Perpetual Plan B

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Ox is in The Mire (Literally)

It started out as just a regular Sunday. In fact, as I sat in Relief Society today I realized that I had nothing terrible to blog about today. Church was pretty uneventful, which was good because I had the usual Fast Sunday headache.

Then we walked outside.

My car (and everyone else's) was totally covered with at least eight inches of snow. You probably think I'm exaggerating, but if I were, I'd say it was an even foot.

When we got to church today, it was blowing really hard and raining or maybe kind of sleeting, if that's a real word. I never dreamed it could turn into this so quickly!

Luckily we have good windshield wipers, so I just used them and started on the way home. I kept telling the kids that if I hit the brakes, a ton of snow would slide off the roof onto the windshield, but it never worked. Why does it always happen when you don't want it to, but not when you are trying to get it to? I bet the neighbors wondered what was the matter with me as I drove home, hitting the brakes every few yards.

Anyway, we got home and I sent the kids into the house and I stayed out in my dress and heels and grabbed a broom to sweep all that snow off the car so it wouldn't flood the garage. I finally realized how dumb I was being and went inside to bundle up properly and then went back outside to finish the task. I also went and got the snow shovel from the shed, where we had placed it only Saturday, thinking we were done for this season. It was really heavy, wet snow, but I did the whole driveway and front walk by myself. It's the only time I've been able to shovel this whole year because of various ailments so I felt pretty proud of myself by the time I was finished.

Even that much was not enough to blog about. I just wasn't going to do it.

Then it all started to spiral downward.

Let me just preface this by saying that our Sunday School lesson today was entitled "Children Are An Heritage Of The Lord". (I looked it up to make sure that was actually the title. I don't want to start giving out false information here. Then you'd never believe any of these stories, but let me assure you, they are all true. You couldn't make this stuff up.) Anyway, the idea was that we should appreciate our kids and treat them kindly, not yell or get after them too harshly, etc.

Well, I walked upstairs and caught one kid red handed. (Just for today, I will not name names. I'm feeling particularly Christian - and I have cooled off a little. Maybe the lesson did rub off on me a little bit.) This kid was eating something that looked suspiciously like some of the Easter candy I had bought and was saving for Easter. (I like to plan ahead. I also hate having to run to the store last-minute for any holiday item. I like to be totally ready for any given holiday at least two weeks ahead. This doesn't always work for holidays that involve candy, because sometimes I go a little nuts and eat all the candy myself.) I was not planning on buying anything else and I was doing my best to stay out of the candy this time.

This kid had no qualms about pointing the finger at a sibling and letting me know that they had also been eating the Easter candy. One of these kids still believes in the Easter bunny. Now what do I do? I really didn't want to buy more. Should I just let them suffer the logical consequences? I looked in the hiding place and sure enough, they'd done a pretty thorough job. Maybe the Easter bunny will have to bring them some lettuce and carrot sticks.

As I was downstairs pondering the meaning of life, or more accurately, dreaming of the (well deserved) trip to Las Vegas I will be going on later this week with my sister-in-law, the only non-candy stealing child came up to me and casually asked me if I was in a good mood.

I sat there for a minute trying to think of a witty comeback. Then I sensed a small amount of urgency in her countenance.

"Why do you ask?"

"I just need to know."

"Why, what's going on now?"

"Well," the child says calmly, "the toilet just overflowed."

"You turned off the water, didn't you?"

"No, but don't worry, I jumped up onto the counter so I wouldn't get wet."

Picture in your mind the sound of alarm in my voice as I ask, "Is the water still flowing?"

Calm reply: "I think so."

At this time, pretty much all heck broke loose. I ran down the hallway and, sure enough, water was still coming out of the toilet and had already made it clear to the hall carpet. I'd hate to see what would have happened if we hadn't had that lesson today about not yelling at our kids. I started yelling for Hal, who was upstairs. He was still in his church clothes because he had another meeting to go back to in about an hour. He was speaking at it and he hadn't had time to get his talk ready yet.

I grabbed the first available towel I came to and threw it in the doorway. Then I picked up the cord of the flat iron that the girls and I use, that was hanging over the counter top and mostly submerged in the filthy water and threw it up onto the counter. (I really won't go into all the yucky details of the clean up. Just know it was like when Austin took off a dirty diaper when he was one and smeared it all over himself, his bed, his books, the wall, etc. You just don't know where to start cleaning up. And it all smells bad.) Luckily Hal showed up to help.

I'll tell you one thing, flowers and candy are things I can buy for myself if I want to. What I really appreciate is a guy who isn't afraid to mop up toilet water for me, suit or no suit. Also throw up. Nothing says "I love you." like a man who will vacuum up vomit at 3:00 a.m. Luckily, I am married to just such a guy. (It almost makes up for the Nerf football he bought me one year for Christmas. Just a Nerf football, nothing else. Or the year he bought me a bathroom scale. And nothing else. True stories, both of them.)

Hal had me run downstairs to see if it had started leaking into the basement. I hadn't even thought of that. It had started leaking a little around the toilet into our little tiny storage area. The only thing it really got on was the extra gift I had bought for Austin to take to his next birthday party, a plastic golf set. So here's my moral dilemma of the day: Since it got wet with toilet water, should I really be giving it to a little kid to play with? I guess it can be hosed off, but I can't do it myself because it would ruin some of the packaging and the stickers on it. I guess we'll have to wait and see if it's a kid I like or not.

(Also, along the lines of "be careful what you wish for", I was lamenting today that I wouldn't have enough days to do laundry before I leave on my trip. Since the ox really was in the mire, I have now done two extra loads of towels, rags and bathmats. Isn't that a nice Sunday activity?)

So, anyway, Hal had most of it mopped up when we remembered our wet/dry vac. Why hadn't we thought of this sooner? Oh, I know, because we were too busy yelling at our "precious" children. I kept telling them to turn off the water first next time and Hal kept telling them to use the plunger when necessary. (I think you should turn off the water and THEN use the plunger.) Somewhere in the conversation, we came up with a new family motto, Respect the Toilet.

Personally, I like the old one better, it's Do Not Annoy Your Mother.

Of course they never really lived by that one. Maybe we at least have a fighting chance with this new one.

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