Today, I found myself in the church bathroom standing next to my 4-year old daughter as she rubbed a fist into her eyes to stop herself from crying. And then, from inside the stall, we heard the toilet flush and she burst into fresh tears because inside that toilet was the hot pink plastic ring she wore on her thumb to church. A few minutes earlier, while using the toilet, she dropped the ring with a plop into the toilet.
A church lady brought her to me and explained that the ring was in the toilet. I said, “No problem. I’ll get it out.” She said, “Don’t you want some gloves?” I said, “No. I’ll just use this straw.” And then I got a plastic fork, too. Germs, schmerms.
But we were too late. The toilet stall door was closed and as we stood waiting to fish for the ring, we heard the aforementioned flush.
She cried and cried because, of course, the ring was long gone. I did wave a plastic straw in the blue water, just for effect, I guess, but it was hopeless. We hurried to the Dollar Store which had no rings, though we did buy five bucks’ worth of consolation junk.
Later tonight, at Fred Meyer, I thought I’d check to see if they carried plastic rings for little heartbroken girls. The lost ring came from a game called “Pretty Pretty Princess,” but I found the game at Value Village, the thrift store. But hope propelled me down the toy aisle at Fred Meyer and there I found plastic treasure: the very game in question.
My daughter will be so thrilled tomorrow morning when she finds not just one replacement ring, but five plastic rings with matching plastic necklaces and bracelets.
I wonder if she’ll remember the lost plastic ring in the flushing disaster of 2007? I know I will never forget her devastated face when she heard the flush of the toilet. And now that I’ve came up with replacement rings, I can stop feeling guilty for laughing just a little inside at the absurdity of it all.