Friday, January 30, 2009
Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!
I know, that's just want you wanted to see when you innocently clicked over here: a toilet the size of Italy. The content of this post, "Disturbing Behavior," isn't as scintillating as its title would lead you to believe. No, it's not about some juicy, obsessive-compulsive habit that I've been watching my neighbor do through the window, or my own propensity to talk to myself at length while I'm driving to work. But it does have to do with toilets (or, one particular toilet, I should say).
Moreover, it has to do with my dog.
First, some background. Here's what Tebow likes to do: follow me into the bathroom, sit on the rug by my feet, and just stare up at me while I'm doing the act (he's only allowed in to witness number one, not number two). I suppose this should make me uncomfortable, but it really doesn't. Quite the opposite, it actually makes me feel good that my own act of peeing is interesting enough to generate an audience. (Kevin, on the other hand, feels that this is borderline inappropriate, and kicks Tebow out when he tries to nudge his way in through the doorway. Yes, it's probably bad manners, but Tebow fills such an enormous part of my heart that he can pretty much do anything he wants except poop in the house, and it won't bother me.)
I often wonder what thoughts might be going through Tebow's walnut-sized-brain-of-a-three-year-old:
"How does she make that sparkly, sprinkly, watery sound?"
"This rug feels warm and fuzzy on my bum."
"Mom kind of looks like the Thinking Man statue, sitting like that."
"Mommy, you're the best pee-er EVER!"
"I wonder if we get to go for a walk soon."
"Stop sitting around doing nothing. It's time for you to boil me a beef bone!"
Lately, after I flush, he's started getting all excited. I step back, and he stands up on his hind legs, front paws on the toilet seat, peering with apparent eagerness into the swirling, churning water (usually yellow-tinted, because I never drink those recommended eight classes of water a day), his tail wagging as the water rises and falls, my wad of toilet paper moving in lazy circles, finally making that glug-glug sound as it disappears into the dark, mysterious pit of Never-Never-Land-of-Human-Waste below. He watches for a moment longer, his tail ceasing to wag, and looks up at me and then back down at the now-still water, and then back up at me. Probably wondering what the heck just happened, and if it will happen again if he stares for long enough. But then I leave, and he follows me out and forgets about it - at least until the next time I pee.
I used to think this was amusing, until he did the unthinkable, the unprecedented, the - yes - I daresay, the disturbing:
Just as the swirling, yellow-tinted water reached its swirling peak of height, mere inches from his nose, he suddenly lowered his snout into the toilet and began to drink! Right there, right in front of me! DRINKING THE SWIRLING, PISS-TINGED TOILET WATER!
I gasped, instantly caught off guard, choking on air.
"TEBOW! NOOOOO!," I cried out, grabbing him by the collar and yanking him away, wondering what had gotten into him. He sat back down and looked up at me happily, not guiltily, his tail thumping the floor. Kind of like he'd just done something really awesome, and was proud that his owner had seen him do it. Totally unaware of how bizarre and gross it is to drink water from a used, unflushed (or currently flushing) toilet.
I spent the morning rambling to Kevin about it, psychoanalyzing it, feeling mildly disturbed by Tebow's disturbing behavior. What might have prompted him to stick his lapping tongue in that water this time? It's not like he's never been in that position before, his nose hovering just a short distance above the spinning water. Could the black hole at the bottom have evil hypnotic qualities, beckoning in the soothing voice of the witch with the poisonous apple in Snow White: drink, my dear. Drink from the magical golden water. It won't hurt youuuuuuu.....
I was trying to think of what this might equate to if Tebow were a child, say, if he were Zachary.
Eating his own boogers? Yes, that would probably make me say "ew" and "knock it off."
Picking up a half-eaten slice of pizza on the sidewalk in Manhattan and cramming it into his mouth?
Trying to eat his own corduroy pants from the Good Will, which - yes - I would certainly torture my son into wearing?
Then of course, I began wondering if perhaps I'm overreacting, being that germ-a-phobic, manners-obsessed mother that I people make fun of. Maybe a little pee-tinged water doesn't matter; perhaps it provides some naturopathic benefits to dogs, like some sort of healthy electrolytes that enhance the shininess of the fur.
And maybe, the temptation to drink from a churning bowl of pee-scented water isn't so outrageous after all. Maybe it's a normal canine urge, or perhaps even a human urge. Maybe there are people who do it, or have done it, and can attest that it really isn't all that bad.
All of this is good, I guess, for it gives me something to Google for the next few weeks. Until I get to the bottom of it, though, Tebow can still keep me company while I pee (honestly, I enjoy the company), but the lid is coming down with a "thud" when I'm done. No more tempting calls from the black toilet hole!