When I was a wee baby, Dad, Mum and I lived in Tallaght, a suburb outside of Dublin. We remained there for four years before moving to England. It was a big house for a family of three. It had a largish garden and spacious living room, but most things from your childhood seem large. On the concrete behind the house there was a drain cover, which my parents frequently lifted to clean out the underlying drain. I don’t know why they cleaned it so regularly, but I could hazard a guess in saying I was part of the reason. Apparently, as a child, I was fascinated with the toilet*. I played in it, drank from it and shoved things down it. Our toilet was taken apart on numerous occasions to remove blockages caused by teddies and other random objects I saw fit for flushing. I’m sure I was the cause for the many times my parents opened the drain to discover the mysterious object causing the blockage.
One such day, they were cleaning out the drain and paused for a tea break. While sipping their hot brews, they questioned my whereabouts. Mum went upstairs. I was nowhere to be found. She called Dad. Understandably, the two of them became a little panicked. They looked under beds, in closets (no jokes!) and checked with neighbours. I had vanished. Mum ventured out into the garden to search. Our garden was very open. There was little you would miss that you wouldn’t see on a glance. While in the garden, she called Dad, “I found him”. Can you guess where I was? Apparently, I had come running out the back door of the kitchen and fell straight down the drain. The drain was at least six feet deep. Remarkably, I wasn’t hurt at all. All my parents could do was laugh. They lowered a sweeping brush down the drain. I stood on its head and they air lifted me out. I have no recollection of it, but they still laugh about it to this day.
* My boyfriend and friends will be more than happy to know I have since grown out of this fascination.