Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The $268 Banana

I'd been waiting for this day with my asshole puckered tight since my firstborn was about 4 months old, knowing it's going to happen. We've all heard the stories about the balls through the neighbors windows and other shit kids do to break something expensive that the parents have to pay to fix or replace, and we wait with terrified, baited breath for our turn. 

I am less than thrilled to announce: Our time has come.

Frankly, three boys later, I'm surprised it hasn't come sooner than this.

A couple of weeks ago, the toilet in our downstairs bathroom clogged. No amount of plunging (which I HATE to do because of a toilet in our former house that clogged daily) would unclog it. We were at a loss until it started dawning on Nate and I that perhaps one of the boys had flushed something they weren't supposed to- another thing I'm surprised hasn't happened sooner.

I asked the boys if one of them flushed something other than poop or pee down the toilet. I knew without a doubt that it would have been Connor (5) or Brandon (3), so I was floored when Ethan (7) fessed up.

Just when you think you know your kids...

Story goes: Ethan was sitting on the pot while eating a banana (gross) and when he was done with it and "didn't want to hold it anymore" he flushed the peel down the fucking toilet.

He didn't throw it in the GARBAGE CAN that is less than a foot away from the toilet, he flushed it.

Just when you think your kids are really smart, you realize: They are still kids. 

I called a plumber, he arrived, heard the story, and we talked over our options. For $125, he could snake the toilet and try to fish the peel out, but in doing that he could also inadvertently shove the peel into our whole plumbing system, it could get trapped, then all the toilet paper and whatever else we put into our system (MORE BANANA PEELS?) could clog up behind the peel and cause a whole house plumbing problem, potentially causing us hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars in damage.

OR, he could do the more-expensive-than-snaking option of taking the toilet off the floor and fish the peel out that way, and we wouldn't have to wait with baited breath for our plumbing system to die and flood our house with shit.

I asked him how much that would cost. Answer: $368.

My mouth dropped open and I just blankly stared at him while I processed what I heard, which was not "Three hundred and sixty-eight dollars." What I heard was, "A week and a half worth of groceries" or "Christmas present money" or "Partly the cost of the washing machine that we'll need to replace soon" and "What a complete waste of money for such a stupid fucking mistake."

My blank, horrified look unexpectedly convinced him to say that he could take $100 off the price because our toilet didn't look all that hard to take off and put back on because it's new, bringing the price to $268.

Still a big ball of suck, but when I weighed it against the gamble of a potential future- and more expensive- problem, I told him to do it.

I opened our garage door so the plumber could bring in his equipment, and left the door from the garage leading into the house open halfway. I went into the house while he stood in the garage processing the work order on his iPad. Not one minute later, Brandon (the three-year-old), who was eating at our kitchen counter about 15 feet away from the open door to the garage innocently asked me, "Mama, is that fat guy in the garage?"

Because we needed this to get worse. As I cringed and hoped that the plumber had already gone to his truck and didn't hear what Brandon said, I heard his truck door shut and thanked God that he hadn't heard while I quickly lectured Brandon that it isn't okay to call people fat.

The plumber got the peel out, I numbly handed him our credit card, and off he went.

Since I can't sell Ethan to depraved pedophiles to pay the bill, he is now my slave. Anything he is capable of doing that I don't want to do myself, he's the man. His ass is working this off, and he really thinks it sucks. But every time he complains, I remind him that it sucks even more that he flushed a banana peel down the toilet and cost mom and dad a bunch of money.

He's starting to complain less and less. Frankly, I think it's good for him. He's of the age that he needs to be a bigger contributor to the chores and workload of this household and I grudgingly guess that this is a good- but expensive- segue.

The scene of the crime. Note that cylindrical, silver thing RIGHT NEXT TO the toilet? Mmmm hmmm.

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