Monday, July 12, 2010

I am Plumber!

Being a single parent requires me to wear a lot of hats (Actually, just being a mom in general requires several hats). I am the chief cook and bottle washer (literally!) in my house, and I am also the steam mopper, counter cleaner, child discipliner, and laundry doer.

And unfortunately, I am also the plumber.

We have had bathroom woes for some bathroom has been non functional for at least a year, and the other gets clogged almost on a daily basis. I am a master plunger though, and usually the situation can be salvaged.

I've been beginning to think we have to have some kind of root issue, because seriously, this toilet clogs if you look at it the wrong way.

Yesterday we had the clog to end all clogs, and I was unable to plunge it out. I had to leave for work, so I left the plunging to my mom and headed out to waitress. When I got home last night, it was still clogged. To add insult to injury, all the lights in the bathroom were burnt out, too. I plunged for a while in the was super romantic, let me tell you. I was exhausted, so I went with the best approach: pretend it's not happening and go to bed. I was hoping I would wake up this morning and the clog woulg magically be gone and, for good measure, my bathroom would be sparkling clean.

I'm sure you can guess how that went. We all woke up this morning to a toilet that was just as clogged and a bathroom that was showing the effects of the "explosion" as my kids like to call the toilet overflowing.

It was obvious I had to do something, so I loaded up all the kids and we headed to Home Depot. We wandered up and down the aisles until we found the plumbing section and I was immediately overwhelmed. There were about 127 different types of augers, snakes, plungers, and bottles of clog reducing fanciness. For a while, I just stared at it all, hoping the perfect thing would jump off the shelf and into my arms and lay a big smacker on me. "I can help! I know how badly you have to pee!"

Alas, that didn't happen, either, and eventually a well meaning employee wandered down our aisle and I basically accosted him. I told him the whole story and he agreed it was roots, then started telling me, in a very slow and methodical way, about who I should call and what they would come do.

In the meantime, I started hearing these weird plopping noises all around me. I ignored them and tried to pay attention to the extremely vague information I was being given. I finally interrupted him. "That sounds great, but I need to do something right now." I explained, gesturing to all the kids around me. He nodded, then started playing that game where you pretend you pull off your thumb with Jace. I tried to gently redirect him.

"I mean, should I get a better plunger? Or an auger? And is there a difference between this auger here and that auger there?"

He nodded and started to walk over to all the items I was indicating, and I heard more plopping behind me. He picked up a seemingly random item from the shelf and started fiddling with it. I looked over my shoulder at the kids and froze.

Ava, Jace, and Seth, all had a plunger in each hand and were walking along the aisle, suctioning them to the floor and then pulling them up, making the "plop" sound. I shook my head at them all vigorously and told them to put them back where they belonged, pronto. The salesman just kind of kept fiddling with whatever he had picked up, and Seth decided that when I said "put away" I meant "Throw everything as far as you possibly can, and you get extra points if you hit others." My time was running out and I was no closer to a clog free toilet and being able to pee in the privacy of my own home. I turned to stare at the salesman desperately.

"Okay, to tell you the truth, I don't even work in plumbing." He admitted, shrugging his shoulders. "I have no idea what you should do. But your kids are really active, huh?" Then he kind of wandered off.

At this point, Evany started to wail, and I almost did too.

And that's when a random guy that had been standing in the aisle, apparently observing the debacle as it unfolded, stepped up. He immediately grabbed a couple of items and handed them to me. "Here. Go home, use this now, and then tonight after everyone's in bed, pour this in. It'll work."

He was like a plumbing fairy. He might have been wearing a crown, now that I think of it. I thanked him and hustled my kids to the check out lane and out of the store, which worked about as well and quickly as herding cats.

And guess what? It worked. It was gross, but it worked! Glory Glory Hallelujah! I'm kind of proud of myself, but I don't want to do all that again anytime soon. Or ever.

And for the record, I am adding "expert plumber" to my list of requirements in a man.

What things have you had to do around the house or in life that aren't exactly in your wheelhouse?
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