I have two sons; the oldest is three and the youngest is one. One morning while enjoying my scalding hot coffee and the same page of the book I have been reading for a week; I thought to myself, life is good. I think I’m getting in the swing of this stay-at-home thing. Here I am, enjoying a quiet moment while my children entertain themselves. Neither of my children were yelling at each other. It was incredibly quiet. The eerie stillness of deceit permeated the air.
I set about the regular checklist: Pulling out electrical socket protectors? No. Attempting to throw blocks into the ceiling fan? No. Or my personal favorite, playing Buried Treasure in the cat litter. (The fun part is figuring out if they found treasure or buried it.) No, not there. My oldest son walks up to me and proceeds to tell me that there is something wrong with his little brother. I assure him I already know that, but he insists that something else is wrong. Immediately, I know my youngest is in my shower because he’s attracted to the drain like Angela wants Tony to be the Boss.
Luckily, I arrived just in time to witness my youngest “play” with his car right into the open pvc pipe drain in the center of my shower. (On a side note, I just want to give a special shout out to the person who designed my plastic drain cover. Holes just the right size for a one-year-old’s fingers. Props.) The special treat was the desperate look of expectation on my son’s face; as if to say, “Well, go on…GET IT!” I’ll spare you the reprimand, tears (from me, not him), and the ensuing nap (for him, not me) and skip to the retrieval.
I took a sip of my warmish coffee and discovered the universe does not hate me; I can still see the car. I could have tested the drain to see if it worked, but why would I do that? That would be a sign of failure! As if I knew NOTHING about plumbing!!!… I know nothing about plumbing. I grabbed the first thing I could convert into a crude tool. Coat hangers are the laymen’s duct tape of plumbing. Its a hook. Its a jabbie thing. I even heard about a guy, that met a guy, that installed a Jacuzzi tub with one. I could surely retrieve a child’s toy with it.
I bent the coat hanger precisely, determined the angle and trajectory, and took a measurement for wind. Everyone was napping and my coffee had six minutes before it was cold. A hush fell over the crowd. I approached the tiny vehicle with surgeon’s precision and knocked it further down the drain. I don’t know if you’ve fished around in your shower drain as of late, but in case you haven’t, it smells. It smells like a porta-potty using a home kit to dye it’s hair. It’s a mocking scent.
I tried everything. After multiple changes of tactics my shower drain is now the proud home of a little metal car, some magnets that were tied to a string (turns out, those metal cars are not made of metal), and my wife’s leg razor. I stand by every decision.
When should a parent cut their losses? Sometimes, I want quiet so badly that I’m willing to risk my children’s silence as one of content instead of one that diminishes my home’s value, so I can finish my coffee. Children are wizard ninjas of destruction, drink your coffee when it’s hot or you’ll end up with cold coffee, children waking up, zero progress made, and smell like a freshly blonde porta-potty.
The good news is my shower drain still works.