Monday, June 13, 2011

The Plumber Rings Twice!

The Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop Writing Prompt I chose this week was "We're too old to be getting in trouble...aren't we? Write about a time you were an adult."

Little Z has a little set of Alex Toys Tub City foam block buildings for the bath. They have square blocks and rectangular blocks, triangular roofs, even a fish and some trees. But they also have long trapezoid blocks, long enough to roof 2 adjacent buildings. Well. One night Z put two of them long-sides-together, which I told her made the shape look like a diamond. Now, I was thinking of a faceted gem, and since she's at the stage where a diamond is a kite shape. So I clarified, to avoid confusion. Then I went to the safe to get my engagement ring out, to show her. It had been in there ever since I slashed a cut in my newborn's cheek with one of the corners (By accident, of course. Sheesh, people.)
I showed her how it was faceted, much like the shape she had made. She, of course, wanted to play with hold my "bee-yoo-duh-fuh" ring. So I let her. Now, I know what you're thinking. But I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and she talked about letting kids play with your precious things. For one, it teaches them to respect the privilege and take better care of your valued items. But it also prevents them from pulling the bookshelf down onto themselves from trying to climb up to reach your forbidden treasures. If she wants to hold my collectible Kirin statue, she knows she can just ask me. And I remind her that it's not a toy, so I use the word "hold" rather than "play with." And I usually make her sit on the potty while holding it (her little potty, in a carpeted room. Not up high in the bathroom.) This actually was a huge potty training motivator last Christmas when she wanted to hold some of my fairy ornaments. Did a few get broken? Yes. But that was because I got bored and wandered off before she was done "holding" them, so they got left on the floor and stepped on. She treated them very well while she was still interested. And if she's been acting two ornery, I tell her that she cannot hold my breakables right now, since I cannot trust her to be gentle and respectful.

Anyway. My husband was in the kitchen making Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes, and I could hear that he was almost to the point where he'd need frosting tools. Which I have! So I went out to show him my icing tips and bags and squeezy bottles. [Insert juvenile boobies joke here.] Before leaving, I reminded Z that my ring was not a toy, and to be very careful, since, while she couldn't break it, she could lose it. Say, down the drain, or something. 
So I'm out in the kitchen helping my husband choose an icing tip when I hear a faint "Mommm... I lost your ring. Mommmmm!" Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
I go in. There's no ring in sight. "How did you lose it? Did you drop it?" Z: "I put it down the drain." NoOoOoOoOoOoOOoOoooOoooooo! "Are you sure? Is this a joke? It's okay if you're telling me a joke and you're really hiding it there somewhere." 

When I was a child, my younger brother (7 years younger) was delighted to see my mom wearing one of her gold necklaces. "Oh! You got it back!" Whuck? As it turns out, he had flushed one of her solid gold necklaces down the toilet. When my dad got home, he took the toilet apart trying to get it back. His arms weren't long enough to reach the catch (or whatever,) so he went to the store to get a tool. While he was gone, my dumbass brother shoved all my dad's neckties down the hole. My dad wasn't too mad about that, luckily. Not thrilled, but no one was calling CPS over the punishment either.
The necklace still hadn't been retrieved by dinner time, and I don't remember if my dad had gone off to buy another tool, or was just off washing his hands for dinner, but he spent some time not working on the toilet. We're all gathered at the dinner table... All of us, except my brother. I went to search for him and found him cowering under his bed. "Dad's gonna be SO mad at me!" What for? Apparently, for dropping his tools down the hole! Oh, yes he did! This time my dad was livid. 

Anyway, I immediately decide to face the music, and holler for my husband to come fix everything. Boy, was he mad. I knew not to drain the tub, so I fished her out so he could work on trying to get it out of the catch, or whatever that bendy part in the pipe is, that's designed to catch things. Like, oh, engagement rings.
"THAT was just about the STUPIDEST thing you have EVER done!" etc etc etc. Much yelling. Z was kind of scared. For the record, no one yelled at her, and I told her that it was my fault for not making sure she kept the ring safe, and that no one blamed her. 
He wasn't able to fish it out, so he called a few plumbers to see who could come out, like, right now. The first guy said something like "Huh. That sounds like an interesting dilemma," which inspired no confidence. So we moved on to the next guy. Seconds after he agrees to come over, my husband goes back in for one last try and comes back with my ring! Huzzah! Apparently it was just laying there, and none of us had seen it. It hadn't gone down the drain at all!

It has been months. Literally, months. And not one day goes by where Z does not apologize. "Mommy, I'm sorry I lost your ring last week." Every. Single. Day. I'm not sure if it was her dad yelling at me (we never yell, not really,) or if she's afraid we're going to trade her in for a less troublesome model (Ha! As if one even existed!) But something fixated this in her brain as a Major Biggie. I started wearing the ring again, just so I could show her that it is not, in fact, lost. The preschool Parent Ed teacher and our pediatrician have both told me to just give her apology little to no attention, to get her to stop. "Mommy, I'm sorry I lost your ring last week." Me: "Okay, thanks." So far, no dice. Every day. /sigh


  1. I wear mine all the time JDaniel loves to move things to new locations.

  2. This makes me wonder if that wisdom is right though, that by letting her hold it, and all of the drama with losing it, has taught her to respect your things. It will be interesting to see. My kids are older and losing or breaking my stuff is a normal occurence!


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