The saga of the one ring

No, not the Lord of the Rings. Ane’s ring. The one ring which, for 12 hours, had us going crazy.

When we were at Knott’s Berry Farm, I discovered a little jewelry stand which specialized in silver and turquoise pieces. Turquoise is the birthstone for December (if you want a “sparkly” gem, you get blue topaz), so I decided to get Ane a little “something pretty” as a special gift.

It took forever to decide on something. I was really looking for a small necklace with a pretty pendant of some kind, but everything the stand had was really chunky and large – not really appropriate for a four-and-a-half year old. We looked at rings, we looked at bracelets, we looked at more necklaces, and I was ready to give up on the whole idea until Ane finally decided that she liked the butterfly turquoise ring. It’s a silver ring, just her size (a miniscule size 2), with a little blue turquoise butterfly edged in silver on it. It was fairly inexpensive ($5), and when it gets too small for her fingers, I told her I would put it on a chain and she could wear it as a necklace.

She enjoyed wearing it, and would constantly point it out to everyone. “This is my ring. It’s a butterfly. See? That’s my birfstone on there.” (Yes, she does say “birfstone.” Not a typo.)

When we arrived home on Tuesday, the kids desperately needed baths after a day of travel. While Ane wore her ring all the way home, she didn’t want to wear it in the bathtub. So she took it off and set it on the bathroom counter.

Later, as I was continuing to clean up and put away, I asked the Webmaster, who had bathed the kids, where her ring was.

It was nowhere to be found. We searched high and low, in the bathroom, in her room, in the living room – it was gone. I felt terrible, the Webmaster was sick over it, and when we woke Ane to see if she’d stashed it somewhere, she was too exhausted to talk coherently about it.

The best guess we could come up with was that Tad had done something with it. He has a habit of getting out of the bathtub if no adults are around (which we are supposed to be) and then playing with the sink faucet. My heart sank as I realized he had probably put it down the drain. Our bathroom stopper actually broke right before we left, so the Webmaster had replaced it with a whole new, clean pipe and stopper, which meant that if the ring went down the drain, there wasn’t going to be any debris to stop it from going into the septic tank.

My only hope was that the ring was heavy enough to stay at the bottom of the U in the pipe. The Webmaster took it off and dumped it out. Nothing.

We were overtired and had looked everywhere. I said, “Well, it wasn’t an expensive thing, but I would have liked her to keep it. Oh, well. If it’s gone, it’s gone.” Disappointed, we finally got to bed.

In the morning, I had a brainstorm. I just knew that Tad had done something with Ane’s ring. I decided to leave a ring that I was planning to throw out (it was a costume ring that was losing crystals and flaking) on the counter in the bathroom, wait, and see if Tad would show me what he’d done.

The bait set, I led him into the bathroom to wash his hands. Once he noticed the ring, he picked it up, handled it, and then tried to drop it down the overflow drain at the top of the sink.

Aha! Busted.

I got the Webmaster into the bathroom and told him what Tad had just tried to do. He agreed to take the U pipe off again, and see if I could flush it out with water.

No luck. I got a bigger pitcher to create more flow and water pressure. I put my bait ring down the overflow drain to see if it would come out. Nothing.

Finally, I begged the Webmaster to take apart the drain he had just assembled less than two weeks ago. Sighing, and probably feeling like I was on a wild goose chase, he took the pipe apart, and I poured more water down.

The crud that came out was amazingly disgusting. And then – plop. There was Ane’s ring, right at the edge of the pipe. The Webmaster handed it to me, then we flushed more water down the overflow drain, and out came the bait ring – which, having fulfilled its mission, was promptly thrown away.

I helped the Webmaster reassemble the drain, then I called for Ane and showed her the ring.

The ring is now safely stored in a jewelry box on her dresser. She knows that if she’s not wearing it, it needs to be in that box.

We also know to never leave small objects near a drain within Tad’s reach. Or to leave him alone to wreak havoc in a bathroom. Or his room. Or any room.

Thus concludes the saga of the turquoise ring – hopefully not to be continued.

4 Responses to “The saga of the one ring”

  1. Ressis
    July 10th, 2008 06:01

    WOW! I don’t know that I would have gone so far as to take the drain apart.

  2. Matthew
    July 10th, 2008 09:05

    Very nice work by the Webmaster. Glad to see that he’s mastered the art of thinking his wife’s crazy but accommodating her anyway.

    And, aren’t YOU the sneaky detective?! Good job baiting Tad into showing you what he did!

  3. Doc
    July 10th, 2008 09:37

    I think we should tell this story to Brain as a real-life Encyclopedia Brown … Encyclope-Deanna Brown??

  4. Alexandria (aka Reavan, KotOR is love
    July 18th, 2008 18:17

    It could have been worse. Tad could have eaten it.