Warning! The following column is clogged with gratuitous potty humor. If it's a strain for you to read it, the CDC advises that you hold your nose, wear an N95 mask if necessary and then answer the call of curiosity. I think you'll be relieved.

God has blessed me with a wife, three teenage daughters, two female doglets and one female cat. (My wife, by the way, has insisted that I leave her out of this – and I'm pretty sure God would prefer that, too.) Over the past 18 years, I've become quite proficient in the delicate art of unclogging our three toilets. And, no, I haven't been able to train our pets to use the commode, but one can dream.

In my shortsighted expectations of having daughters, I just didn't see myself spending nearly this much time wielding a plunger – and wishing I owned a blowtorch. But according to the National Institute of Plumbery, the average American parent spends up to 24 hours per year unclogging household toilets.

Okay, I made that up. But if there was a National Institute of Plumbery (if "plumbery" is even a word) and they bothered to research such a significant domestic crisis, I'll bet it might be true – give or take 20 hours, or so.

Take the plunge into household plumbing

As an added bonus, my daughters often surprise me with clogged toilets they've left unreported­ – presumably to conceal the identity of the perpetrator. When I ask who did it, the two big sisters usually blame the youngest, who invariably replies with a diplomatic "I don't recall."

Since everyone denies the atrocity, I'm left to assume that an offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers repeatedly pops in for unannounced and clandestine visits to our bathrooms. (Or maybe it's the Russians.)

After these unfortunate incidents, I always remind the girls to take a look after they flush, just to be sure everything makes a clean escape. Their thoughtful response to this recommendation is the same for almost all of the fatherly advice I give them, "Oooo, gross, Dad!"

I've often wondered if the chronically-clogged toilet phenomenon might be limited to my own children, but just recently, one of my Facebook friends who has four daughters of his own and shares my official title of Family-Throneologist-in-Chief posted the following, and I quote, "Anyone else's kids constantly clog toilets? My kids do so on a daily basis, with very little toilet paper. Plunging toilets is a full-time job while I'm at home."

I simply replied with the Facebook "care" emoji.

Since my youngest daughter is now 15 years old, I realize that I only have a few blessed years left with my children at home, the reality of which makes me wistful and a bit sad. So, until they're gone, I'll keep happily plunging away, grateful to God for the time I have with them – and wishing I owned a blowtorch.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected]