Friday, April 23, 2010

The Dark Side

Well. Here’s what I’ve learned this week. R2D2 is a very cool little robot thing, but he couldn’t swim even if it meant saving the entire universe from the Dark Side. In fact, he has quite possibly drowned by now in the depths of our plumbing.

Also, I have learned that when a flapping 3-year-old is trying to tell me something, I should try to figure out what he is saying. (Well, not saying, but communicating via his own little flap-happy form of morse code.)

Anyway, most moms might be alarmed to find a flapping 3-year-old standing beside the toilet and covered in water, but not me. Nope—me, I keep my cool and think to myself, ‘No problem…it’s probably just a coincidence that Jordan is standing here, dripping and frantically motioning to the swirling water in the toilet.

So I did what any harried and self-respecting mom would do, and I ushered him off to wash his hands and get ready for a bath—and that was the end of it. I didn’t think about the swirling toilet water and flapping toddler again until much, much later.

Later happened at about 8:00 when I went to use the facilities located in our upstairs room (the same location where said toddler was found flapping and dripping a mere couple of hours before). All was proceeding according to plan…until the flush, at which time, the toilet gurgled, burped, and sort of made this cat-drowning-in-a-puddle noise. (And no, I have not witnessed a cat drowning in a puddle—ever—but I can only imagine what it must sound like, and this was it.)

The water level rose to that point where you really start to think you might need to run and get some towels, but then, miraculously and in the knick of time, it stopped. Our toilet, full of water looked sort of like a glass of soda does right before the fizz runs over the side of the glass because it was filled too full. Yeah, like that.

Anyway, disaster was narrowly avoided, and I went to tuck the boys in and casually mentioned to my loving husband that ‘Oops, the toilet is clogged.’ He then began the inquisition that sounded something like this:

Jason: What did you do?

Me: Well, I did what I USUALLY do, but this time, something went wrong.

Jason: And I suppose you want me to fix it?

Me: Yes, honey. But don’t worry, our t.v. program is being DVR’d, so we won’t miss anything.

Jason: How did you clog it?

Me: Ummmm…

So, plunger in hand, he valiantly marched upstairs, my knight in shining armor. 45 minutes later…yes, I said FORTY-FIVE minutes, I could still hear the furious plunging noise as he tried to force water through our pipes.

And it was only then that I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I wonder if Jordan might have put something in the toilet before he flushed it.” (Normally, I do not require 45 minutes of plunging after I visit the restroom.)

So, I march upstairs, preparing myself the whole time to tell Jason that maybe, just maybe, our little sweet pea had flushed something unnatural down the toilet. But when I arrived upstairs and caught a vision of Jason hunched over the toilet and plunging as if he were trying to shove the toilet through the floor, I couldn’t do anything but laugh. I know it was horrible and awful and totally inappropriate, but he was up to his elbows in toilet water, and there were there terrible gurgling noises, and the whole scene just struck me as hilarious in that instant.

My fit of laughter began to subside when I realized that he was not laughing along with me. Instead, he was glaring at me, plunger in hand and water dripping from various parts of his body—not sure whether this was sweat or toilet water—but darn it, THAT was funny, too, so I laughed again. But rest assured, I did finally compose myself enough to blurt out that I thought Jordan might have flushed something.

And do you think I got gratitude for that revelation? No. No, I did not. Instead, if possible, his glare became more pronounced and I’m pretty sure that if he looked directly at any metal object, he could have melted it. Yep, he was that mad.

After 45 minutes of furious plunging, he marched downstairs to the garage, pulled plastic gloves from his CPR training kit, kneeled in front of the toilet, and I swear, looked like he was about to help the toilet give birth. So then he was elbow-deep in the toilet, and you know what? That was funny, too! He fondled something for a few minutes, announced that, indeed, there was a foreign object in the toilet that felt curiously like the bottom half of the R2D2 toy that lay forlornly on the bathroom floor.

He used a screwdriver to try to gouge the toy and pull it out—no luck. Then he used my tweezers to try to pinch the edge of the toy—no luck. (And no, Honey, I do not need my tweezers back—I’ll get some new ones.) His final suggestion was to remove the toilet. Yes, that’s correct. Remove. The. Toilet.

Now, this would not seem like such an odd suggestion if, in fact, either of us had one iota of experience in any sort of plumbing. Let me put our fix-it abilities into perspective. If it’s more complicated than a light bulb or an outlet faceplate, we call for help. So there was NO WAY I was going to allow a toilet to be removed without proper professional supervision.

He swore he would not call a plumber to remove R2D2 from the toilet. No way. Too expensive. “We can do it ourselves,” he said. We don’t need no stinkin’ plumbers.


After an hour of plunging, digging, coercing, flushing, and cursing, I believe he decided he’d had enough. He had a blister about the size of the end of the plunger handle in the center of his hand, and he was covered in....well, something. We left the toilet in its pitiful state, plunger protruding from it so that no one would accidentally mistake it for a fully-functioning commode, and we cleaned up and went to bed. This morning, I e-mailed him the numbers for a couple of plumbers. Oh yeah, we need a plumber.

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