April 6, 2010

Always Read the Fine Print on the Contract

Sunday was a bright, sunshiney day, warm and perfect. We have a large yard which stretches out in a green span of clover and tiny flowers before the hot summer starts and the clover gives way to the more pedestrian grasses that most people have for a lawn.

In a yard this size it's great fun to hide things for the kids to find over the Easter weekend. We hold their baskets for them so they can run free and we make the offer to carry the baskets not to lighten their load, but so we can secretly drop eggs out of it for them to refind.  This is the first year that our oldest son has figured out that he's finding the same eggs three or four times and finally pleaded with me, "Maaaaaahhhhm, stop dropping the eggs!"  Busted!

My husband keeps telling me we have very few years left of this sort of pagan madness, but I came up with several ways that we can keep the fun going. While we stuffed candy into eggs I regaled him with stories of sleepover scavenger hunts and geocaching and cryptic notes that lead to a smorgasbord of stuff boys like... electronics, cars, movie tickets. He scoffed at me and said, "No boys want to go out hunting for stuff in the woods with their friend's mom."

Is this true? Am I that uncool?

So I showed him. I ate about half a bag of Hershey's chocolate cherry kisses. Heck yeah, I showed him.

That afternoon my husband went out to massacre the clover with the riding lawn mower and possibly several plastic eggs that the kids never found. I launched into a food-making episode that looks like cooking but is really just some kind of random firing of neurons that makes me put certain foods together that sometimes work out (chicken cauliflower indian stir fry) and sometimes doesn't (cinnamon beef).

While I was cooking the boys ran between the bathroom and the front door doing something, but I wasn't really sure what. I suspected they were making easter egg water bombs but they were quiet and nobody was crying, so I figure it would probably be just fine.

Below is a list of facts I didn't realize at the time:
  1. When you mow clover it's very wet and clumpy.
  2. Wet clover sticks to boys.
  3. When wet clover dries it stops sticking to boys and becomes subject to gravity, thereby falling to a freshly swept floor.
  4. Three year old boys in particular don't understand about the physics of water and the waste of natural resources and how if you are done with the water you are supposed to shut it off.
  5. Seven year olds are really crummy babysitters.
At some point the dinner was nearly prepared and I told Julius to go sign to his loudly-mowing father that it was time to eat. I spent a moment or two showing him the sign for "eat" and "now" and after properly executing them, Dad shuts the mower off.

That's when I hear the water running and become irritated because the boys have left water running in the bathroom. I couldn't put down what I was doing as I was putting the magical finishing touches on the dinner. Rob walks in and I tell him the boys left water running in the bathroom and could he please take them in there and explain to them how many different ways that's Not a Good Thing.

About 30 seconds later I heard the most horrible, barbaric bellow that sounded like a grizzly bear getting a bikini wax. I dropped the spatula into the pan with the food and ran to the bathroom to see everyone standing there in horror as we all realized that the water had been running for a very long time and that the sink stopper was closed.

You can now add these facts to things I didn't notice prior to that Sunday afternoon:
  1. I can't hear water running while my husband is mowing.
  2. Our bathroom sink doesn't have one of those emergency overflow valves.
  3. Three year olds don't understand that water that can't go DOWN the sink goes OVER the sink.
About eight towels later we had 525 gallons of water soaked up from the floor and the carpet in the hallway. And at about 2 a.m. when I had to pee and nobody had gotten out a new roll of toilet paper when they used the last bit I noticed that about eight rolls of bathroom tissue were competely soaked and bloated as well.

In Genesis Chapter 9 the story goes that after God flooded the earth and transformed Noah from a bipolar pariah (to his neighbors) to a legendary hero (had anyone lived to notice back then) he spoke a promise to humankind that he would never make another flood. The symbol of that promise is the rainbow.

The promise, if you read the fine print, apparently only covers worldwide flood-borne catastrophes that destroy all flesh. It does not, however, cover New Orleans during a hurricane or my bathroom when occupied by an unattended three year old.

The good news is that dinner was awesome. Even though I cooked it.  Except Rob did end up throwing up in our still-damp bathroom twice but I think it was completely unrelated.

I hope.


  1. 525 gallons of water is a freaking lot! Are you on well water or city water cuz if I had to pay that bill I'd die...or kill someone!

  2. I laughed till i cried. seriously. i always love your posts. i am glad dinner turned out... for you anyway. Poor rob.

  3. You are a wonderful story teller! I realize that it's just you presenting us with your reality, but you have such a delightfully descriptive delivery.

  4. OMG!!! If I'd discovered that I would have keeled over from an immediate heart attack. We have city water and it's outrageous. Course, we've had somewhat similar when one of the kids was taking a shower and pushed the curtain out of the tub so water was falling on the floor, then through the floor to the basement making a nice waterfall onto my treadmill. Oy! Never a dull moment, eh?

  5. Maybe Rob was just sick because of the stress caused by the anticipated water bill!

    Great story! Sorry for the flood...sorry about Rob...but great story!

  6. Wonderful Sunday...boy, you showed him with the chocolate, eh?

  7. Brilliantly written and truly hilarious post. The image of a grizzly bear getting a bikini wax may live in my mind forever.


  8. In my house, if there is no blood or tears, all is well.

    You've just proved my theory is fatally flawed.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  9. I am so sure his upchucking was totally unrelated to dinner maybe it was the clover :)

  10. LOL! Oh dear at the flooded bathroom! That happened to my bedroom once and few years ago, when we had really heavy rain! :O


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