Doug strayed from his usual tech chat and tin-foil hattery long enough to describe Tuesday night’s basement flood. He left out a few details. Tuesday was a school night, so I was in the middle of getting all the children bathed and tucked in their beds as Doug went outside to play in a ditch of quicksand that could have collapsed on him. The first problem was that every towel we own was on the basement floor soaking up flood waters. Bathrobes became makeshift towels. The second problem was that while I was downstairs searching for any towels that might have escaped being sacrificed to Poseidon, I found the basement floor was starting to resemble a lake again. I tried twisting the shop vac left and right and pushing while turning, but the lid wouldn’t budge. I ran out to the monsoon and asked Doug how to remove the lid. As I stood in the pouring rain getting the information, the clean 3-y-o ran outside. Naked. The nudist was handed to an older sibling, the 6-y-o was told to go back to bed and I returned to the indoor pool. The completely full shop vac was emptied while my back screamed at me for wrongly assuming it had any kind of muscle. The soaking wet towels were stuck in the washing machine to spin out some of the water. The floor was vacuumed again and the vacuum was left on in the corner of the room that wouldn’t stay dry. I went back upstairs to find the 6-y-o running from room to room to stay awake. “I can’t sleep Mommy. I need you to dress up like a sheep and jump around the room so I can count your jumps.”
The 6-year-old was returned to her bed and I whispered to her until she fell asleep. The next problem was getting the 3-year-old to sleep when he couldn’t go downstairs where his bed is until we finish the great bedroom shift of 2009. While I vacuumed the basement, the 12-year-old tried to convince his little brother to sleep in a different bed, but the 12-year-old fell asleep and the 3-year-old resumed his usual Tazmanian Devil behaviors. I held the small monster until he finally fell asleep and put him in the 15-year-old’s bed. She was less than thrilled. Her displeasure was nothing compared to my reaction when I found that the dog who had refused to go potty all day because of the rain, had finally gone. All over the floor.
I finally began my evening “put out everything we’ll need for morning” routine at 10:30 p.m. Doug came in the house looking like an Aborigine and we took turns whining about physical aches and psychological pains. The two 100+ pound dogs decided we should spend the night sleeping balled up in fetal positions so that the dogs could have the entire bottom half of the bed. Evan woke up and demanded the spot in the bed between Doug and I. At some point after Doug fell asleep, but before I dozed off, the cat danced around our heads while chirping like a bird. I was too tired, sore and uncomfortable to get up and play the “what does the cat want” game.
Wednesday, the sun came out of its’ hiding place and everyone, human and animal, sat in the sunbeam and cried tears of joy.