We had our first incident with baby sending something down the toilet without us realizing it. That something was the silver metal toilet paper rod. He has dropped other items in the toilet and I've always fetched them out. How I missed the rod, I do not know. Anyhow, this fun incident brought to light one of the cultural differences in my marriage.
When we finally realized that there was likely an object clogging our toilet, I quickly looked up how to DIY remove the rod. My husband looked at me with his French face giving me a very French look. He wanted to call a plumber right away. Through some research, I decided we should get a claw device that you can stick in the toilet and fetch out objects. We decided against an auger, which was commonly and even highly recommended, but didn't want to accidentally send the rod deep down into the pipes. The claw device was super cheap and had a lot of great reviews. One of those reviews was even someone who had been in our same predicament. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Worst case it doesn't work and we wasted $7. If it did work, then we'd save a couple hundred.
We waited two days for this thing to arrive, and when it did we were both excited to get our toilet working properly again. However, upon our first attempt the little claw fell out of this cheap contraption and was now useless to us. I guess I should've read that many of the 1 star complaints were that the $7 contraption broke easily. So, I turned back to the internet, some friends, and even my mommy groups on FB. Everyone told me, you don't need a plumber just do it yourself. One friend suggested using a coat hanger, but that didn't work. Everyone told us to just remove the toilet ourselves and dislodge the rod that way.
You should've seen my husband's face when I told him people and everyone on the internet was telling us to remove the toilet ourselves before calling a plumber. He said, that's the difference between Americans and French people. Americans think everything is easy. I said, no one said it was easy, they just said we can do it ourselves. Then he told me it's offensive to plumbers that we think we can do everything ourselves.
I told him, it's not that we think everything is easy. It's that we try to take care of things on our own first, before calling for help, particularly small things. In the States, we're raised to be handy and learn to fix things. In Girl Scouts I learned how to change a tire and the oil for my car (not that I remembered those things as an adult, but still). Apparently, French people aren't raised to be handy and it was just completely preposterous for me to suggest we remove the toilet ourselves. Actually, I didn't suggest it--I just shared what other people were suggesting. Frankly, removing the toilet is beyond my level of handiness. I'm not sure I'd trust myself with that.
Needless to say, this made for a lively and ridiculous argument. Or as my husband says, "I'm not yelling, I'm passionate." Whatevs.
We ended up calling a plumber and the rod was freed. I guess you're not real parents until your kid flushes an object down the toilet.
Hope you enjoyed this cultural insight!