  He turned out to be the best swimmer of all 3 boys and he's still mad for water.  We always joke that he's growing gills because he can stay under water so long.  Mr. B loves to swim and read books and watch TV shows about all things water-relatedMaybe he'll be a marine biologist, deep sea explorer, scuba instructor or plumber someday.  It would make sense.








28 comments:

  1. I love that you saved the bills!

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  2. I guess it's funny now, huh? I hate the when are you going to try for a girl question. I always point to the twins and say - that was my attempt for a girl. People don't usually say anything after that, ha ha.

    I hope it doesn't occur to my 2 yr olds to flush toys down the toilet to prevent brotherly access! for now, they throw toys in the crib, which has a quick (and free) fix.

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  3. And I thought we had something to complain about with the one toilet incident at our house. Of course there was the time J13 almost burned the house down. That was also fun.

    and I HATED when people would ask us if we were trying for a boy. hated it.

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  4. i mean trying for a girl. good grief. i have two boys -- one of which was talking to me while I was typing this. which my explain my mistake.

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  5. I LUFF this post--for its detail and history and sense of such an imp of a kid. If only he'd had webbing between his fingers and toes...

    That whole trying for a girl thing? ANNOYING, indeed. We have some wonderful neighbors who had four boys and, in fact, the mom got to the point of obsession over having a girl. They paid money to "conceive" an embryo in a way that used some gender manipulation (you can up your odds to something dumb like a whole 55%); then the resulting embryo tested somehow as a male, and it had a chromosomal disorder and didn't make it even to implantation. Ugh. So then this mom tried all sorts of holistic "eating cranberries" types of ideas, and they tried a variety of, erm, intimate positions, and her entire psyche was devoted to A Girl.

    Meanwhile, she had four healthy boys swirling around her, being hilarious.

    Eventually, she got pregnant, and the day she found out it was a girl was THE BEST DAY OF HER LIFE. So now they have a girl, and the entire household acts like she hung the moon, and they are *done* having kids--since they finally got what they wanted,

    and I'll be damned if I don't hate the message that sends to the four boys who came first.

    So, yea, I know what you're saying. Feel free to print this ranting comment and hand it to the next person who asks if you don't want to try for a girl.

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  6. Umm . . . wow. You know the only bummer is that given how expensive everything is, when Mr. B hits college-age, that $1000 will seem peanuts.

    Emma stopped napping at 2 years as well. Perhaps this explains why I only have the one? :-)

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  7. with 6 girl babies before the boy turned up, I heard the reverse opinion more then once. Even from the girls, when I went to the hospital for #7, I knew he was a boy but had not told the girls. D#2 (age 9) told me not to bring the baby home if it was a girl. the local newspaper interviewed me after he was born and I mentioned the comment. so it is preserved for posterity. I have that in her baby book stuff.

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  8. How funny would it be if he actually became a plumber?

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  9. Seriously, I think only a mother of 3 young boys can fully comprehend "loosing her shit"...I've called the hub many a time saying those exact words ;) I'm amazed at how many people ask when we're trying for a girl, what the hell would I do with a girl in this testosterone filled house?!?

    I'll never forget the time that we were having a heated marital discussion in the office (1st floor) when mid sentence a huge waterfall landed on top of hub's head....little innocent Riley decided to float his boat in the upstairs bathroom sink by plugging the overflow hole thing and kept the water running, which ran down the cabinet and right through the floor vent into the ceiling fan in the office and onto an already po'd dad's head! Good times, good times...

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  10. Hilarious. I think he's the next Jacques Cousteau.

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  11. omg-i LOVE this!
    I particularly love that you kept the major bills - genuis!!! My son knows he grew up with a single mom and he's lucky to go to college at all, much less the pricey one he chose to set his heart on, but it would be really great to pull out a box of receipts and share with him why I have no savings.

    Your boy is most DEF going to do something with water as a career. It's his destiny!

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  12. I would never ask you if you were trying for a girl, LOL. I also love it that you saved the receipts.

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  13. I would never be so foolish as to ask you're going to try for a girl, especially since I hated being asked if we were going to try for a boy.

    All three of your boys are fabulous, but this post made me laugh especially loud and long.

