May 12, 2011

The ceiling is raining!

This morning I hadn't been awake five minutes when I wanted to get back in bed. I knew it was going to be one of those days. Once the boys launched and Garry went to work ("Be a good girl, OK?") I forced myself to shower and get ready for the day, just in case I got summoned to the school or the hospital or federal court on a moment's notice.

That's as far as I got before giving up.

While I was in the shower, Lexi found Garry's Vicodin prescription and was distributing pills to her stuffed animals. While I dried my hair the kids stripped my bed of sheets, blankets, and pillows. Lexi absconded with the spatula I used for measuring some peanut butter and smeared it all over herself and the office wall.

Later, while I was mulling over the swimming lesson schedule and my ability to participate in a summertime "mom camp" that meets only during nap time, my pint-sized partners in crime got into the graham crackers and applesauce and, presumably because Sesame Street was on in my bedroom, ground both into my bedroom carpet, the walls, my bed sheets, their hair, the little potty, and their clothes. When Gavin started using applesauce like lotion for his legs and feet, I declared myself fed up and threw both of the little miscreants in the bath tub.

I decided to keep a safe distance so I wouldn't ring their necks. While they splashed and laughed and played, I sat in a room across the hall. I checked on them every other minute. I know it's bad mothering to behave in such a way. It is also bad mothering to string children up by their toenails from the curtain rod, so I picked the lesser of two evils.

When two streaking toddlers bounded out of the bathroom, I set about collecting items to cover Lexi's nakedness. I sent Gavin downstairs to collect his own clothing. A minute later he ran up to me and yelled, "The ceiling is raining! The ceiling is raining!" Oh, that is just a sentence I did not want to hear. I trudged down the stairs to investigate.

The ceiling above the dryer was, indeed, raining. I grabbed an empty laundry basket to collect the drips and drops. Then, naturally, I called Garry, who jumped in the car and came home (we love his five-minute commute). I couldn't quite determine the source of the water. The washer was running but didn't seem to be the culprit. The kids had just bathed upstairs, but not directly above the laundry closet. The ceiling and walls were not wet, and yet water steadily dripped from the molding around the laundry closet doors. I was stumped.

Then the phone rang. It was the school. Glad that I had showered but still filled with trepidation, I answered. It was Mrs. Reynolds, the TAG (Talented and Gifted) coordinator, calling to talk about a detour in Zach's accelerated math program. While she informed me of a significant snag in the school's ability to meet Zach's needs, Garry got home and inspected the water situation. He discovered a tripped breaker. I learned about math scheduling. He tested the washing machine drain. I got bad news about middle school. It was all so very fun.

Eventually I took my phone conversation upstairs and found four sopping wet towels and two sopping wet bath mats on the bathroom floor. My dear children had pulled them all into the bathtub and then plopped them back on the floor. In the end, we decided that this little mess was the source of the basement rain. Running another load of wash didn't bring back the dripping ceiling. We hope this is the end of the water crisis.

This week we had to have the clutch on our Honda Accord replaced. In 13 years this is our only significant car repair, so we feel blessed, but that didn't make the repair bill any cheaper. We also hired a construction crew to rip out and replace our backyard fence. While we are excited about this major improvement to our property, we have been without a back fence for four days and progress has been slowed down by bad weather. It seems that many expensive and difficult things are all crashing at once.

While Garry was home, I had a serious wave of nausea. I took advantage of parental back-up (along with some Zofran) and laid down on the couch for a while. As I reviewed the events of the day, I suddenly started laughing hysterically. It was one of those laugh-hard-or-cry-hard moments, and honestly I'm not sure which one was really happening. Garry patted my head and said, "When it rains, it really pours, doesn't it?"

So true.
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