Monday, November 17, 2008

bar fights and collectors items

Things are getting back to normal here at Chez O'Neill. When I look back over the last two weeks, I really can't believe we all survived with our sanity.

I would say sanity is relative, though.

Thursday I spent half the day crying my eyes out. I don't know why. I was overcome with emotion that I believe was FINALLY released when I got home from the hospital, felt like all my men were relatively healthy or at least improving and BREATHED for the first time in 14 days.

Gavin now has a phobia of the hospital. He is afraid to tell me when he doesn't feel well. I have explained that just because he doesn't feel well doesn't mean he will necessarily go to the hospital. Also, I have explained that the hospital is, in fact, what helped him get better. At home, he would have become sicker and sicker and could have died from his lungs not working right if we hadn't gone to the hospital at some point in time. He said they lied about putting a straw in his arm. It was really a needle first. Ah, true, wise Gavin. Necessary evils to get kids to cooperate.

Brian looks like he got in a bar fight. He has a raging black eye. Behind his ear is an enormous bruise - black and purple. His abdomen looks like he took a couple of kicks to the gut with its bruising. And the top of his head has a stitched up slit that looks like a beer bottle had its way with his scalp. This is all from the surgery - the bleeding that was not visible from the procedure making its way out of the system.

Grant is acting out. He has become a bit aggressive and destructive. Saturday, while I was away at a baby shower, he had his way with the big screen TV downstairs. Nerf gun war, apparently. There were little Nerf dart marks all over that were easily wiped away. However, the large scratches, MOST, but not all of which buffed out were a result of the NERF GUN attacking the screen. Grant's hand was on the opposite end of the gun.

Then Grant threw a fit in the store yesterday when I explained he was not getting a cookie because he disobeyed me again about keeping his jacket out of his mouth - the same jacket which now has an inoperable zipper due to the same mouth and teeth that can't stay away from it. He took off his jacket and swung it wildly in the air as hard as he could hitting an innocent lady as she walked by. When she heard my horror and shock-filled gasp, she sheepishly looked back and said it was okay. I think she was afraid of what might happen to the adorable, wide-eyed little boy whose mother was foaming at the mouth if she would have made a big deal about it. He was obviously going to have a consequence for his actions.

I threw away an $85 tennis ball today. On purpose.

When I arrived home from the baby shower on Saturday, I was told our basement toilet was clogged. The guys had spent a large portion of the afternoon trying to remedy the problem to no avail. One of my nephews had taken a large dump and it was thought this was the culprit. Plunging did nothing. I bought a sort of snake de-clogging tool and it also did nothing. In fact, it would not penetrate the neck of the toilet. So, I called the plumber today. The plumber tried the same things unsuccessfully. He then shop-vac-ed out the poop water and found a TENNIS BALL lodged in the neck of the toilet. INTERESTING. I am pretty sure my 8 year old nephew did not use a tennis ball to wipe his messy little bum. I know from this post, I wanted the boys to work on their aim, but I meant it a little more anatomically than athletically.

When Grant got home from school today, I explained that the plumber had been here and fixed the toilet.
Me: Guess what? He found something in it.
Grant: A tennis ball?
Me: Yes. How did you know that?
Grant: I guessed?
Me: Uh- huh. I see. How did the tennis ball get into the toilet?
Grant: I don't know?
Me: Yes you do. How?
Grant: I think I don't remember.
Me: I think you need to remember.
Grant: Ummm. I THINK I was going pee and I had the tennis ball in my hand, but I set it down on the edge of the toilet and I think it probably fell in. Then I finished going pee, I think.
Me: And you flushed the toilet with the tennis ball in it?
Grant: Yes, I accidentally forgot to get the tennis ball out first.

So, I explained that accidents happen and it is gross when things fall in the toilet, but he should have told us this happened because we could have saved a lot of time and money if we knew what the problem was. If he ever drops something in the toilet again, he needs to tell us RIGHT AWAY and NEVER FLUSH IT FIRST.

