Friday, October 24, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Yesterday I shared with you a story about my 5 year old adorable blue eyed ADHD older boy who is always into something. I decided that Just to be fair (and so that you don't get the impression that I love one child more than another) I will share something about each child.

Today we move on to my youngest boy and youngest child, my baby, Child #5, is a sweet easygoing 4 year old little mama's boy. He was the owner of Blue Stinky, which you can read more about here. He does not get in too much trouble, likes to play quietly, BUT he has been the most difficult child to potty train, and we've been working on it for a little over a year (since he turned 3). Unfortuntalely, the beginning of our potty training effort was hampered by his fascination with flushing. He loved to flush. Potty no. Flush yes. I figured it was a start though. Until we had small objects and toys start to go missing. Between all 5 kids we have taken up toilets in our house a total of 14 times. Usually we find soap, wads of paper towel, once we even found a Thomas the Train engine. Taking the toilet up and snaking the lines usually fixed our problems. Except this once....

Preface: It was my twin girls 7th birthday. They had a birthday party to go to for another little girl, and then we were going to have cake and open presents after dinner. We needed to leave the house around 12:30pm to get to the party.

12:00, I told the girls to get hair brushed and shoes on and be ready to go. Husband is just sitting down to watch the Titans game.
12:15, Child #2 and Child #4 come running in saying that the potty isn't flushing and water is going to overflow. Husband grabs the plunger and we go to investigate. The toilet in our half-bath is indeed clogged, however the water is clear. Husband says, "what got flushed?". No one knows. Child #5 gets blamed- mostly because he can't defend himself and probably had something to do with it. I take Child #5 aside and try to figure out what got flushed. No success. So, while Husband works on that bathroom, I go into our bathroom and realize that our potty isn't flushing either. There is now a much bigger problem.
12:45, the plunger is not working and all of our sinks and toilets are not draining. Husband and I venture under the house to start opening traps in the main line. We have a "snake" that we have used before- this is not our first dance with the unknown flushed object. Thinking ahead, we grab a couple 5 gallon buckets. We open the first trap furthest from the septic tank. We drain about 20 gallons of water, run the snake, and- we find no clog. We crouch down and go further under the house. The next trap is on the other end of the house, and next to the septic tank. This could be really bad. We open preparing for the worst, but there is no water. Which only means the clog is somewhere after the last toilet drains into the line and before the trap at the septic. But that is about 30 feet of line with a 90degree angle in it.
1:15 and I call a plumber. They can't come until at least 6pm, and it is going to cost at least $200 because its an emergency on a Sunday afternoon. Never mind, Husband says we can do this. He goes into our bathroom and removes the toilet. This is the closest opening to the clog and he is going to run the snake through. But the snake doesn't work. He is going to call Lowe's and rent a power auger. The guy at Lowe's explains that a power auger won't make a 90 degree angle either.
1:30. Husband goes across the street to consult with Fix-Anything Neighbor, and I call my grampa. Everyone reaches the same conclusion. There should not be a 90 degree angle. You need to cut that line, get the clog out, and put it back with some 45 degree angles. And add another trap while you're at it. We take a short break to discuss, Husband watches a few minutes of football, I grab a cup of coffee.
2:00. We travel to our closest gas station/hardware. They have a trap, the pipe, the cement, and just one 45 degree angle. So, we drive on to Home Depot. Husband and I discuss how excited we are to be able to spend time together working on a project and how much better this is than football. The Titans are losing at the half.
3:00. Back home with all the supplies. We have flashlights, tools, buckets, and we are ready. We go to the pipe and Husband begins to cut. Just a little and water starts pouring out. About 25 gallons of poo water later, we have cut through one section. We move around to the other side and begin cutting. More poo water. another 10 gallons later, we have cut through both sections. we can now see the clog. We can't tell what it is, but we run that snake through the pipe and whatever it is goes on to the septic tank. Good riddance.
4:20. Begin reassembly. I won't explain all the details, but suffice to say that sitting in poo water under the house, while covered in insulation, itching, cold, and wet- all while trying to cut, clean, and glue pvc together by flashlight is so much fun if I told you, you'd be jealous.
5:20 we have all the pipes together. Husband is worried about one joint, so he stays under the house while I go up to flush a toilet and run some water. No leaks. Now he can come up and we can reattach our bathroom toilet. I clean the floor, he replaces the toilet, I clean out the bathtub where the toilet sat, and we are home free.
5:45 I am itching like crazy from insulation. We missed the birthday party for the friend. We need a special birthday dinner for twin girls (aka Child #2 and #3). We have a cake, and we need to open presents. I take a quick shower.
6:30 we finally get to eat dinner, have cake, and open presents. I have been so excited by my afternoon of fun, I can hardly stand it. Oh, and the Titans lost.

Mission Remove From Poo- Accomplished.

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