Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Running to Leaking

Last week, my toilet would not stop running. When jiggling the handle didn't work, I decided to tighten things up a bit. I got out my screwdriver, turned a couple of screws, and the toilet relaxed. "That's right!" I thought. "This is not the average housewife you're dealing with here. You can't bring me down, toilet! I am the master of disaster!" The next time I flushed the toilet, it busted. Shocked that my victory was so short-lived, I rushed to the odds-and-ends drawer to find something to stop the flood of water. I found a key (to...?) and jammed it into the toilet tank contraption. It was a good short-term fix if you didn't use the toilet.

I entered a section of Lowes I previously avoided and liked to pretend didn't exist. "Toilet parts? Those break?" They don't break unless your husband is out of the country. So I bought more than I needed, just in case, and set my jaw to doing the work. That means I ate several pieces of chocolate and watched an episode of The Closer to feel empowered. Finally, I entered the bathroom prepared for the inevitable bacteria bath. I followed the directions, pieced together the parts, dirtied my hands, and felt like a warrior princess. Actually, I felt more like the princess's slave who gets thrown into prison for screwing up her bathroom. It kept leaking.

I dug through the garbage, locating the discarded parts. I examined them to make sure that I had assembled the new parts correctly. I had. I looked on line for answers and discovered that when there are parts labeled, "Ballcock" it is nearly impossible to find responsible, serious answers. On one site, there was a warning that basically said, "If you can't post anything mature, don't post anything at all!"

I came to the conclusion that maybe it just needs a little time. After a while, it will leak, I mean work, itself out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Told You So

For Morgan’s birthday, some friends gave her a small horse on wheels. Halle loved it, so she invoked the law of “the best stuff belongs to the older sister”. This law was enacted by the first siblings, Cain and Abel, and remains popular among first-born children everywhere. This horse traveled with us to Lowes about a month ago to pick out paint. Somewhere between visiting the Garden section, paint section, and Shiny-Things-That-Catch-My-Eye section, Horse was lost. We did a thorough search for him, but turned up nothing. I told Halle that some kid probably picked it up. She was devastated.

Every day since then, Halle would ask me if we could return to Lowes and look for Horse. Every day, I would deliver the horrible news that Horse was lost forever. A sympathetic friend heard of our predicament, and so bought a duplicate and arranged a meeting with us at Lowes. She hid the horse among some plants, and informed me of its location. Halle was delighted. The first words out of her mouth were, “I told you, Mom! I knew that some kid didn’t pick it up, and I was right! Horse was hiding!”

“I told you so” is one of the most satisfying things to say and one of the most irritating to hear. When we got Monkey Cat, I warned Halle about rough handling, telling her that Monkey Cat would scratch her up if she didn’t treat her kindly. One morning, I found Halle quietly sobbing into the couch. I picked her up and saw a bleeding ear, arm, and cheek. She had hidden her wounds and sorrow to avoid hearing “I told you so”. I explained that I had warned her so that she wouldn’t have to get bit up, but that I wasn’t angry with her or triumphant.

So often we put off repentance because we are afraid of the other person’s triumphant response. What a blessing that we know from Hebrews that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence, and that from Romans it is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Good Bath

I think the best part of having kids is that the most unexpected things happen. For example, dunking your daughter in the toilet. It just happens. While multi-tasking is certainly a gift, there is a maximum amount of tasks that can be up-loaded on the brain. One morning, I asked Willie if he would like to join Halle and me in taking a multi-vitamin. In the middle of making breakfast, dodging the toe-eating kitten, and attending to two pre-breakfast starvation victims, I downed all three vitamins. Willie looked at me in shock. “What happened to my vitamin?” Equally surprised, I said, “Hopefully helping memory function.”

This evening, I was running the bath water when Halle told me that she had NOT had a potty accident. That means exactly what you think it means. “Where is it?” I asked. “Oh, I didn’t have an accident, but it’s somewhere downstairs.” I peeled her clothes off and lifted her to set her on the potty, while simultaneously watching Morgan to make sure that she was not going to climb into the tub. Halle missed the rim.

One can never underestimate the power of a good bath. It not only covers your own mistakes, but those of your mother as well.