From the Couch of Ben Johnson

Father, Principal Engineer at Prodigy Education, serial hyperbolist.

Flushy the Toilet

We woke up yesterday to find a whole bunch of water puddled in our kitchen. There’s a toilet in my son’s room above the kitchen, but my wife and I investigated and it didn’t seem like it was leaking. Nevertheless, she called an emergency plumber to come check it out.

The plumber got here and in five minutes was like, “there’s a huge puddle of water on the floor… the toilet has been leaking for a long time.” I guess we didn’t look with our eyes. We think that maybe we had a waste basket underneath the leak for a while and so we never noticed.

The toilet wasn’t fixable – it needed to be replaced. So the plumber replaced it. Took like an hour, problem solved.

However, we did not anticipate my five-year-old’s reaction to seeing the new toilet. There was immediate shock and sobbing. Over the course of two hours he went through all five stages of grief. There was denial that his old toilet was gone, anger at us having removed it, bargaining as he tried to convince us that we could get the old one back and we could have both, depression as he became resigned to the new reality, and finally, he named the new one Flushy.

“Flushy is the best toilet I ever had. Except my old potty. I’m going to name him Dunkie. I miss Dunkie.”

He’s planning on putting googly eyes on it.

I guess we should have seen this coming? Toilet attachment wasn’t in the parenting books. But it is the only toilet he has ever known. I think this was maybe his first real lesson in impermanence and the Four Noble Truths. You never know where life’s lessons will come from.