Each new parent should be sent, in the mail, upon receipt of their first child, an instructional manual. This instruction manual would give them specific instructions, step by step, listing the tools needed for each task as well as when you can "do it yourself" and when to "seek professional help".
The title of this marriage saving book would be, Basic Plumbing: How To Fix All The Plumbing Problems Your Kid Is Bound To Make.
Seriously people, I have learned more about plumbing (self taught) in the past 5 years than I had ever thought possible and I learned it all by necessity. Because of my children.
My darling children have flushed paper, crayons, books, toys, and stuffed animals down the toilet. My children hide things in the garbage disposal. My friend once came into my bathroom in the dark late at night and used the toilet and flushed it and then heard the horrible gurgling and squelching noises of a (very expensive) cloth diaper going down the drain and into my septic system. My faucets leak due to children hanging from them like monkeys and stripping their gaskets. My jewelry gets played with and slips down the drain (Why were you playing with my rings in the bathtub, I ask them. I wash them Mama!). Huge quantities of food items, vomit, fecal matter and other nasties have been down not just my toilet, but every other drain of any kind in my house. (Who wants to sleep over?)
This is why, I repeat; Every parent should get a Basic Plumbing Instruction Book with their first child.
Last night I was exhausted from a long weekend of class and coming home to an exhausted Nonny who immediately tagged me "it" into full parental mode as she went to bed (At 6:30 pm). I was up late, and up again early each morning. On top of the killer schedule, we had to keep the house super clean for a showing this weekend (to no apparent avail).
After I put the kids to bed (late) last night, I came down to discover that during their evening bath, they had shredded a coloring book into the full bathtub. When they had opened the drain, all the little bits of shredded paper had gathered on the small parts of toys and hair and hair ties in the drain assembly and completely clogged the whole she-bang.
Now, I am no faint-hearted mother. I have born three children at home, two with no outside assistance whatsoever. I will not be daunted by a basic plumbing challenge. I have three children and I have read my plumbing instruction manual.
I first attempted the quick fix by McGyvering a clearing and poking tool with a chopstick and managed to get some basic drainage. I pulled the bigger gobs out of the drain assembly (It the kind where you cannot actually take the plug out ever, but can only screw the plug up or down. Ugh. Curses on drain engineers!) around the bulky plug head. There was still a very diminished flow capacity which I feared would lead to overflowing showers and the like.
I realized that I needed to use my pliers and wrench and I disassembled the entire drain unit. I removed copious gobs of hair, toys and more shredded paper. I went down to the basement to find my plumbers putty. I reassembled the drain. This entire procedure took no more than 15 minutes. It now flows like it hasn't since, well since we began living here and my children began putting things into the drain assembly.
I am a Mama Goddess!
Can I have my trophy now?