A Day for Disasters

The toilet overflowed this morning. Then, when Jonathon was in the shower, I noticed that the carpet next to the utility closet (furnace and two water heaters) looked damp. It was. I opened the doors to the closet and found an inch of warm water.

I told Jonathon to get out of the shower, and we called the landlord and cleaned up the mess with just about every towel we own (we have a lot of towels). Thinking it was the water heater leaking, I turned on the hot water to the sink full blast and didn’t notice any new leaking. Landlord and I thought it was probably a leaking pipe from the water heater to the shower, and if we simply avoided using the shower until it was fixed, we’d be fine.

I washed all the soaked towels and once again found lots and lots of water on the floor. Only this time it was coming up the bathtub drain too. And I noticed that there was sand and poo clogging the drain in the utility closet. The only way sand and poo get into that room is if the water is coming from down, not up. Which means all the water soaking our carpet is sewer water.

Called the landlord back and he said he’d get a plumber right away. I took the kids outside so they wouldn’t be in contact with the nasty carpets, etc. While outside, Lego and a 3.5-year-old neighbor kid, let’s call him B, started arguing and kind of fighting. The kid’s dad and I were each dealing with our own kid while his other kid (2.5 years old) found a can of gasoline in the garage. Thinking it would be really fun to put gas in our Cozy Coupe car, he poured it all over it—with Duplo inside. Duplo got gasoline in his eye and started screaming bloody murder. I freaked out and ran to the water spigot and splashed lots of water into his eye and all over his face. The kid’s dad said he’d watch Lego so I could go to the ER, so I did that. The nearest hospital is 15 minutes away, and Duplo screamed for probably 10 of those minutes (why is it that you get stuck behind people going 5–10 mph under the speed limit when you’re in a hurry?). His eye was red and swollen, and they admitted us right away. Apparently, though, the doctor wasn’t that concerned because we got sent away fairly quickly without him really do anything but check Duplo’s vitals. He said I’d done the right thing by flushing with water and didn’t even chew me out for leaving gas out where a two-year-old could reach it (incidentally, I wasn’t the one who left it there, and that particular kid is quite the acrobat and probably would have gotten to it in most of the places in the garage if he was determined to).

Came back home to an exterminator in our yard and two phone messages from the plumber wondering why I wasn’t at home. The plumber is here now and thinks maybe a tree root is blocking/compressing/whatever the pipe out from the house.

The good news is that the ugly carpet in our hall will have to be replaced and that Duplo is just fine. Also that we’re not the homeowners who get stuck with the bill.


  1. Oh my goodness. That sounds horrible. Next time (hopefully there wont be a next time like that) or in the next few days if you need to be out of the house while work is being done, come on over. (You could use our extra shower too if you wanted to!)

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