Saturday, January 31, 2009

Of Toilets and Doors

“I just created another problem for you,” CrazyMom said when she found me in my shop struggling with a carpet cleaner in the utility sink. The timing was not great since the problem I was working on had not yet been fully cleared up.

“Um, what is it?” I asked, not wanting to know the answer.

Up to an hour or so ago, it had been a good Saturday. CrazyMom and I had a pre-breakfast meeting where we planned out the day’s itinerary. After a quick meeting with the kids to lay out the plans for the day, we were off and running. There was fun (a French toast breakfast, a trip to the YMCA, basketball games, and a pizza dinner) mixed with work (piano and violin practice, science lessons, and cleaning) which made for a nicely balanced day. CrazyMom and I had envisioned a few family games in the evening, but that is not how it played out.

“Dad! Dad!” Buddy yelled as he burst into my office. “There is water all over the bathroom floor!”

Heading down to the basement I found CrazyMom already on the scene with water coming out of the bathroom soaking the carpet as well as permeating into the shop on one side and the storage room on the other. The sheer quantity of water indicated that a child without a savvy mechanical understanding had been operating the handle on the clogged toilet.

This threw CrazyMom, me, and a handful of kids into full damage control. After working the situation over for a good long while, the threat level was lowered from emergent to urgent. At this point, I was left trying to bring closure to the crisis while CrazyMom went to the kitchen to prepare food for a church event tomorrow and the kids were dispatched to get ready for bed – on their own.

The level of excitement among the kids upstairs was a little out of control, but neither CrazyMom or I responded since we were both doing our urgent things.

Then the doors began to slam. If there is one thing that we do not tolerate in our home, it is slamming doors. As the closest parent, CrazyMom was dispatched.

It was a few minutes later that she came and found me in the shop having “just created another problem for [me].”

“Well, see, it was like this,” she said as she started in on a story to provide context for the problem which she was about to reveal. When CrazyMom was explaining to the kids the difference between slamming a door and closing a door, it was not clear that she was getting through to some of the children. In order to assist them in their understanding, a demo was in order and so CrazyMom slammed a door. It turned out to be quite an effective demo. Not only did the children learn how to accurately identify a slamming door, they also learned that the door stop molding may not be able to stop a solid poplar 30” door which is being slammed.

“I guess them slamming a door is not quite like me slamming a door,” CrazyMom said in conclusion.

It was a much easier fix than the water mess. A few finishing nails here and there and it was actually better than before since I was able to adjust the door stop molding for a better fit.

All in all I should not complain. It could have been worse. How? Well, while I was fixing the molding, CrazyMom was in single-parent mode getting the kids bathed and ready for bed. She had to step out of the bathroom in which Anna was bathing to address an issue. While she was in the hall, Anna jumped in the tub, slipped, and hit her head. Luckily, we did not get hit with a third problem – an ER run.


Anonymous said...


This doesn't have anything to do with toilets or doors, : ) but I'm wondering how y'all taught your ET kids English? Any curriculum direction you could point me in? Our girls are aged 10 and 5, they're sisters, and don't speak one word of English. : ) We're going to get them at the end of April! We homeschool so I'm familiar with the hs curriculum, but I sure would love any suggestions!


Anna M.

Darcy said...

Classic. Love the story. Isn't that always the way when you are trying to be a parent and prove a point? God's sense of humor I suppose! You must have a very buff wife though! Thanks for sharing the funny!