Total Eclipse of the Toilet.

I cursed myself yesterday.  In my blog post, I mentioned Ali’s propensity to Quiet Time Bathroom Catastrophes.

Apparently she felt as if I was being hyperbolic about her issues, and wanted to show me what a true Bathroom Catastrophe looked like.


It all started in Quiet Time, the aforementioned birthplace of all bathroom catastrophes.

I was doing laundry, working on my computer, and enjoying the mental peace that only comes when all children are occupied with napping or quieting.

Then I heard a rhythmic noise.  Out of place with the washer and dryer, I stopped typing and listened.  It sounded like a faint knocking.

I listened more, then walked out of my office to see if I could tell what it was.

Which is when I realized that dripping sounds a lot like knocking.

I looked up at the kitchen ceiling.

No, no, no, no, nononononononoNO!


(No, not no to the ugly 80’s popcorn ceiling. I already knew about that.)

I took off in a dead sprint into the hallway and up the stairs, uncaring that I would probably wake Noah up with our squeakily obnoxious stairs.

Ali met me at the top of the stairs.

“I tried to tell you in the monitor – I’ve got a problem in the bathroom.”

I walked into her bathroom.

Or rather, SWAM.

I quickly realized what had happened: An abominable eclipse of revolting circumstances: her toilet was clogged AND the toilet ball had gotten in between the plug and the drain, creating an endless running of new water vomiting out of the toilet bowl.

“I only wiped four times before flushing!”

“Why didn’t you come get me?”

“Well, I talked to you five times on my monitor.  When you didn’t answer, I went in your bathroom and finished wiping.  Then you came up the stairs!”

What followed was 30 minutes of the outer circle of Dante’s inferno, including frantic cutting off of the water, plunging of the toilet, yelling at forcefully telling Ali to find every towel in the house, sopping an entire room, stripping out of my soaked clothing in which I’d been surfing the peaks, and desperate prayers for Lazarus to reach out of Abraham’s bosom and dip the tip of his finger in (clean) water and cool my tongue.

By the time I got back downstairs, the ceiling décor had grown impressively.


I breathed.  In and out, in and out, not at all remembering the supposed fact that children were a blessing.

I checked my receiver for her monitor and realized I’d forgotten to turn it on.

This revelation did not make me more perky.

I called Chris, who incidentally was feeling quite ill but trying to work in spite of his rotting insides, and after politely asking him how he was, I told him,

“I know this isn’t exactly a great day to have a household emergency, but…”

And then I took another breath, remembering my husband’s severe issues with the smallest of spills…

“Ali flooded her bathroom.  Bad.  And it’s dripping into the kitchen.”

This is when I knew exactly how close to death he was, because he apathetically answered, “Okay – just put a pot under the drip.  There’s nothing else you can do – I’ll paint it after it dries.”

I went ahead and called the morgue and told them to send a hearse to his office.

But I obeyed my late husband and placed a pot under the stream, with the added value of placing another towel in it to cut down on the incessant metallic thumps.


Chris did have the wherewithal to ask if any had gotten on any carpet, a possibility that I had not yet explored.

I headed back upstairs, and sure enough, the first two feet of Ali’s carpet was soaked through.

I somehow managed to find yet even more towels, laid them down, and sentenced her to thirty minutes of The Runway of Shame.

Runway of Shame

Then I stopped and appreciated the fact that I previously had no idea how many towels I actually had, if that can be considered a bright spot.



Throughout the day, the kitchen’s Wetness de Toilette grew and the shapes were worthy of cloud watching, once forming a rat,


Then a decapitated duck.


As of writing this Monday evening, it’s a notably impressive Lochness Monster, and by the time you’re reading this tomorrow morning, I predict that it will be a two-headed Tyrannosaurus Rex.

At dinner, Ali asked with a much too easygoing tone, “Why do you keep looking at the ceiling over and over?”


We now have a new Family Catechism, to be repeated at least fifteen times per day.

“How many wipes before you flush?”


“How many squares may you use per wipe?”


“What do you do if you have an emergency and Mommy doesn’t answer you on the monitor?”

“Come downstairs.”

“When do you come downstairs?”

“Right away.”

“Why will you do this?”

“So that I don’t break the house.”


The sequel can be found here.