So, does anyone know the going rate for 5 year old child labor? I have $85 owed to me.

Lessons learned from this: If you want to save some money and not call the plumber after your toilet does not respond to plunging and snake routing for declogging, you can wet-vac the water out and find the lodged item. However, having someone else suction dung-water out of my toilet to find a feces covered tennis ball is worth EVERY BIT OF $85 for 25 minutes of work. EVERY PENNY.



  1. Angie~ I love your posts! Even with everything, you still have a great sense of humor and know how to put it in writing. Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Good crys really help don't they..silly but I always feel better after having one. Bummer about the tennis ball...

    What is it w/ the coats, shirts, xbox controller, DS IN HIS MOUTH...??? I don't get that, all weekend long we were yelling at the 9 year old to "get it out of his mouth"..ugg

  3. Delurking to thank you for making me laugh today. Sorry it had to come at your expense. I had my own expensive plumber episode not long ago . . . only the culprit was a comb flushed down the toilet. Sadly, it was my fault. I had stuck it in my back pocket to comb my daughter's hair before school pictures and forgot it was there (it's been a while since the '80s when I regularly carried a comb in my back pocket. But that's another story.) So, the comb in the toilet was my fault . . . but don't think I didn't blame it on the kids to everyone else I told!

  4. Your last paragraph summed up exactly what I was thinking - $85 would have been worth every penny to me too for that kind of job...YUCK!!! My 2 year old flushed the rod of the toilet paper holder a few weeks ago. As he told me what he had done, he was laughing and I didn't believe him and how on earth could you flush such a thing and have it go down that far? Anyway, he did, and luckily there was no fecal matter to contend with. I ended up taking the whole toilet off and I was able to tip the toilet and dislodge it. Good to know about the wet vac as that would have been a much better approach. Now I am all the wiser, thanks to you, for the next time...and I have no doubt there will be a next time!

    I am glad to hear that Gavin is feeling better. It is totally understandable that he has a fear of hospitals with all he has had to go through and seeing what his dad looks like after his experience in the hospital. It is hard for such a little guy to look at the big picture and see the benefit to all of that - needles + children almost never equals a positive experience.

    And then there is Grant...all I can say is that it is good that you are documenting this stuff and will have proof in print of the shananigans that the boys were up to. Once the anger wears off and the $85 gets repaid, hopefully you will be able to look back and maybe find some humor in the situation. Then, you will have to pray really hard that Grant will someday have a child just like least that is what I do when one of my daughters or one of my sons does something to send me around the bend! To keep in mind though, on a serious note, Grant (especially) has been through a lot of upheaval and uncertainty in the last few weeks and is obviously looking for an outlet for his feelings. I will pray for that specifically, but to encourage you, I am sure things will get better for you/him with a bit of time, now that health issues seem to be under control at the moment.

    I am glad that you can finally BREATHE and it is so good that you don't have to supress your emotions anymore. Let them out and don't be afraid to cry. You have been under so much stress and pressure lately that it needs to be released somehow...

    Still thinking of you all and praying for you.

  5. Ohh that's crappy about the toilet (tee hee... it's funny, admit it!). So sorry. I am still praying for you!!! Hope the Lord gives you a break, and you can breathe once and for all!

  6. Catherine,

    You are so right about Grant having been through a lot. That is one of the main reasons I am seeing my counselor - to understand and help my boys. Grant dealt with not sleeping in the same house as both his parents for over a week. I saw him Sunday at bedtime and then not again til I picked him up from school on Wednesday until we figured out what was going on with Gavin, ensuring Gavin was not contagious. I know it was hard on him and he will do abnormal things to get attention. Trying to balance my time, love and attention between all my guys and their needs is the most challenging part of my life these days. More challenging than that, though, is determining when to cut them some slack and when to draw the line. He got in more trouble for the jacket in the grocery store incident than he did for the tennis ball in the toilet incident. I don't know if that was right or not. I guess all moms have the struggles of knowing when to cut some slack to their kids, though, eh?


