Monday, June 14, 2010

Major Problem and Major Progress

The Major Problem

Brendan has been very excited about pictures lately, especially when they're hanging on the wall.  Last week, when Galena’s parents, John and Sue, were up visiting, John built an oversized picture frame for us that we could place at toddler eye-level. 

This morning, during a temporary lull in the insanity, Galena and I decided to mount that picture frame.  It was big enough that I figured we should attach it to the studs in the wall, so I used my handy-dandy stud finder to locate the first stud, and with the help of four toddler hands, managed to pound in the first nail.  While I was looking for the next stud, Galena asked, "What's that noise?"  With three kids under three, there's a lot of strange noises in our house, and I was preoccupied with keeping Brendan's hands off the stud-finder, so I didn't pay much attention to her question.  But she repeated it several times, and then suddenly yelled, "Ken, we've got a major problem.  There's water coming out of the wall!"

And there was.  From right behind the frame, about where I'd put the first nail, there was a small but steady stream of water dripping down onto the floor.  I realized almost immediately what had happened: I must have pounded the nail through a pipe in the wall.  Not knowing what else to do, and wanting to get a better look at the source of the leak, I pulled the frame away from the wall, pulling the nail out along with it.  That was when the real fun started, as a spray of water emerged from the wall powerful enough to drench the other side of the kitchen.

I don't remember everything that got said in the excitement that followed, but suffice to say that as I was running around trying to find the water main, the stream turned too hot for Galena to block with her bare hands.  She temporarily abandoned her attempt to contain the spray, and scooped Brendan up to get him out of the way of the increasingly hot water.  (Brendan exhibited extreme consternation at being manhandled in this way: he'd been enjoying himself tremendously.)  Caedmon, meanwhile, had run into the family room and was crouched out of the way of the spray, yelling excitedly, "Major problem! Major problem! MAJOR PROBLEM!"  Galena grabbed my Goretex jacket from the back of a chair, and with that in front of her, waded back into the scalding stream of water.  As this was happening, I was busy running in and out of the house in my bare feet, looking for pliers, and checking on results, as I first managed to turn off the gas to the entire house, and then the gas to the hot water heater, neither of which was as helpful in this situation as you might think.  Finally I found the right valve, and I heard the gushing from inside the house subside.

The plumber will supposedly be here sometime this afternoon.  I'm guessing if we're lucky, this will only cost us $1000.  In the meantime, the floor is covered with towels soaking up the water, and Caedmon has asked for the "major problem" to be re-explained to him at least 50 times.  "Why major problem, Mommy?"  It's a question I'd like to know the answer to myself.

The Major Progress

This is almost anticlimactic, but Brendan took his first consecutive steps today.  After we'd managed to get all the water soaked up, we fed the kids lunch.  Since the water is still turned off, I wiped Brendan down afterwards with a washcloth, and set him down on the floor.  Without even thinking, he took five steps in a row over to a chair and grabbed onto it.  Galena said, "Brendan, that's major progress!"  He looked up at us with a huge smile on his face: he knew he'd just accomplished something worthwhile.  If only the same could be said for my morning . . . :-(

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