Parenting, whether we’re talking about the things we give up for our children or the blood of the virgin albino goats we offer to the Gods in return for the patience to be parents and of course a healthy crop, is about sacrifice. For us, like many other parents, it meant surrendering some of the smaller luxuries of life like disposable income, a single moment of privacy, use of our legal first names (as Ronald Reagan as it sounds I actually refer to Kathleen as Mommy even when the boys are asleep and we could speak to each other as adults), all but a handful of our friends, 8 consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep, shoes without toys in them, the capacity to have children without other people telling you how to raise them, and the ability to stay awake beyond 10:30 just to mention a few. However, the one thing I never thought we’d have to give up is flushing the upstairs toilet between the hours of 8am and 8pm.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean we don’t use the upstairs bathroom between the hours of 8am and 8pm, just that we can’t remove the evidence. (It should be noted that we do have a ½ bathroom in the basement in the event that the imminent bodily function is of a more solid matter.) The Non-Flushing Edict (Screaming Baby vs. Questionable Hygiene, 2002) passed legislation when Jack was born. His bedroom shares a wall with the bathroom and it became evident early on that he woke up every time we flushed. Though we had lived in the house for almost two years before we took Jack in as a boarder we never realized that the upstairs toilet was actually the mouth of a traversable wormhole that connected to the Gamma Quadrant on the other side of the Universe where members of a life form whose intelligence far surpasses our own keep asking, “Where the hell does all this toilet paper keep coming from?”
Now with Adam renting the room that shares the opposite wall of the bathroom, the deafening whoosh from the thousands of gallons of water and the tsunami of pressure the toilet uses to flush, and also the subsequent appearance of a gasping Shelley Winters emerging from the bowl with a rope asking me to tie it to the base of the sink, has only reinforced the court’s earlier decision.
As with anything you do habitually for a period of time, living in a No-Flush Zone has become normal for us. While I was in the shower this morning though I was reminded of the levels of absurdity our lives have seamlessly absorbed over the past 5 years. Half way through my lather, rinse and repeat shampoo routine Jack knocked on the door, came in the bathroom, and said, “Hi Daddy. I got to go potty.” Moments later Kathleen came in the bathroom, was quiet for a second then asked me, “Did you flush the toilet yet this morning?” I didn’t remember so I told her I didn’t remember. “Well did you go to the bathroom before you got in the shower?” What was with the third degree interrogation? Backed into a corner, albeit a corner with a delightfully scented pomegranate body wash, I fired back, “Why?” Unfazed by my answer a question with a question style of debate she said, “Because the pee in the bowl looks like iced tea and I want to make sure Jack’s not dehydrated.”
And there is was …Rock Bottom. We were comparing Jack’s urine to iced tea. Before I could respond with a smart ass comment she activated the worm hole and escorted our ginseng infused son from the bathroom. I’m expecting a warrant for my immediate arrest is forthcoming.