  7. I am sorry I am chuckling at your expense over here... this was a very well written post :-) Glad everyone is doing better over there!

  8. Oh my goodness, you have been busy today! I am cracking up about the ball "rolling" into the toilet and then getting flushed. Oops. I didn't even know that was possible. I am glad you had a good long cry and a good deep breath.

  9. hahahahaha your $85 tennis ball was an awesome story!! Thanks! I needed a laugh today!!

  10. "I think I don't remember" That is the funniest line!! Thanks for the laugh :) Glad things are somewhat normal at your house!

  11. Love the Grant conversation, as you probably knew in advance how the conversation was going to go, you should have gotten out the video camera. I would have liked to see that.

    OH the big screen. I am pretty good at remaining calm with the boys unless it involves possible damage to the big screen. I come close to violence if a ball or some other item bounces off. I swear if one of my kids would fall into the tv and become hurt, I would check on the health of the big screen before my child. I hope that theory is never tested.

    Luke bought a LASER POINTER for the dog the other day, the dog chases that dot around and for several minutes after it is turned off he is still looking for it. We sometimes catch the dog looking for the RED DOT in his spare time. Anyway, boys were playing some WII game where they target something on the screen with............A RED POINTER!! Indy jumper up after it. I was not here to see it, thank goodness. I am surprised Heather even told me about it.

    Tell Brian I said hello.

  12. Had to laugh at the big dumper child...Our son plugged the toilet every time he went. So we went out and bought a toilet that could flush 24 golf balls all at once...Have you seen them? It works great:) Glad you are all home. Take care..we are still praying for you in Michigan:)

  13. Angie, You are so hysterically funny. I would love to hang out with you because you are just the real deal. So glad for moments that you will be able to laugh about in a few months. Glad to hear all your men are on the mend. Praying in between laughs for you! Shawn

  14. Glad to see things are getting back to normal! And I agree - $85 to have poo water sucked out of your toilet and a tennis ball removed from it - totally worth every penny!

  15. What a roller coaster you've been on! That you can still maintain discipline AND see the humor in things is a testament to your strength. Yes!

  16. Yep. I'd pay the money too. I'm glad to hear that things are getting a little more 'normal' at your place. It's all relative isn't it?

    Hugs and prayers. Oh, and laughter too. Stay well.

  17. A-
    You're nicer than me. And, in perspective, I think you were right on with the punishment vs. non-punishment thing. The jacket incident was clear disobedience. The tennis ball is questionable since you weren't there and it really could have happened (I mean, when you're 5 and something drops into a puddle of pee, who really wants to retrieve it?)

    This post was awesome, though. It's very good that you can look at it and laugh, with so little time passed. I would have needed a month or two or six!

  18. How you keep your sense of humor I will never are amazing woman.. I laughed out loud with the "I think I don't remember"..hahaha sorry..that was too cute..

    Glad everyone is starting to feel back to normal..hugs..

  19. And that, my friend, is how I know you're going to be okay. Your amazing sense of humor.

  20. At least you can see the humor in things!


    I love your outlook on things. It is a fine example for everyone!

    Aren't boys just the best?

  22. Breathe in...breathe out...

    then laugh. if you can.

    I went through this with Big Sis after Angel died. She acted out a lot for my attention since I was grieving so hard at the time. It's so hard to know when to discipline and when to overlook. I hope I overlooked and loved more often than not.
    Regardless, I think they forget most of it.

    They remember the love and laughter most. Amazing but true.

  23. I cannot think of another soul who could survive all you do with such style! LOL!

  24. I'm just catching up. Oh...what a stressful time you've had! Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. Thank GOD, Grant is OK. And Brian came through the surgery.