“Hi, Hon. It’s me. How’s it going?”
“Oh, Josie is crying. Her [cheap toy plastic] ring fell in the toilet and there’s pooh and pee in there, and we’re trying to figure out what to do. She’s hysterical.”
Thus goes the everyday life of two exalted, dedicated, highly-trained servants of Almighty God and their children.
To really get the gravity of this situation, you must understand the girls in my life:
Josie: total girl. Five years old. Loves playing dress up. She stares adoringly at herself in the mirror. She flips her hair and watches in the mirror to see how it falls. She cuts apart cheap necklaces in order to turn each bead into a “jewel” and then collects them and plays with them. So, when her ring fell into the toilet, it wasn’t just three cents worth of cheap plastic–it was a large corner of her little heart–submerged in the turds (tirds? terds?).
Margi: total Monk. I mean Monk, the TV show on the USA network. If you haven’t seen it, Monk is a detective. To be precise, he is an obsessive compulsive clean freak detective. Every time he shakes hands, he sanitizes. Margi is the Queen of Clean. Germ Warfare is her spiritual gift. Wears a haz-mat suit to clean the bathroom. So when Josie’s ring fell into the toilet, her deeply rooted revulsion to all things germy was powerfully triggered. Imagine her dilemma… FETCH IT or FLUSH IT?
“Why don’t you just flush it?”
“Because Josie’s crying. She loves that ring.”
“If [and it’s a huge if] you did get the ring out, would you ever let her play with it? How are you going to clean it?”
“Well, that’s what I’m struggling with…”
At this point I know all I need to know. Even if my devoted wife went through the trauma (and it would be a profound one) of fetching said ring from the urine/tird soup, whatever would she do with it? Boil it? In what? I guarantee that even if she were to boil it, whatever pot was used be thrown away, along with the whole stove and a buffer zone of 30 inches of countertop on either side of it. No, as capable and strong and fantastic as my dear wife is, any dilemma involving e coli vs. mommyhood could only fry her circuits.
This was a job for a real man. A man who loves his women. A man who won’t let a little terd stand in his way. A man who isn’t in the slightest disgusted by germs. Unfortunately, I was HOURS away, and couldn’t come to the rescue. What to do? Hmmmmm…
“Let me talk to Josie.”
Josie: “Daaaaaaaaadddyyyyy…. sniff. sniff. sobbbbbb…. breath….. mmmmmyyyyy rinnnngggg [unintelligble] poooooopy [unitelligble] wwwwannnnnnt it… ahhhha… snort [unitelligble].”
I kid you not. She sounded so hilarious that I put her on speakerphone and stepped outside, just to get witnesses (unfortunately nobody was around). My bright, articulate precious girl sounded like a seal being eaten by an orca while playing a violin badly.
“Oh honey. I’m so sad your ring is in the poops. What color was that ring?”
Josie: “Ayyyyayyayyayayayayyayyayayay…. sniff… snort… siijnsiisjj”
“Oh, that was one of your favorites! Here’s what we’re going to do. You go say good bye to your ring, and then tell mommy to flush it…”
“Wait honey… after mommy flushes it I’ll go buy you TWO rings and I’ll bring them home for you, okay?”
Josie: “Okay, Daddy. Good-bye ring. You can flush it now, Mommy.”
And off she skipped to play. As the old saying goes, “A diamond is a girl’s best friend.”
Move over, Solomon. MaxGrace is in town.
Grace: the fun of being a long-distance hero to the women I love.