“I’m do-o-o-o-o-o-ne!” The little voice called out from the bathroom.
“I’ll be right there, Hal.”
I hurried into the bathroom in time to see Hal hopping off the toilet, waiting for me to help him wipe. Before I got to him, he began to whimper.
“What’s wrong, dear?”
“My acorn!” He pointed. “It’s in there.”
I looked where he was pointing. It took me a minute to realize that one of the little balls in the toilet was not actually waste product, but an acorn, partially wrapped by a wet piece of toilet paper.
“How did it end up in there?”
“It was there.” He pointed to the toilet seat. “And then it fell in there.”
“Well, of course it did. The seat slopes in. It’s gone now, honey.”
“NOO!!! I want my acorn!”
“Honey, look. It’s got toilet paper stuck to it. And it’s… it’s sitting in pee-pee. Let’s just let it flush down the toilet.” It is ok to flush the acorn, right? I don’t have to fish it out. The drain is big enough and the septic can handle it… surely it can…
“No! I don’t want to flush it. I want my acorn!”
“Well, ok, but you are going to have to pick it up. I’m not going to.” With that, I used the piece of toilet paper still in my hand to push the acorn away from the paper it was touching. “There you go, pick it up.”
His little hand hesitated. I had caused a swirl in the water. While the acorn was free, it was floating around the bowl and rapidly approaching the paper again.
“You better hurry if you want it.”
After another false start, he finally darted in and grabbed it. Then I lifted him onto the step stool, and turned on the water. “Now you need to wash your hands. And the acorn.”
“My little acorn…” he crooned affectionately.
I fear I’m doomed to encounter this acorn again. Probably on the floor. While barefoot. In the dark. I will yell and curse and pick it up. Then I’ll throw it outside. It won’t be missed. He will have forgotten about it by morning. But tonight. Tonight, it was important to save. Bedtime sanity depended on it.