Sunday, April 3, 2011

The dime

A dime slipped out of his mouth and plopped into the urine-filled toilet bowl. To my 4-year-old, it was an impossible dilemma: lose the dime or plunge your hand into the pee.

I told him we should just flush, knowing it likely would remain at the bottom of the bowl; but he wouldn’t take that chance.

He found a strainer from a kitchen cupboard, to scoop it out, but it didn’t work. He said he would use a rag, then, but I talked him out of it. It’s just a dime, I said.

Then we had to do something else, and I forgot about it.

Now, it’s 2 a.m. He’s sleeping on the bottom bunk in the next room, and I see the dime is still there, in the bowl, having survived a few flushings already, just as I thought. I wanted to chuckle, but the memory was heavy, a vision of my son at the toilet bowl, his cowlick, his Velcro shoes, his money pouch rattling, his head in his hands, frowning, staring at the dime.

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