So Help My Bum

Programming note: Aside from this post, I'm being quizzed today by Matt at DC Urban Dad in his Five Questions spot. Find out why I'd be a good fit for the reality show, Jersey Shore.


The other evening Avery walked out the bathroom to the desk where Ashley and I were talking. "My bottom hurts," she announced. "Real bad." This has been an off-and-on problem for Avery, and it's a closely monitored situation since it has some correlation to the fact Avery was born with three kidneys.

Now, three kidneys might come in handy for drinking frat boys under the table at college, or prove convenient when stranded in the orient and strapped for cash, but for a kid this extra organ can reek a considerable amount of discomfort. Infections, stomach pain and incontinence are no fun for anyone especially a six year-old. So when Avery says her bottom hurts, we know it's no ploy for attention.

"I think it needs to be checked," Avery continued, and then, to ensure everyone was clear about their roles, she added, "I was talking to Mommy."

Well of course you were, my dear. Were that not the case, I would have politely deferred to your mother anyway. I really didn't need the clarification, but I felt relieved just the same.

Several minutes later, Ash emerged from the bathroom and informed me Avery had a rash. "It's from not--well, you know, cleaning--"

"Say no more, honey. I got it."

This is Avery's other problem, and one I have a hard time fathoming. Three seconds and done. That's it. Easy-peazy-Japaneezy ...and the roll is sitting right there so you can't forget! But apparently, to Avery, ignoring those few additional seconds is worth the risk.

In past instances when it was just me at home and Avery was having issues in this department, I would station her older sister Allie in the bathroom to ensure that the situation was being dealt with adequately. This proved effective and in time, things returned to normal. (Allie's a godsend for me in this department, as I've mentioned before.)

On the day following the re-occurrence of Avery's rash, I went into the girls' bathroom to blow my nose only to discover there was no paper on the roll. "Typical," I thought before opening the cabinet to grab a replacement, of which, none existed. The momentary pause from this caused me to engage in a little deductive analysis.

How long do you think they've been out, Ron? Well, most likely for a while, given both girls' lackadaisical mentality when it comes to informing us supplies have been exhausted. Of the two, Allie is by far the worst in this area. When that last sheet is torn from the cardboard, I swear she just looks at it a says, "Ehhh, eff it." (She's at that age where children seriously under-value the ability to do things for themselves when an adult can do it for them instead.) In this light, chances were high that this particular roll had run out at least twenty-four hours ago if not longer. Recalling the rough number of times I had watched Avery sprint with her three sloshing bladders toward the bathroom, lead me to make a few assumptions about Avery's current ailment. Hmmmmm.

Minutes later I stood in the middle of the living room where Allie and Avery could see me. "Ladies, can anyone tell me how long you've been without toilet paper?" Neither said a word, but their expressions provided the answer. Allie gave me that same eff-it glance before craning her neck to see the TV behind me, while Avery's large eyes darted all over the room. Had she known how to whistle, it would have been the classic give-away. "Do you think maybe this might be why your bottom is hurting, Avery?"

At that, Ash joined me, and I gladly let her take over from there. Later, I went to the store and purchased enough TP to hold over a battalion of senior citizens packed full of prune-laced bran muffins. Once home, I carried it into the girls' bathroom, asking them to join me as I did.

"Ladies, I want you to both raise your right hands--no, you're other right, Avery." My odd request brought quizzical looks.

"Now repeat after me," I continued. "I--state your name--do solemnly swear... that I will always use the toilet paper entrusted to me... when I am done taking care of my bi' nizz... and should the role be empty... I will replace it with a fresh one... and when no toilet paper can be found... I will ask for more in a timely fashion... and under no circumstances... will I neglect these duties... so help my bum."

I think I'll call it, "The Oath to the Throne."

This post brought to you by the great people at the Dad Blogs community as part of their Fatherhood Friday series. Check it out.

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