Plumb(er) Crazy

We had a plumber scheduled to come today; old houses just need plumbers sometimes (especially when the mice have chewed through a pipe, but that’s another story for another day). In the grand tradition of home repair professionals, he didn’t give us an appointment time more specific than “sometime in the afternoon.”

Isaiah was thrilled when he heard a plumber was coming. His experience with pipe-fixing people is Mr. Mike from church, who explains everything he is doing to Isaiah and when he’s about to do something extra cool, he calls Isaiah over to watch. I tried to explain that this plumber was not quite like Mr. Mike. I also cautioned that the plumber might come while Isaiah was at school. My son still had his heart set on seeing him.

So when the plumber called to say he was on his way, just as I was taking Isaiah to school, all his 5-year-old hopes and dreams were crushed and he burst into tears. I tried again to explain that the plumber wasn’t going to be cool, like Mr. Mike. Isaiah replied with a wail, “But I won’t get to see what he looks like!”

Well, if he just wanted to see what he looked like, I could solve that! I called Chris, explained the dilemma and asked him to take a picture of the plumber for Isaiah, to which he reluctantly agreed. When I told Isaiah the good news, he was much relieved, but had a further request, “Can you ask Daddy to take a picture of each side of him?” I told him not to push his luck.

When I got home from dropping Isaiah at school, I quizzed Chris on the status of the plumber picture. It was still un-taken. Turns out, asking to take a picture of a repair person sounds all great on paper, but is actually a little awkward in practicality. Plus, while most plumbers (in my experience) are big, jolly, talkative guys (like Santa Clauses without a beard), this guy was quiet and business-like. So that made the whole plumber-photo-shoot idea not seem so great.

Chris needed to head back the office, but the picture was still looming. “It’s cute!” I assured him. “It’s for a 5-year-old. It’s not everyday that the guy gets to be somebody’s hero… except maybe when he unplugs someone’s toilet.” And then I pulled the trump card, “I feel funny asking because I’m a girl, but it’s not so awkward for you, because you’re both guys.” Now, my husband would do anything to protect me, so he grimly marched down to the basement. I could hear him saying apologetically, “You know how it is when you’re 5…” He came back a couple minutes later, showed me the picture and rolled his eyes. But DEEP down inside, I know he was thrilled to do it for his son (and me)!

The plumber did turn out to be a very nice man. Apparently he wasn’t too scarred by the requests for pictures or the fact that my daughter exclaimed, “What’s that smell?!” every time he walked through (I don’t think he actually heard her). Plus, you probably get that reaction a lot, when you’re an avid smoker. And he fixed all our leaky pipes! So, all in all, it turned out to be a pretty good day in plumbing.

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