A phrase no parent wants to hear shouted from within the house: "Mom, the water won't stop coming out!"
My 5-year old learned the hard way that one should NEVER flush a second (nor a third, a fourth, etc.) time if the potty water is rising versus draining.
I heard this phrase shouted repeatedly from my Screaming Mimi while I was mid-diaper change with my littlest one and his numero dos. His bum had just barely been wiped when down the hall arose such a clatter, I sprang from his room to see what was the matter. There stood my darling daughter jumping, pointing, and shouting in hysterics outside the bathroom door as the water rose, seeped out between the ceramic bowl and seat, and leaked onto the tile floor.
I made a mad dash to dive below the toilet to shut off the water when suddenly I endured the slip that left me shaking for hours on end. That's right – I became a right angle as my feet left the floor whilst holding mi bambino and his unswaddled backside. I was on my back in a millisecond with my feet dangling in the air and a half nude bambino delicately seated, yet tightly gripped on top of me. He was crying, my 5-year old was still crying, and you bet, I started crying.
Thankfully it only took another millisecond to assess the scene, compose myself and reach for the valve as I glanced up to see Niagara Falls coming out of the commode. I went into Mommy Overdrive. I told my daughter not to be scared. As she looked at my drenched white shorts covered in filthy water (I'll spare any further gory details) she could sense that I was rattled, and I could see that she was mortified. At this moment, my 7-year old and my very cautious child approached the scene and began asking oodles of questions as he likes to do.
I thoroughly checked bambino again to make certain he was okay from the trauma of our slip. He, of course, was strong like ox. He is quite the Michelin Man of a nearly one-year-old. I quickly cleaned him up, checked him again, and laid him down to nap as was my original plan before this horrid detour. Then, I had to excuse myself from the other 2/3 as I expeditiously showered (something moms are masters of) and donned my second outfit of the day. A few towels, nearly a gallon of bleach, the sanitize cycle on the washer, and I took care of the mess.
As I gained my composure and reentered life (I really felt outside of myself as all of this occurred - it was as though I was in a terrible movie), my older two greeted me. With his arms outstretched as far as they could go my cautious one simply said, "Mommy - huggies?" He spoke in baby speak as if to make me at ease or perhaps he knew my mind was mush and could barely comprehend English as he gestured for me to enter his huggie. He knew exactly what this mom needed after that wretched detour. My two big kids wrapped me in four little arms making one tight Mommy Sandwich. That moment made my seemingly horrid day not so horrid after all.
So, kids, here's your PSA - it's short, sweet, and oh, so simple:
"Don't flush more than once if the water is rising."
Got it? Good.
Oh, and one more thing, boys, lift the seat for number one, and please, put it down when you’re done. Thanks to my big brother I fell into a potty when I was five, but that’s a story for another day…