Night light

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It’s bedtime, but he is just home from his friend’s house and full of energy. He’s not ready to stop bouncing. As I hurry him towards bed, he dances about. In the bathroom he hops on one foot and tosses a balled up sock towards the laundry basket. It misses. No matter. He switches feet and does it again. It misses again.

“You need to pick those up,” I scold.

He wiggles towards the corner to fetch the wayward sock balls, bumping things with his boogie-ing butt. One something falls, kerplop, into the toilet.

He stops.


An old night light. No longer necessary but it can’t stay there. He looks into the toilet to confirm what he already knows, then he looks at me. Quickly, he glances around the bathroom: he can take care of this himself. He grabs the toilet brush, gives it a disgusted look, and goes fishing in the toilet. Turns out a toilet brush doesn’t make a good fishing rod. The night light is wedged.

“Um, Mom?” His face has fallen. He is chagrined. But then, curiosity fires in him, “What are we going to do?”

My sleeve is already rolled up. Wordlessly, I plunge my hand into the toilet, fetch the offending night light, and deposit it in the trash. He sucks in his breath.

“Have you done that before?” He is impressed.

“Yes,” I say simply, as I soap my hands again and again.


Then, casually confident of his mother’s competence, he dances on out of the bathroom, pausing long enough to say, “Good thing I don’t need that night light anymore.”

24 thoughts on “Night light

  1. Your post made me grin. I love how you described this moment with your son, his bee-bopping and then the OOPS! and Mom to the rescue! And I love his question, “Have you done that before?” Oh, the things that impress our children! lol Great slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay! Such wonders. As a new mom, I love reading these little anecdotes because they make me feel like I have a whole bunch of things to look forward to and they forewarn me to make the best of funny situations.


  3. Such an engaging read – great real life slice, an energetic little character, brave hero (with a hand in a toilet bowl), super details. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Have you done that before?” He is impressed. Love this line. It’s also funny that we’re impressed and grossed out to stick our hands in a toilet, but we’ll gladly be “kissed” by a dog that has just been drinking said water. I’m also impressed at your patience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really should have made the kid reach into the toilet. He’s already a total dirty mess pretty much all the time. He would have no trouble being kissed by a toilet-drinking dog. 🙂


  5. It’s always interesting to me to observe in myself what I can handle without a second thought as a mom vs what I cringe at doing if I’m not “momming.” “Mom competence” is a great thing. And this is a delightful read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This made me laugh and made me nostalgic. Having boys in the house is always an adventure. Great dialogue. I love the understated tone. That said, I don’t understand why you did not watch that kid fetch the night light out of the toilet. It’s never too early to teach home plumbing skills!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, until the moment I read your comment it never even occurred to me to have him fetch the nightlight. Now *that* would have been a funny slice. I can just imagine the drama!


  7. Years ago I was babysitting for a friend. Her daughter had dropped her own eye glasses in the toilet & had been contemplating what to do for about half an hour. I asked her why she didn’t just pick them up. Like you, I had to be the hero & reach in for her. I said, “Don’t tell your mom I did that for you!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh this is so funny! I can just see my son doing the exact same thing! I could picture every moment, right down to your hand in the toilet. This is why moms are superheroes! Dads too, I guess, in their own way. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this “mom of a boy” moment!

    Liked by 1 person

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