Blowing Bubbles with Toilet Paper Roll Dispensers

Madeline slammed the bedroom door against the door wall and dramatically glided into my room.  For much of the afternoon, I had been lost in contemplation.  The day before, a friend had threatened suicide.  She lives thousands of miles away from me, and the only thing I could do to help her was to call the police in her city.  Now she is furious, and keeps finding new and creative ways to tell me just how furious.  As she burst into my room, my eldest child managed to grab my attention with a most unusual pronouncement: “Mom!!  Come quick!  Jim and Ben are sinking the Titanic in the downstairs bathroom and there is water everywhere!”

Hastily I threw the papers I’d been editing in the general direction of my desk and ran downstairs.  I heard Jim and Ben laughing uproariously and planning their next stunt.  “Hey Jim,” Ben cried, “Watch this!”  I ducked my head in around the corner and my jaw dropped not so much at the water dripping from sink to linoleum, but more so from the strange gurgling sounds coming from Jim’s mouth.

Something hung out of Ben’s mouth and I realized he was sucking or blowing on something.  Oh please God don’t let it be the toilet bowl brush.  One time I caught Ben chewing on the toilet bowl brush when he was a baby and I was sure he was going to die of some infectious disease.  I sighed in relief when my eyes scanned around the bathroom and settled on the still-intact toilet bowl brush.  Whew.  No need to got to the hospital.  Innocuously enough I suppose, my sons had removed the toilet paper roll from the dispenser and filled the sink with water. Then they pretended they were scuba diving around the capsized Titanic by blowing bubbles through the toilet paper cylinder into the sink.  It was weird and disgusting and ingenious and I snapped a few pictures.

Why take pictures of my children behaving crazily? I leave the analysis up to a friend, C.N.:

For the billionth time, I experience a flicker of abject gratitude that my childhood preceded the social media revolution. And for the billionth time, I’m grateful that my (alleged) adulthood coincided with the social media revolution, allowing me to enjoy things like the spectacle of online friends’ kids blowing bubbles in the sink with toilet paper rolls.

This time it was my kids blowing the bubbles, but who knows?  Maybe next time it will be someone else’s kids creating the happy madness.

A few minutes later, I too was laughing loudly at my winsome children playing with everyday bathroom supplies.  My husband walked in from work carrying his briefcase and looking all grownup in his grey overcoat and grey suit, and he tried not to smile at the puddle of water in the powder room.  I stood on top of the toilet pretending I was the captain of the Titanic. The children blew bubbles with the toilet paper rolls and floated tissue paper in the sink. “It’s land,” Ben cried. Jim giggled hysterically. Madeline exclaimed, “Tidal wave!!!”  I caught her on film yelling, and as tired and dispirited as I had felt earlier, I felt restored by our shared mirth.  And many bath towels later, the Titanic was dried off, and so were all of its crew members.

4 Comments on “Blowing Bubbles with Toilet Paper Roll Dispensers

  1. Oh yeah, looks much like my downstairs bathroom on many days! And I’ve only got the one boy. 🙂

    I love that this kind of thing gets to be shared!