In the wake of the Great Flood, we removed the plug from the drain in Baby Bear's bathtub, and put it in the bathroom cabinet. He took it out of the cabinet and pushed it back into the drain for an encore performance. We pulled it out again, and this time hid it high in a cupboard somewhere in the kitchen. He hasn't found it--yet. But he will. Every day I catch him rummaging through the cupboards--not necessarily for the plug, but for anything he can use as a weapon of mass destruction--and as he grows taller and his arms get longer, he's reaching higher and digging deeper.
Keeping the bathroom door locked at all times isn’t feasible, as he doesn’t always communicate that he needs to go. To encourage him to independently use the bathroom while still alerting us, we installed an alarm on the bathroom door, the child-safety kind designed for gates to swimming pools. But for various reasons having to do with the complexities of activating and deactivating and reactivating the alarm each and every time someone opened or closed the door, coupled with the acoustics of the bathroom and the potential for hearing loss, we concluded this wasn’t the best solution.
Mr. Lucky and I did some brainstorming, and we decided to hook a wreath hanger over the bathroom door, and hang a cluster of bells dangling from multiple cords. As quaint as it sounds, this has worked very well . . . until last night.
The husband and I were watching TV. I assumed Baby Bear was in his room, because even though his door was closed, I could hear his electronic keyboard playing that annoying, repetitious rhythm he likes. Two of our dogs were with us, and for some reason I suddenly realized the third one—the same one who’s always going into Bear’s room to chew up his toys (and more recently, the boy’s mattress)—was missing.
I don’t know why this occurred to me when it did, but I told my husband he’d better go check on that dog, and make sure he wasn’t taking another piece out of that mattress. Our son doesn’t seem to care what that dog chews up, but I most certainly do.
It turned out no one was in the boy’s bedroom. The dog was lounging outside the bathroom, and Mr. Lucky went in to find our ten year old son naked and sitting . . . in the bathroom sink.
Not the tub. Not the toilet. The sink.
The drain was plugged. The water was running, and had just started to flow over to the floor. But most alarming of all was his precarious position. He’s five feet, six inches tall. The sink and vanity are only about thirty inches wide. Contrary to what you'd expect, Bear was not sitting with his back to the mirror, and his legs dangling over the cabinet doors beneath the sink, oh no. Instead, he was curled up sideways in the sink/on the vanity, with his back to the toilet, which is right next to the vanity.
How easily he could’ve slipped and fallen backwards, hitting his head on the toilet and worse! I was beyond horrified, and I’m still shuddering to think of what might have happened had Mr. Lucky not checked on him when he did.
The roar of water in the bathroom sink doesn’t make as much noise as the bathtub. Bear seems to have figured that out. And why hadn’t we heard the bells—unless he’s also deduced that if you open and close the bathroom door very, very slowly, the bells will not ring? He doesn’t talk, so who knows what goes on inside his head or where he gets his ideas?
In any event, Mr. Lucky removed the plug from the bathroom sink. Why do we need one in the child’s bathroom, anyway? We have two sinks in the master bathroom, and I only use the plug on mine when I’m inserting or removing my contact lenses; otherwise they will jump off my fingertips and dive straight into that drain.
We know it won’t end here. Every time we build a better Bear trap, our youngest simply evolves into a better, more dangerous Bear.