Don't Call Me Ms. Fix-It

I spent part of Daniel's afternoon naptime today crouched by the toilet, grunting and swearing (quietly) and wondering how it was all going to end.

Had you there for a second, didn't I? Ha!

The lid on the toilet seat snapped in half about a week and a half ago while Stuart was sitting on it during Daniel's bath. We should have replaced it right away but something - laziness? apathy? all of the above? - prevented us from doing so until today. Given Daniel's recent fascination with placing random objects in various receptacles, only good fortune (and perhaps an effective latch on the bathroom door) prevented Curious George and any number of other things our little one carries around the house from having a refreshing, toilet-y bath. This morning, Stu reminded me that it was our turn to host potluck tonight. Cripes! While we might be the kind of hosts who don't bother to sweep up all the dust bunnies or pick up all the toys before people come over, it seemed unacceptable to expect guests to do their business in a toilet lacking a proper lid.

So today I was charged with finding a replacement. The nearest Ace Hardware had literally dozens of options. Padded or firm? Plastic or wooden? Plain lid or scalloped? Did I want cute little duckies embroidered on the top? (No, I certainly did not.) Oh, the choices. As I gazed upon the wealth of toilet seats before me, wondering if ours is a "round" or "elongated" shape, a woman in the same aisle said to me in a low, conspiratorial voice, "You can get this same one with ducks on it for five dollars at Wal-Mart. Go to Wal-Mart." I had Daniel with me, so I wonder if she thought I was shopping for a cute toilet seat for him? Lady, this kid is a long way from "going" in the toilet, much less having his own private one with duckies on the lid. In the end, I opted for the only plain white one I could find under $20 that had "Easy to Install!" on the label.

Maybe that toilet seat was going to be "easy to install!" but I had to figure out how to de-install the original, broken one first. Fortunately, Daniel was ready for a nap as soon as we got home, so once he was asleep, I got right to it. At least, I tried. I spent about a minute sitting on the floor fiddling with the plastic bolt before 1) I realized it wasn't going to budge (going at it with a wrench didn't help) and 2) I was so thoroughly disgusted by the state of our bathroom when I was eye-level with the toilet that I had to clean it right then before I did anything else. In the end, I got the bathroom (somewhat) clean, but made no progress removing the toilet seat before Daniel woke up. It would have to wait for Stuart to get home from work. "Hi, hon! How was your day? You've got twenty minutes to fix the crapper!"

I explained the situation to my mom on the phone. My dad must have overheard the conversation because he called later with several suggestions on toilet seat removal, one of them involving a hacksaw and a product called "liquid wrench." I'm glad to say that Stuart figured it out fairly quickly, and that he didn't have to resort to anything extreme. Our guests were none the wiser, though the only person to actually use the bathroom was the pregnant woman anyway.


Animal said…
Toilets have lids?

Seriously, I was as entertained by your fix-it story as I was grateful for the advance warning that toddlers like to toilet-bathe whatever they can get their hands on.

And, re: Liquid Wrench? Don't knock it; as the kind of Mr. Fix-It who rewires his whole house for summertime fun, that Liquid Wrench stuff will get you out of rusty-bolt jams that WD-40 couldn't touch in a gajillion years.

The hack saw, though...that seems like a version of the "Get A Bigger Hammer" theory. (Something doesn't work? GET A BIGGER HAMMER!)
Steph said…
Just wait until you have to remove and reinstall an entire toilet. My standards for filth were redefined after squatting on the floor with a putty knife, scraping a wax seal that was probably about twenty years old off of the entrance to the flushing pipe. I could have done without ever knowing what those pipes look like on the inside.
Gade said…
I thought increased testosterone would make me less squeamish about bathrooms, but reading Steph's comment makes me want to scrub myself thoroughly...I changed the toilet seat in our Berkeley apartment (owned by the seminary and last lived in by our friend Jeremy, who was nice, but...well, dirty), and I swore that I would never be a plumber...Hey Steph, remember when we cleaned bathrooms at Bethel with rubbing alcohol, and some slimy pink stuff? That was fun.

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