"M, come here for a minute and bring X and Y with you" my husband called in a voice that suggested that we were about to have a family meeting. This is a routine matter for us. Every once in a while, he will call, we will gather; he will speak, we will listen; he will dismiss and we will disperse. I always think in hindsight that I should have taken a notepad with me because the words of wisdom he doles out in these family meetings deserves to be passed down to generations. Sometimes I wonder how he manages to walk up straight without sagging under the weight of all that knowledge and wisdom. It can't be easy for him, I am sure.
To my "Can't this wait? I have pasta on the stove and it's not ready yet", my husband gave an indulgent smile and said no. Of course not! Switching off the stove I walked behind him looking back only to make sure X and Y were following. The next challenge was gathering around the toilet bowl in the pea-sized bathroom which was the venue of our current meeting. If you haven't seen our family recently, you probably cannot understand the mammoth (pun intended) difficulty of fitting the four of us around the said bowl but after a bit of creative maneuvering, we all took our rightful place and waited for the meeting to commence. As my husband cleared his throat to begin, I realized I had once again forgotten the notepad. Darn it!
"As you all know, this toilet has been leaking for a while now" he stopped and looked at us for confirmation. Promptly we all nodded and he continued "so I have come up with a plan to prevent water getting wasted so much." X, Y and I gazed at him with undiluted awe. He deserves a halo behind his head, I thought reverently, as he got ready to share another one of his many master plans with us.
Bending down to point at the knob below, he said "Remember to turn this counter clockwise every time before you use this bathroom." He paused to see if we were following and we did what we always do best. We nodded vigorously anxious to relieve his mind of all doubts. How could we not follow him? He even demonstrated counter clockwise. That is how good he is to us. I can't believe how fortunate we are to have his guidance in complicated matters like these. Satisfied that we got it, he proceeded "After you flush the toilet, wait for 20 seconds and then turn it clockwise until you can turn no more".
Uh oh! Oh God, please no! Not Math! Not at a time like that. I could see myself in the bathroom reciting 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand………………….I looked at X and Y in despair but they are made of sterner stuff than me. They were looking at my husband with a look that seemed to say 'Is that all you got'? Unfazed by that, of course, my husband continued to patiently demonstrate the knob-turning technique until he was sure the process was etched in our little brains. Such was his training that I found myself practicing the turn unconsciously in the air while watching TV last night.
"But Dad, Y interrupted his training session and asked 'What about when we have guests at home?" Thrilled and thoroughly pleased by this intelligent question of Y, my husband beamed a smiled at her and proceeded to solve this new problem. His ability to instantly provide solutions to problems is spooky, I tell you. Give him a problem and he will give you a solution right away but if you are the kind that needs some hand holding with implementation, I suggest you knock on a different door with your problems. How much can one person do? He can't both think and act now, can he?
"This is what you do" he laid out the plan for us. "Make a document that gives step by step instructions on how to turn the knob and how long they are supposed to wait before turning it again. Be sure to take a picture of the toilet bowl and put an arrow in red to indicate the position of the knob. X, you are good at drawing, right? I want you to draw examples of clockwise and anti-clockwise motions and put it under the bullet points. After all, we want to make it easy for our guests to enjoy our bathroom" he finished.
I blinked the tears of pride that were welling up in my eyes. Such thoughtful and thorough documentation instructions are worthy of a Fortune 500 company's IT department. And here is my husband, brimming with the milk of human kindness, using his skills so you can pee in peace (using the instruction sheet that is soon to go on the wall over the toilet) if you ever plan to stay over in our home.
Is it any wonder that we adore him?
Separate names with a comma.