Friday, December 13, 2013

Day four post-surgery

It's Friday morning and I'm sitting alone in my living room with my Christmas tree, in the semi-dark, watching the snow come down outside. Cody and Jamie made it (barely) to the school bus this morning, so I won't see them until much later. Down the hall, Lauren is sleeping in her crib, and Mike is sleeping in his bed. He had is surgery on Monday, and will be home until the new year. His presence here is similar to that of a ghost I can see. He is here, but he is not here. I am doing a variation on single motherhood, and I'm not sure whether I can say it's going well. Within 24 hours of Mike's surgery, I had an epic battle with one of my kids. In his anger, he punched the toilet flusher very hard, and hurt himself pretty good. I didn't feel sorry for him, because, well...duh. Obviously if you punch something inanimate that is rock hard, you are going to feel some pain. Secretly, I was kind of glad it hurt because I was hoping it would teach him a lesson. What I did not anticipate was that he broke the toilet. Yep. Mike was home one day and already things were a disaster.

I used to fancy myself as somewhat mechanical. I liked taking things apart to fix them. You know, things like vacuums. Well, that has ended ever since my vacuum incident last November, but even after four kids, I do still have a brain in my head and I don't mind trying to figure things out. But this was a toilet. Can I just say, this is not a traditional toilet with a traditional flusher. This is one of those duo-flush ones that save water, or the environment, or whatever. I took the lid off the toilet tank and messed with it a bit, but seriously, I had no clue where to start. And it's a little difficult to take something apart when it's sitting in a tank full of water. Black water, incidentally. Not completely black, but it looks like it's full of coffee grounds. Mike assures me that is normal for our water, but I'm not convinced. Either way, I actually did put my hands in that water and mess around with the hardware in there, but in the end I was afraid I might make things even worse. In a normal toilet, I know how to stop it from overflowing if the situation requires, but in this one I had no idea, so I didn't want to risk doing something that might make that happen. So I got an ice cream pail and it now sits in the bathtub. No, no, no! We are not going to use that as a toilet. It's for flushing. You know, you fill it with water and dump it down the toilet. Lots of fun. It takes about three pail-dumpings to properly flush this environmentally friendly toilet, and every time I do it I feel angry. But last night I got the brilliant idea that the offending child should be the one doing the flushing. I was afraid to do that at first, in case the pail dumping got out of hand and I had a worse mess to deal with. But last night I taught him how to do it and now he is the resident toilet-flusher. Except when he is at school. Which brings me to today. 

Micah is here, in the basement watching TV, actually, and he is sick. Stomach sick. Seriously, could the timing be worse? He has not thrown up yet, but there is plenty of other action, if you know what I mean. And now I'm the resident flusher. I also have a migraine and can hardly see the computer screen as I type this. Good times. How am I going to make it through a round of stomach sickness with no flushing toilet in the boys' bathroom? I would like very much to crawl into bed and sleep through all this. But Lauren is now awake, so I'm back on duty. Bye for now.

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