Tuesday, September 9, 2008

THE SEWER SNAKE

Eight-years-old Brown Dot didn’t like to brush his teeth. In order to make the process less painful he devised an interesting way to dispose of the toothpaste foam. He would crank his head upside down and spit it down the overflow hole in the sink.

I was afraid there would be foam-buildup and that if the sink ever started to overflow there would be no place for the water to go. The possibility that we would have a real mess in the bathroom was a worry so I asked him not to spit there. I asked nicely.

He continued to spit down the overflow hole.

The next day I reasoned with him, telling him why he shouldn’t spit down the overflow hole. I was sure that if he had more information he would be cooperative.

He continued to spit down the overflow hole.

A few days later I resorted to using a firm voice. An authoritative voice—a mother’s “I mean business,” voice.

Maybe he didn’t know I meant business. Maybe he didn't care because he continued to spit down the overflow hole.

Then I told him it was a stupid thing to do.

He didn't care that it was a stupid thing to do. He liked it.

The next week I demanded that he not spit down the overflow hole.

He ignored my demands.


From then on I told him, in no uncertain terms not to spit down the overflow hole. I told him, “I’m not kidding.”

He did not care that I wasn’t kidding. He still spit.

I threatened. Daily.

He ignored my threats. He continued to spit down the overflow hole.

I finally pleaded, the second to last resort of a desperate mother. Surely he would take pity on a pleading mother.

He had no pity—he was dedicated to spitting down the overflow hole. This boy was nothing if not dedicated.

As a very last resort I used reverse psychology. I was clever. He would never recognize my ploy. He would stop spitting down the overflow hole. I was sure of it.

He overcame my cleverness and continued to spit down the overflow hole.

And then, one day, Phil passed the bathroom door at the exact second The Brown Dot was spitting a mouthful of foam down the overflow hole. “The sewer snake is going to come out of there,” Phil said, “and bite your lips off.”

The overflow hole became instantly, and forever more, spit-less.

6 comments:

Michael Rawluk said...

He probably still has nightmares about the dreaded sewer snake.

Pam's Place said...

This is just another testament for the need for both a mother and a father in the home....

Laura ~Peach~ said...

LOLOLOL toooooo funny!!!!!! traumatised while spitting in the overflow hole LOL.

Bonnie Sorenson said...

I loved this story. I wish I had your writing ability.

Cindy said...

Very funny!!

Lynne, since you always bring a smile to my life, I have given you an award. You can find it on my blog!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful writings!!

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Oh, I love it! I wish reverse psych would still work on my kids! Only the 7 year old will get it..