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  14. Parenting is understanding why lions eat their young. I read that somewhere some time. And some days it really resonates with me.

    Cute kid though.

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  15. Save the receipts, pure justification....omg,...my gut hurts, my cheeks are yearning for relief...too funny. Are you sure you don't want to add a girl to the mix....just think of the fun! You are officially voted the Mother of the Year, and it's not even half over yet.
    BlessYourHeart

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  16. You must have had the plumbers on speed dial!

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  17. I had a great workman named Mike, who was usually drunk and AWOL (Never pay Mike in advance...) I keep meaning to write a post about his genius for repairing Boy Damage. I once asked him to make a hole in the bathroom wall at the lowest point, so that the floods would just drain right out. It took him days! Luckily the floor was slightly slanted so it worked a treat. I guess this wouldn't work for everyone but it made my life SO much easier!

    Saving the receipts is pure genius. And if he becomes a plumber, you can get free plumbing work for ever!!

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  18. Forever, and always (before kids even) I have dreamed, just DREAMED about having drain holes not only in the kitchen, but the bathroom. With tiled floors and walls waist high....had me 2 german shepherds that shedded out the ying yang, then I had 2 boys. can't you just see the logic in this? any mess, drag in the hose, wash it down. I think they do this in most gas station bathrooms, and the practicality slays me. If women designed kitchens (or, mothers) this would be the norm. Next time you're in a bathroom, probably a gas station one is the likeliest to find one, gaze down at that drain hole. Imagine the possibilities. I have ;)

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  19. Mine gave up naps at 3 months. And people ask why we never had a second.....

    I had a sister who would flush cloth diapers down my parent's toilet. As I'm 12 years older than her, a few times I got to be the one who stayed home to wait for Rotor Rooter to show up.

    We just spent months with the downstairs tub slowly draining. Because we are cheap and we don't use that shower,(our daughter does) we didn't call in a plumber. My husband insisted he could snake it himself and eventually, he did manage to get it unstuck. We still have no idea what was in there, but it's gone now.

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  20. pretty funny, really...the next master plumber!

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  21. Ok this post made me end up with tears running down my face from laughing so hard because honestly the flushing thing is funny maybe not so much for those who had to deal with the aftermath but for me reading about it yeah bloody funny.......lol

    I have 3 daughters and would always get annoyed when people would say didn't you want a son.........no I am happy with my girls......

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  22. I bet he'll be an explorer like Robert Ballard. He found the Titanic.

    I think it will fit him well. :)

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  23. I think you should put the plumbing receipts in his baby book.

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  24. "I save copies of the BIG bills incurred from parenthood so that when the boys ask for college tuition someday, I'll explain how they are SOL because they actually owe ME for home renovation costs."


    Hahahahhahahahahahahaha! Okay, as mother of three boys now a few years older than yours, I can laugh. I recall when the window replacer man knew me as a regular stop. "See you next time Mrs. Anderson," as he tossed me the errant baseball from under the bushes next to the picture window. Or the ER crew, "Nice to see you again, Mrs. Anderson. Who broke something today?"

    Enjoyed it.

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  25. Wow--that boy has perseverance! You know I can't think of a time where any of the four kids did anything like that, so I'm going to spend a little time right now counting my blessings.

    I did have a water baby--there were days I would give him three baths a day because they made so happy and mellow. You know what happened to that baby (a Pisces as it happens)--he's playing water polo in college for actual money!

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  26. oh.my.goodness! i don't know if i would have remained that calm. my son flushed a pair of underwear down the toilet one time. he was old enough to know better but didn't want to admit that he'd had an accident. he thought flushing them would solve the problem. wrong... luckily, we had an access pipe in the basement and ron was able to snake it out. score one for him.

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  27. God bless you, Green Girl. You are an amazing mom! :)

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  28. Y'know there's a web site out there dedicated to Stuff My Kid Broke. (Okay, it's not stuff... but you can find it with that much of the title.) That site makes me feel better every time I have to call the nice plumbers who made their first housecall in 1997 after the Boy and Middle Child discovered that their bath toys would go down the hole in the potty if they just pushed the magic lever. They had a lot of bath toys... I think I'll send the plumbers a graduation announcement next year so they'll know that business may be dropping off soon.

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Spill it, reader.