Water is exciting, but not in a way I was planning. Chris left town with work for a few days so we did homework, the dinner routine, walked the dog, and the kids were in bed prep mode with only mom in command this evening. Orders had been issued for who was getting into the shower, and in which order, while others brushed and PJ’ed up. It happened so suddenly that we aren’t really sure what took place, but there was a cry of distress or excitement. That is normal in a household with many kids so a mom’s first reaction is to tune it out or roll eyes (at least mine is). “Oh wait, I think there’s really a problem.” struck me just a few seconds later. Was it the tone? The repetitiveness? I think I was zoned out.
Anyway, water was pouring out from underneath the jacuzzi (type tub) surround. Lucky for us (at least tonight- usually I despise that thing) the surround doesn’t fit the tub quite right. After realizing the source of the problem, I ripped it back the rest of the way. Nobody was using the tub, although we had a few minutes prior. Since I was in bare feet, I quickly discovered that not only did we have water gushing into our bathroom, we had scalding hot water gushing into our bathroom. OUCH! (note: when I say scalding, I mean scalding.) “Somebody get me flip flops and fast!” (I wasn’t quite so eloquent or calm.) Next hurdle…is the shut off valve even under here? I don’t know. “Get towels!” (Do the kids get the used towels from the racks? No they empty the entire CLEAN linen closet of towels onto the floor before I know what is happening because I am crouched down searching for the valve.) Oh, there’s the broken line it is pouring from! Is the valve here? No. What about here? Nope. Ouch the water is hot! How can I find this thing without getting seriously injured? Get the phone book! The paper one from, well you know if you read the last post! Wait, maybe this is it. Yes. It is off.
My big kids are extremely helpful and capable in emergency situations. They rise to the occasion. Someone had put Niya to task reading books in her room so she would be out of the way while we wrung towels out for 30 minutes. Mop, wring into tub, sop, mop, wring. Repeat x 100. They thought it was all so exciting, and that they would be late for school tomorrow because they were going to bed late, and the guys are coming tonight, and on, and on. Nope. I informed them that they would just get less sleep.
We have had a few other manageable flood experiences, and they have helped me gain perspective on how quickly water happens, and how damaging it can be. In the meantime, we announced our problem to housing maintenance instead of waiting until tomorrow because when I asked the kids to check the other shower and sinks, I received the message that the shower wasn’t hot, and the water pressure gradually decreased until going off. (Turns out that was mis-information in the commotion and I could have just called tomorrow since only the tub was off. Oh well.)
Several important things were noted during the mop phase. 1) How good it was that the bathroom shelving unit is placed on four extra tiles, thus raising it up just enough that it wasn’t sitting in water. 2) One of the children busted us all up with laughter by announcing they weren’t wearing any underwear. He/she explained that they were sitting on the toilet, about to enter the shower (other bathroom) when the shouting began, and got dressed as fast as possible. 3) We recognized it could have happened when nobody was in the bathroom and caused more extensive damage.
A plumber came in record time. I recognized him from another day of house maintenance. He was nice and we each used our own language, the 11 year old, signs, and his few words of English to convey the problem and the solution of people coming tomorrow morning to replace the broken line.
All is well. The kids are in bed. And Ellie’s parting words to me were “Mom, Mom she’s the bomb.” She is referring to this silly video. Thanks, Ellie I needed that. I felt worn out, but according to her, I commanded the situation valiantly.