You’ve heard the phrase, “Curiosity killed the cat.” Well, in my case, curiosity cost a lot.
My six-year-old daughter and three-year-old son are the curious type.
While neither is as daring as my older daughter, who started jumping out of her crib at 18-months-old (hopefully not an indication of things to come), they are both more inquisitive and like experimenting. In fact, my younger daughter says she wants to be a scientist.
Needless to say, after getting home from work that night, I went to do my usual afternoon reading before dinner and after flushing the toilet and it overflowed, lovely! Unfortunately, with three small children, who use way too much paper, it's not that uncommon (at least once every two or three months).
I don’t know about you, but when I see the water rising in the toilet, I get an eerie feeling. It’s like, "Aaaaah! Stop! Stop! Please, stop!" Luckily, it stopped before completely overflowing, which could get really sticky (no pun intended), but then comes the realization that before dinner, instead of relaxing with a beer, I was going to have to address the clog in my toilet; that stinks! (Literally and figuratively)
So, once again, it's up to me and the plunger to carefully clear the congestion. Since I have experienced this situation before, I keep the plunger behind the toilet, just in case.
This time, it got ugly. I sometimes clear that problem with a couple of thrusts but this wasn't the case on this occasion. I had to struggle. I got splashes of water all over the bathroom floor, the rug, my jeans, and shoes (does this sound familiar?). And, for those that don't know me, the more I failed, the more frustrated I got and the harder I tried. I have a lot of patience, although my wife would argue with that, but when I blow up, it's not pretty. After about twenty-minutes of hand to hand combat, I threw in the towel. "No mas!" as Roberto Duran would say.
I couldn’t understand it. I was sweating like a race horse. I tried everything that usually clears even the most stubborn blockages and mustered up all the force I could. But, nothing. By this time, I was beyond frustrated. I was outright teetering on anger.
As I disappointedly walk into the living room, wanting to vent on my wife (Some could be tempted to call this “crying to mommy” but what else was I going to do?). I'll be honest, aside from not being able to unclog the bathroom, I can get a bit competitive, even with the toilet! It beat me! Now, to make matters worse, I was going to have to call the plumber and thought of the expense that would entail (not that I'm cheap but we just paid registration fee for our kids' school tuition).
Then, my wife tells me that our two little ones had flushed fruit down the toilet earlier that afternoon.
"Why didn't anyone tell me?" I ask.
She says, “It flushed. I didn’t think there was anything wrong.” Great. Just great.
Let's just say, I didn't take too kindly to the news. I blew my top and started ranting and raving. My kids scurried about the house for cover. It was reminiscent of a time the men’s baseball team I managed many years ago, gave up in a game and got slaughtered by a lesser opponent (I really railed into them!).
After my tirade (and I realize this was not a great moment in parenting), I reluctantly called the plumber, put duct tape (it works for anything) around the toilet so the kids wouldn’t use it and took the bathroom rug outside (to deal with at a later time).
We were forced to use one bathroom for the weekend (it was on a Friday) until the plumber was able to come. By the way, one bathroom for five people in the mornings can be challenging, especially for me. I lost my reading room!
Two weeks, three visits from the plumbers and a plasterer (they had to make a hole in my bedroom wall to reach the main line behind the toilet) and $1,850 later, the fruits (my daughter admitted to flushing four) and all the repairs needed, as a result of them, were finally completed last night. Those that think of the glass half full might say that the kids' experiment helped us discover a problem that could have become a major issue, but not me.
New Espinosa house rule: regardless of the circumstance, and despite how exciting it may seem, fruit is absolutely forbidden anywhere near the toilet!
I realize God forbade a certain fruit too, and, unfortunately, that didn't go over too well.