Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...


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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Since returning from Reno on business (yes, I was on business, even though 2 of the nights did not qualify as business -- I will post about that at a later time) I had my children stay the weekend with me for two straight weekends, with the third coming this weekend before getting a weekend off.

The first weekend I had the kids, I was still tired from my trip and did not make any plans to take the kids anywhere. I planned to stay home, play with them, and have a pretty uneventful weekend.

Yeah, right...when has THAT ever happened...

Alex has started on his journey to wearing Big Boy Pants. Yes, that's right, he's out of diapers during the day, wearing a Pull-up at night. This has worked out well so far -- in the morning, he's been dry, and during the day, I remind him to use the bathroom on a regular basis. He still asks if he can use the bathroom, though, and I have to keep telling him he does NOT need to ask.

Just after one of these bathroom sessions, he returned to the living room in the buff. Not surprising to me, really; I've heard that when kids get out of diapers, they sometimes like streaking. So I let him streak. He played in his room, ran his trucks into the hall and living room, and didn't make much of a fuss.

I should have known something was up...

At some point, I went into the kids bathroom to look for his underwear. I have 2 bathrooms in my duplex and one is exclusively theirs, so they do not get tempted to play with my toiletries. I couldn't find his underwear anywhere. I looked behind the commode, under the sink, in the tub, and finally in his room, and they were nowhere to be found.

I called Alex and asked him where he put his underwear. He replied, matter-of-factly, "In the toilet, Daddy", and continued playing with a truck.

No...certainly not...he did NOT try to flush his underwear.

As if on cue, he came into the bathroom and flushed the john. The bowl started to fill and rise a little too quickly for my taste.

I grabbed two towels, dumped them on the floor in front of the throne, and did what no parent likes to do -- I dove my arm, up to the elbow, into the bowl and reached up the main tube to find a pair of Finding Nemo underpants. The bowl drained immediately with minimal flood damage.

Alex knew he was in trouble and ran from the bathroom, into the living room, onto the couch, and started making a noise in between a cry and a whine. After giving him a stern talking to about flushing his underpants, I called his mother. Apparently, she thought this was very funny and proceeded to text message and email anyone on the planet that needed an update on Alex's escapades.

The next day, Alex flushed a sign from his train set.

That was two weekends ago. This past weekend, Alex and Hayden both did not feel well. Alex puked across my bed, forcing me to do a months worth of laundry in a few hours (for previous puking escapades, see my post on The Trials of Parenthood). Again, we stayed home -- the last thing I needed was a child primed to puke in the middle of the play area at Post Oak Mall.

Apparently Alex was still bored, even though he has his choice of three cartoon networks, a full library of DVDs, a room full of toys, and 2 dogs that will take any abuse he can dish out. He flushed his toothbrush. I thought he was kidding until I noticed it took about 20 minutes for the toilet to finish flushing.

This problem required the purchase of a drain snake. I've used one of these things before and I hated it, but it did the job. It found the toothbrush so I could, yet again, reach my hand into the bowl to pull it out. That cleared the drain, resuming normal flushing activities.

I'm sure Alex will find something else to flush. I've taken to putting my cell phone out of his reach; I've counted the dominoes several times; and I don't own any books small enough to fit into the porcelain seat.

Between kids and dogs, the toilet is an instrument of fascination. Maybe soon, I will show Alex how to catch up on his reading...oh, wait...that's in his DNA, being a male...

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