Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rosie the Rooter

Last Saturday I discovered that my kid's toilet was stopped up. They were with their dad, so I wasn't sure about the probable etiology, but assumed they had let it not flush long enough to get clogged with paper - the usual issue. I ran upstairs to get the plunger. I consider myself pretty savvy with a plunger - I've had lots of practice. If there was a Toilet Paper Anonymous, I would be the first to sign up. I certainly wouldn't preach abstinence, but a little moderation would help. I'm all for being green and recycling, but when it comes to hygiene maintenance, there is no reasonable limit for me. I like to create a mountainous barrier between my hand, and, well, you know. It's a problem, I'll admit it. My ex used to posture that I used a toilet paper roll like a fishing line. I beg to differ. You reel in a fishing line.

Anyway, I tell you all of that to set the scene. I am a master with the plunger, and I've got a good one. But I attacked the toilet for 20 minutes - flush, plunge, flush, plunge - and the blockage did not budge one bit. This has never happened to me, that I can remember. It is like getting an A on an academic test. When I set my mind to clear a stopped toilet, I can make it happen. I decided to let it sit for 24 hours, and tried again Sunday night. The kids were home by then, and enjoyed watching me take the toilet to task, with all of the accompanying water splashes and slurpy gross noises. Once again, I failed. Cecelia rushed off to make a note for the toilet "Do not use the toilet or toilet will splash on you." I read it questioningly and looked at her. She started laughing, "Oops, mom, I meant to say water!" I said, "Well, your message is much more of a deterrent. Good mistake." We put a towel over the closed toilet lid, placed her note on top, and started bedtime routine.

Monday night, after hauling down the trash and the recycling (I over-recycle to make up for my excess toilet paper usage - promise!) I decided to attack the toilet one last time. I was not optimistic - I have never had a three day blockage before. I dreaded calling the plumber the next day - not only would it cost an arm and a leg, I was going to have to find the time to meet the guy or pay someone to meet him for me - something I occasionally have to do these days. Cecelia saw me head into her bathroom and followed me excitedly. "Mom, I'm going to jump in the tub so I don't get splashed! I'll watch and cheer you on!" I smiled at her. "Thanks, C."

I attacked the toilet for the last time with gusto and to my surprise, after a couple of minutes, it cleared. I looked up at Cecelia in wonder. She asked, "Did you fix it mom?" I said, "Yes! Hooray for Super Plumber Mom!" I flexed my muscle like Rosie the Riveter and turned to face Cecelia in the mirror, posing as a superhero. She scooted over right underneath me on a stool, imitated me, and looked at me happily and challengingly back in the mirror, "If you're Super Plumber Mom, I'm Super Plumber Daughter." I looked down at her chocolate brown hair framing her olive face and dark, sparkling eyes, a lopsided grin showing off a gap in her front teeth that could only be rivaled by mine at her age. I told her, "You've got a lot to look forward to in life, you know that?"






10 comments:

rlbates said...

Love the image of you two posing in the mirror! Love it!

PA Supertammy said...

Cute story!

The Mother said...

Is plunging a lot to look forward to in life?

I'd guess she's got a tad more going for her than that.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

Didn't you get my sarcasm, Queen Mother? Well, it was laced with a little too much sweetness, I guess.

generallymedicine.com said...

Ah, to be a hero to your child.. my nine-month-old gazed at me with complete gleeful and thankful amazement when I gave him a spoonful of homemade warm mango puree yesterday.. I can't imagine how he'll react when I plunge a toilet for him!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I'm hoping you got a much more adoring gaze with that mango puree - sounds amazing! I miss those days (well, a little).

Working plumbing is not as good as food, but it is quite important, I guess. Something we definitely take for granted until it isn't there!

Kyla said...

Good job! Cute image of the two of you at the end, too.

MomTFH said...

Oh, I feel your pain. I actually ended up having to buy an auger and watch sexy John the dirty plumber - remember?

Ahhh, our lives are so glamorous.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I do remember sexy John the dirty plumber! Thought about you while I was writing this post. I was on the verge of e-mailing you for auger advice - thankfully the plunger did the trick.

That dirt-streaked wife beater (or was it a full t?) with the stomach peeking out - oh the stuff of a single girl's fantasies:)

The Duchess of Cookies said...

Wow, am I ever far behind in my blog reading...

Fantastic story, you completely ROCK, I am soooo toilet squeamish! And I, too, love the mirror imagery.