Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Pizza, The Flood, And My Bad Wednesday

My husband took the kids swimming last evening as a reward for acting up all day Wednesday!

I think perhaps it was the rain and they were all stuck inside. Perhaps it was because I made them go to bed early Tuesday night so they were up early Wednesday morning. Perhaps it was a full moon. I don't know what it was but my fourteen-year-old son and six-year-old daughter were at each other all afternoon.

Maybe I should've known it was going to be a bad week when my husband was still at home on Monday after taking off last Thursday and Friday to "clean the garage and do some things around the house." My garage is still full. Anyway, the kids go back to school in three weeks so I told them this was a transition week. Tuesday was a work day. I spent the entire day cleaning up, doing laundry, cleaning toilets, moving storage tubs, rearranging the family room. I banished them upstairs so I could just get finished without them underfoot. We had dinner early because my husband had rehearsal and didn't make it home until after 10pm. Did a full and exhausting Tuesday predict Wednesday?

All of the chaos is on the heels of my husband having his once-a-quarter "you need to go back to work" mini-lectures. I just kept quiet and ticked off all the things on my to-do list. I finished in one day what five days at home he didn't. I was not in the mood for what happened last night.

Wednesday afternoon after the kids where screaming and chasing each other around - while I was on a business phone call to my advisor - just seemed to set the stage. Kids almost instinctively know when your attention is diverted or you are absorbed in some big project, that was the case. I escaped the noise to my bedroom, finished my phone call, and promptly came downstairs to punish the motley crew. I thought that would be the end of the crazy day.

My daugthers were anxious when I donned my jeans and grabbed my bookbag to escape to the coffee shop. "Mommy, we want to go, too!!!" I acquiesced to their pleaful appeal and thought I was avoiding being the neighborhood bad mommy because the six-year-old can scream like a siren. I can hear her shrill yells sitting in my van in the old driveway. I can only imagine what my neighbors are thinking about 601.

The evening didn't promise to be any better. My husband called, said he would be home late. I tidied up the family room, made dinner, and had a match-of-the-wills with my son about setting the table. I was at the boiling point and wondered if my lack of an official paycheck was the reason for all this push back.

During dinner the kids where chattering and I was fuming.

My children knew what they had been doing all day and tried to put on their best rendition of angelic beings. The three of them chimed in about what part of cleaning the kitchen they were going to do. They did do a good job. I simply went to my computer, I didn't want to be bothered.

Their father told them he was going to take them swimming. I was mad and relieved at the same time. What they really needed was punishment and bed. They went to the pool at 8:30pm and I went to Target.

I came home to a quiet house. It was just about 9:30pm so I took a shower and came downstairs to get in a few moments at the computer. Then the door burst open to loud excitement.

"Let's hurry up so we can have pizza!" "Hi mommy!"

The girls raced upstairs to take showers and get ready for the pizza delivery. I just listened and didn't comment that Dominoes at 10pm wasn't good for anyone's diet. I just smiled at their excitement.

My doorbell rang and the girls were upstairs in the hallway screaming, "Pizza!!!!!" They rumbled down the stairs so excited for the thick crust duo treat of pepperoni on one side, sausage, mushroom, and pineapples on the other. My husband gave them a slice and a glass of lemonade and sent them scampering to the family room. I was treated to this night-time 4th meal.

Then I heard it. At first I thought it was still raining, it had been raining all day. "Is it raining outside?" I turned to my husband, also sitting in front of his laptop. "No." "Do you hear that?" I asked. "No." Then he heard it, the chorus of drips. The girls left the bathwater running in the tub with the plug down.

My teenager raced up the stairs at the command of his father and yelled out, "Oh NO!!!!" The bathroom and my bedroom were covered in three inches of water. My son let the plug out and screamed, "you dumb girls!" We proceeded to do a fireman's handoff of stacks and stacks of towels. I stayed downstairs, I didn't want to see what was happening. My husband left.

I put in loads of wet, soppy towels. My son came downstairs and said he got it all up. His skinny arms ladden with the heavy wetness. My living room was being assaulted by the torrent of bathwater.

Before my husband left, he punished the girls and made them go directly to bed. "You were supposed to take a shower, not a bath." I was upset. This was the icing on the cake of a bad day. I had even told my son, "see, if you had gone up to take your shower when I told you, this wouldn't have happened." It wasn't his fault, I was just frustrated.

I kept looking at the expanding water build-up on the ceiling and the towels being soaked on the floor. "Please God, don't let this ceiling cave in," was the prayer I whispered.

My husband had returned from a Wal*Mart run armed with buckets, mops, and a Shop Vac. We both thought he could vacuum up the water but by the time he returned, my son and I finished the task the old fashioned way. I did think he could vacuum and save the ceiling, that didn't' happen.

The girls know how to take showers. They both know how to pull the plug if they take a bath. They were supposed to just get in and out. Perhaps their excitement overtook them. Maybe my husband should've been upstairs with them since it was his bright idea to take them swimming in the first place and then promise them pizza. Maybe I should've been in my room like I usually am at 10pm and not downstairs writing so I could call out, "turn that water off!"

It is Thursday morning and my laundry room is filled with sopping wet towels. The two girls are sleeping soundly, my son is in his room dreaming, my husband left for work. My ceiling is buckling under and the constant drip-drip-pour-pour of the water is filling buckets. It is cloudy outside and more rain is expected. I hope today is better. Tonight, the girls will take a modern day version of a bird bath!

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