Oh, for the days of the real flush. Who would have guessed thirty years ago that I'd be pining for the old days of the toilet? Fast forward to today. I have twins (aka the "twinkies") -- who are two and potty-trained -- and the two of them jockey over who gets "the Flush". Well, one day we were visiting a ski shop, which was really someone's office with a counter and stuff piled everywhere in apparent disarray. Of course the twinkies needed to use the potty and the man at the ski shop offered his bathroom. He warned, however, that the toilet was "cleaner than it looks". With that warning, I braced myself for the latest potty visit. Well, the toilet was indeed frightening looking, coated with black something -- not sure what it was. But little did I know the joy that was to come. When it came time for "the Flush", we were rewarded with a really satisfying forceful swish, swirl and resounding "glug", like the end of a sentence, and everything was gone -- just, plain gone. Oh, yes, now I remembered the toilet of yore. Those were the good old days -- back before the environmentalists' cry for less water, for the "efficient" toilet -- back when the toilet flushed and we didn't give it a second thought -- when we didn't even keep a plunger in the bathroom. When toilet troubles were rare, if unheard of. I would have happily taken that toilet home, black coating and all. Because today, in our modern house, I battle daily with our toilets. Gross, gross, gross, but a reality of my life. I have taught the children "one square is all you need, dearies". Oh yes, we are very conservative with those toilet paper squares. But it's all for naught with today's toilets. Every day I find myself with the plunger, plunging away (a fascination for the twinkies -- who knows what their memories will be when they grow old...) -- and incidentally -- old-fashioned plungers are completely ineffective with the modern environmentalist's toilet. Sadly, the toilets, and multiple flushes -- I am sure we use at least as much water on these flushes in the end -- occupy too much of my thoughts every single day. My husband Paul has had to purchase various advanced plumbing tools, which he often has to use on his arrival home from a long day at work. ("Welcome home, dear!"). So, I will gladly surrender my modern role of toilet-babysitter. For Mother's Day, we can skip all the niceties of flowers and chocolates. Just give me three old-fashioned toilets. Then I can get out of the plumbing business and get back to the job of mothering.