Just when you think you’ve got things under control

It’s Sunday night.  Kids and husband have pitched in and worked hard and the house is close to back in order.  I remark that I absolutely must spend some time writing out lesson plans after bedtime for our school week.  I clean the kitchen after yet another round of applesauce making so I can have a free counter to spread books out.

I breathe a sigh of relief.  Starting the week in good order is such a blessing for me.  It makes such a difference in how things go. I spend a brief moment relaxing on the couch before I begin my next task. Kids are all tucked in bed and it is quiet.

Enter Rylee.  She’s talking fast and has wide eyes and is saying something like “emergency, its an emergency, come, come see!”.  She has a slight smile so I know its not a grave injury.

We quickly follow her down the hall.  A smell greets us in our shower but worse yet a sight.  Our shower basin is filling fast as toilet refuse combined with kitchen sink drainage is spewing up the drain.  We run for towels.  We grab a plunger.  I start sopping brown liquid and he starts plunging everything he can possible plunge to no avail.

He gets on the phone with a plumber who of course says they can come ‘for an extra after hours charge’.  I see dollar signs in my head but also 7 people who ‘need’ running water and toilets.  All the plumbing and water for the whole house is at a standstill.

Kids now are bustling from the drama and no one wants to stay in bed.  Toilet water spilling onto the floor mixed with piles of pumpkin seeds from tonight’s carving is too exciting to not see.

When the plumber finally arrives its past my bedtime and my hopes of peaceful lesson planning are long gone.  And he needs access to our bedroom so we can’t put the baby to sleep in there.  He starts working and trying to drain the flood waters back.  It doesn’t go well.  A valve breaks over his head and instead of water slowly draining into buckets it covers the poor man head to toe even in his mouth and empties all over our crawl space (the crawl space that was just re-done last year and is was pristinely clean).

I am mortified and want to offer him a shower and towels immediately.  But of course I have no clean towels and no running water, so that’s out of the question.  He tries to continue working but simply cannot given the saturated, smelly nature of his self.  Who could blame him for leaving?

Now its midnight and we try to retire for the night but mixed up baby who should have been in bed hours ago is not tired anymore.  Besides, he got into the dog food earlier in the day and ate some and has a most unpleasant belly ache – which I probably would too if I ate dog food.  We still have no working plumbing.  I spend the next 5 hours up and up again with little Phineas.  At one point I step in bathroom water but am honestly too ridiculously tired to find clean pj pants.  I roll the pants up to my thigh and crawl into bed for the umpteenth time.

By 5:30 AM Finn settles and I sleep for more than 30 minutes.  My phone got misplaced at some point so its not by my bed to wake me early for homeschool co-op in the morning.  Instead I wake at 8:40 to the plumbers knocking on the door.

In my pajamas.

With my one leg still rolled all the way up.

With kids running around who’ve been awake apparently for almost two hours playing horse quite happily in the backyard.

I am incoherent.  I tell the sweet plumber that we’re supposed to be at co-op and what do they need and “I’m so sorry I just woke up…”.  Seriously – it was a completely crazy scene.  They smile at me and say to just leave the door unlocked and they’ll get to work.

Kids run to the van but then I realize one is missing and I run back in to wake up the one who is still sound asleep.  We stop at a coffee stand for a pathetic ‘breakfast’ on the way.  I am in yesterday’s dirty jeans and a baseball cap and am pretty sure I have crazy written all over my face.

We make it only 20 minutes late and boys who are thrilled to finish a very cool art project make it in time.  I take deep breaths and share my plight with a sweet mama in the playroom who offers her house later if our problems are not fixable soon.

We stop at the park on the way home and breath plenty of fresh smelling air before heading home.  Problem (mostly) fixed.  A graciously less-than-it-could-have-been bill for me to pay.  Piles of nasty laundry to do.  Cleaning work that I won’t get paid for that will involve a clothespin on my nose and an open bottle of essential oil of lavender.

Coincidence that all this went down on a Sunday night/Monday?  On a day that I remind myself to choose gratitude?  Really?

#523 – toilets that flush

#524 – not having to wash clothes by hand

#525 – resources to fix this (very large!) problem

#526 – the three hours of sleep I DID get

#527 – how it feels to have friends call to check up on me

#528 – a strong enough stomach to clean utter nastiness

#529 – getting to do life, every day, messy, real life with my children by my side

#530 – Snickers minis

#531 – laughter in spite of it all



Oh my goodness, THAT is a day! Hoping it gets better from here…


Oh, oh, oh. Unbelievable! What a story! You can plan the plans, but…
Someday you’ll laugh about this. Hard. Lots. Really.
Sorry, but I did. Hope your day’s much better tomorrow, and the next day!

Wendy Moe

Wow, I am speechless! You are an amazing woman!

Danielle Sween Jorgenson

Ah, the things you’ll have to look back on. Your kids will say, “remember the time the shower pooped.” Hahaha, love you and so thankful for your example of taking every thing life throws at you in stride.


Love it!


I am horrified that everyone that is commenting is so blase about this, sorry, I am reading it literally covering my mouth in horror! So there. That shows how much I am able to (not) handle!

There are no words, I am aghast on your behalf, and I think little number 530 might be the only reason you still have a head working normally at all after that!

Sending love and virtual towels. And still wide-eyed for you!! LOVE!


I’m with Kim! I am SO sad for you! And I’m so glad that you chose gratitude because I would have chose some not so gracious words and a lot of tears. And I am so. so impressed you made it to co-op only 20 mins late. 🙂