Wednesday, February 23, 2005


When I was four years old, I attempted to flush a half-eaten apple down our upstairs toilet. I was full, and didn’t want it anymore. I met my first plumber that day.

Yesterday, Sammy met his first plumber. Astonishingly, he did nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, he did everything right. He pooped on the potty. Before you start to think that my two-year-old son takes toilet clogging dumps, read on . . .

Here’s some newly acquired and sound advice for would-be homeowners/parents: don’t flush baby wipes.

This goes against every natural impulse a normal human being has. After wiping your child’s bum, where would you put a piece of tissue with poop all over it? In the toilet? No, you’d throw it in the garbage can, of course. Makes total sense. However, when your plumber spends three hours fishing a bucket-full of wipes out of your sewer connection, you probably did something you shouldn’t have.

Leah says she has never flushed a wipe. I believe her completely (cough, cough, clear throat).

I must admit here that I am neither a perfect homeowner nor a perfect parent. I’m the one who lets the dog crap all over the front yard and not the in back because there are fewer stairs in the front. I’m the one who wakes up 10 minutes too late on Fridays, missing the garbage trucks for yet another week. And, yes, I have even flushed an occasional wipe.

However, I suspect that our British tenants downstairs contributed to this clogging calamity also.

Andy & Josie, if you’re reading this, please know that I think you guys are great, but you have the combined IQ of a small rock when it comes to home maintenance. Lucky for you, I enjoy old houses. And I promise I’ll finish rebuilding the porch in time for you to enjoy at least some of the spring out there.

Oh, one more little thing: if your stovetop catches fire, especially for the second time in a year, you need to clean the burners AND the pans underneath. They really do come off if you give them a little tug.