He is 9. He is adorable with his Cheshire-Cat smile and that one wonky tooth. He is a blessing every day and I love him so much, my heart hurts from the joy of it all. Some days, I marvel at just how bright he–.
Hang on just a minute. I’m getting ahead of myself.
This story really begins 5 years ago, when Nirav was a preschooler and terrified of toilets. The flushes were loud, unpredictable and a constant source of anxiety for him. Summer of 2014, we visited every public restroom in the area, taking videos of flushing toilets and helping him get over his very valid fear. We offered him headphones and all the time in the world; within a few months he was asking to visit/use random toilets, just because he could! It was a huge victory, and it boosted his confidence to no end. Soon, his restroom obsession went away and toilets went back to being background fixtures, not worthy of too much excitement or awe.
Raghav and I congratulated each other on some stellar parenting. I mean, how awesome were we? Problem solved with change to spare!
Until last month.
“Amma, how does a potty work?”
I blinked and pointed him towards his dad. He padded away and spent the next ten minutes in deep discussion about flush valves and gaskets. Problem solved. Or so I thought.
Until last Monday.
“Amma, can I watch a video about flushing the potty?”
“Amma, I want to watch a potty flush on Youtube.”
Gross, I thought. But why not? He’s wanting to learn how things work.
I curated a few videos (where they flushed innocuous pieces of toilet paper) and let him have at it. He spent the next hour squealing with merriment. Problem solved. Or so I thought.
Until this past weekend. I was sipping my evening tea, and writing, when I heard the toilet flush. Then flush again. Two more times. Some laughter. I frowned, but kept working. Later that evening, I was at the store and ready to pay for stuff (I have a wallet iPhone case with slots for credit cards). The cashier grimaced when I handed her my card.
“Ma’am, the card is wet.”
“Wait, what? Wet?”
The cashier rolled her eyes, wiped my card on a paper towel and proceeded with her business.
I took back the card and checked my phone case. There was distinct dampness that I hadn’t noticed before. Weird. And the few dollar notes stuffed between the cards were soggy.. Weirder and weirder. Thank goodness my phone was waterpro–
OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD!!
Like one of those 90s thriller flicks, something clicked in my head and I did a comical double take. Here are the facts so far:
One 9-year-old son, obsessed with toilets and loves taking videos.
One memory of a toilet being flushed multiple times, earlier in the evening.
One wet iPhone.
Did your mind go there? Is your jaw dropping in horror as you fully understand what has happened. Imagine me then, dear reader – holding the damp iPhone, hyperventilating and trying not to scream.
I clicked on the photos app and went to the videos section. And there it was, just like I suspected. Prime evidence: a clip of my son taking a video of the (unused, thank god) toilet!
But remember, this is not your average kid. Not satisfied with Youtube tutorials, he wanted a closeup of the flush working. So he dropped my phone into the toilet WHILE IT WAS FLUSHING! The whole thing was caught on video, down to his cheeky smile and if that doesn’t make Steve Jobs proud, I don’t know what will.
I drove home from the store and spent the next hour sanitizing every pixel on the phone. Credit cards and dollar notes were cleaned/hung to dry, and I sat down to have a word with my son.
“Nirav, did you flush my phone?”
Shady eyes. Oh he was guilty.
“Hey, I’m not mad. But next time, don’t flush the phone, ok? Please?”
He nodded and scampered away.
This past weekend, I must have aged a hundred years. In fact, right until Monday evening, I stayed off my phone, because even though it was clean and in a brand new case, I still couldn’t bear myself to touch it. Screen free life yo!
Moral of the story.
He is 9. Sharp as a tack and mischievous to boot, he has such a curious mind. I love him with every fiber of my being and I’m so proud he wants to learn new things.
But for now, ALL toilet visits are being strictly monitored for contraband!