I knew I shouldn't have gloated about that toilet. I knew it. $170 later, I'm feeling a bit less cocky about our progress on our toilet-stuffing problem. Seems man (or, rather, little girl) has triumphed over technology yet again. On the bright side, Larry made sure to be home when the plumber got here and learned the finer points of toilet removal and replacement. If we're going to do this twice a month, we'd better become do-it-yourselfers.
Rachel has a bad cold now, which is good - she's spending a lot of time napping. Less time for mischief, you know. Maybe we should get Anna to nap more. She broke our exercise bike by punching the control panel. She showed me, huh? That's okay - we'll get her back by dragging her on long family walks. She really hates us, with a loathing so complete it's almost admirable. I'm beginning to think we need an exorcist.
It occurs to me that I should have something else to write to you folks about other than how badly my children have been behaving. But I don't. Even the ones that have been being good I don't trust anymore. I figure they could turn on us at any moment. Oh, well, only 16 years to go. And no matter how crazy the kids drive us, at least we still get that child tax credit for each of them. Doesn't quite make up for all the trouble we're going through, but I do think it takes the sting out of the situation. Larry made me finish the taxes today (he bribed me with M&M's), just so we could pretend to be solvent for a few weeks or so. We spent the latter part of the afternoon high-fiving each other over our fat refund (yes, I know it is really our money and the government shouldn't have had it all year in the first place, but we're financial idiots, okay?) and trying to research how much a new exercise bike will cost. I'm not quite sure why Larry is wanting to buy a new one, unless he feels the need to keep something expensive around that the children can break. At least it doesn't fit down the toilet...
Or maybe Larry just needs an excuse to treat himself. He had the week from hell this past week. Every evening he'd walk in the door, hoping for a few minutes to sit down, drink a beer, relax a bit (he's a hopeless optimist); and every evening he was greeted with a crisis in one form or another. One evening it was the toilet (but, of course); the next, the shower drain in our basement bathroom "threw up" a bunch of chopped-up food from the kitchen garbage disposal (the plumbing's a little weird in this house, even without a 4-year-old messing with it). The shower scenario wouldn't have been so bad if we had discovered it right away. But, seeing as how we have the basement bathroom padlocked in order to keep Rachel from breaking the potty, we weren't aware of a problem until the food lying all over the shower floor began to decompose. So Larry spent 3 hours down there cleaning up and unclogging the drain and trying to remove the stench. To say this put him in a foul mood would be a drastic understatement. But our basement smells a lot better, I must say. The next three evenings and mornings Larry spent setting mouse traps in the kitchen and disposing of the rodent victims (total body count - 5). At least he feels needed, is how I look at it.