Last night, Garry and I went to the Denver Temple with some friends. We left our kids in the capable hands of Courtnie, one of our regular babysitters, and Rachel, who has watched our younger kids a time or two. Both girls are in my Young Women class at church, so of course I adore them, and I knew the kids would be fine (as long as they--the kids--behaved themselves).
Well, Garry and I had great conversation with our friends during the trip to Denver, and our temple experience was wonderful, too. Once we got on the road for home, I sent a text to Courtnie to let her know we were on our way. When we still had about 25 minutes to go, Rachel started the following text conversation:
Rachel: Hey are u gonna be home soon?
Me: 25 minutes. Are you ok?
Me: Does that mean no?
Rachel: Does what mean no?
Me: The "..." that you just sent. How has the night gone?
Rachel: We will tell you in person.
Me: Uh oh
Rachel: It's ok. Nobody is injured and Lexi and Gavin are thankfully still asleep!
Me [after discussing possible calamities with our friends in the car]: Was blood or fire involved? Is the house intact? Are all children present and accounted for?
Rachel: No, no, and yes.
Me: Oh boy. Well, we are passing Monument [a town north of Colorado Springs].
Rachel: The house is intact. I meant to say yes for that.
Me: I'm guessing Zach and Tyler were involved in some sort of mayhem.
Rachel: Spot on! But in a very helpful way!
Me [totally confused]: What? How is mayhem helpful?
Rachel: I'll tell u all about it.
Me: Aren't you so glad you spent the evening with my kids?!
Rachel: I'm glad, yes! Don't feel bad it's not as bad as I'm making it sound!
You might imagine what scenarios were swirling through our minds as Garry and I bid our friends farewell. As we stood on our front porch, we weren't really sure what would greet us on the other side of the door. Garry held the door open, so I took a deep breath and walked through it. As soon as I saw Courtnie and Rachel (who were dutifully completing their homework), I said, "So...you have a story for me?" Then Rachel burst out: "Yeah, the toilet flooded!"
Oh. The toilet flooded? That's it? That's the calamity that could not be named? Phew! No big deal! Everyone go to bed!
The story was pretty funny, though.
Gavin and Lexi gave the girls a run for their money when it was time for bed (their standard babysitter behavior). Courtnie and Rachel finally got the kids to sleep on the family room couch. They came upstairs, smelling freedom from crazy small people. The girls had just pulled out their homework when Zach came up and said, "We have a problem."
Once downstairs, the girls were totally grossed out by a toilet that was full to the brim. It had no...er...solid waste, so that was good, but the yellow water certainly wasn't appealing. Zach plunged the toilet, and thinking the clog was gone, flushed the toilet again. That's when the darn thing overflowed everywhere. Zach made the situation worse with another premature plunge-and-flush. Eventually he had success and the toilet drained properly, but the damage was done. Courtnie said she walked into the bathroom and was surprised at the depth of the standing water. She later threw away her socks.
Now, a flooded toilet isn't a huge deal to a seasoned adult, but to two 13-year-olds, it was quite a crisis. After hyperventilating and screaming for a while, they called for reinforcements: Sister Daniels, their other Beehive leader. Janae told them to calm down, and then sop up the water with towels, wring them out in the bath tub, and put the towels in the washing machine. They followed her instructions to a T.
Courtnie and Rachel didn't seem to understand why I was laughing so hard at their story. I felt badly about their predicament, but it was so benign compared to what I had imagined. And their very animated storytelling was highly entertaining! Those girls make me laugh on a daily basis, and the situation was inherently funny, but hearing Courtnie talk about her contingency plan for floating poop logs brought a whole new level of comedy.
When Garry inspected, the bathroom was just fine. Since he installed a new floor a few weeks ago, the caulk seal around the room is excellent. There is no damage. I still took a picture of two of my favorite silly girls so I can always remember the minor mayhem that happened while we were out.