I must suffer from some degree of amnesia. It first showed itself between childbirths when I would tell myself, “Passing a human being wasn’t so bad. Nothing to worry about.” WTF? Anyone who has given birth knows this is just crazy talk. Really, I think it’s the brain’s way of protecting itself from a total meltdown. Maybe one day I’ll tell you what kind of pregnant woman I was and what childbirth was like…think Godzilla only not as cute and cuddly.
Anyway, when it comes to home projects whether indoors or out, I think I must suffer from this same form of amnesia to some extent. Last year we had 5 yards of mulch, 5 yards of mushroom/topsoil, and 4 tons of river rock delivered. When I say we had it delivered I mean they dump it in your driveway and you then get to scoop, shovel, and wheel barrel it into place. My back aches just thinking about it. Now, last year we needed the soil for my raised garden, the river rock to line our gardens and for a runoff of water in the back of a yard, and the mulch covered all our gardens- front and back.
So this year, when I happily ordered 5 more yards of mulch, in a different color than last year, I thought, “this shouldn’t be hard at all; in fact, this should be a piece of cake compared to last year.” So, as you may have seen on my St. Patty’s Day post, we had a dump truck full of mulch delivered to our driveway. Thursday I got to work during nap time and completed as much of the old mulch removal and the new mulch application as I could on my own (which didn’t amount to much), and Friday my husband took off so we could complete the job.
Despite my two younger children’s best efforts we were making progress, and once the baby was down for a nap we were really on a roll…that is until Jake, age three, started on his way to a meltdown. “Mooooooom! I want you to push me on the swing!!” and “Mooooom, I want you to stay out back so you can watch me play in the sandbox (which he can totally do whether I’m out front or out back)” and “Mooooom!! What happens if I eat a bug?” and “Mooooom!! I got sand in my mouth! HEEEELLLLP!!”
So as I handed Jake a water bottle for him to rinse the sand out of his mouth, I had (another) idea. He had tired of the sidewalk chalk, riding his scooter, bike, and playing with his stomp rocket, so maybe he could help. I asked Jake to go find his garden shovel and rake so he could help me put the mulch in place. Of course, the shovel and rake were misplaced and I was too dirty to search indoors, but luckily Jake found his elephant watering can. He could help water the new flowers I put in last week.
Now, yesterday reached 77 degrees, but it was not nearly hot enough that I would let my three year old man the hose himself. So for twenty minutes or so, I got up and down 400 times so I could fill the damn elephant watering can. At this rate I was never going to get anything done, so I had yet another brilliant idea. “Jake, I really need to get this work done while your sister is sleeping. Why don’t you go inside and fill up the elephant watering can in the bathroom?” I instructed thinking the worst that could happen was that I’d be wiping up some water later.
I didn’t have to tell Jake twice; he was off, happily filling his elephant watering can and helping me water the dozens and dozens of flowers, shrubs and plants around my house. With Jake the happy helper seemingly harmlessly preoccupied, I was able to get back to work with my husband and the mountain of mulch that was slowly shrinking in the driveway. As we mulched, Jake watered and we’d stop only for a moment to thank him for his helping. At least forty-five minutes had passed and after making some real progress I went to grab some water for myself.
I kicked my shoes off on the deck and could already see a trail of water inside the breakfast room that extended as far as my field of vision into the kitchen (and I was sure well beyond). I stepped over a puddle just inside the slider door and took a detour to the garage for an old towel or two. At the time, it was no big deal. A little water on linoleum wouldn’t hurt anything, and even if it was on the carpet outside the bathroom and down the hallway that leads to the kitchen who cares? It was only water, and it was keeping him occupied, happy and best of all, quiet.
So on my hands and knees I quickly wiped the water from the door through the breakfast room and all around the kitchen floor. When I made it to the carpet, I went and grabbed a ShamWow! to soak up the water from the carpet. Down the hall and all the way to the bathroom door I soaked the water up. I wondered how much was in the bathroom, but wasn’t really worried about it. Then I opened the door.
Jake, being a clever boy of three, found that hoping up on the stool to the sink, stretching to turn on the water to fill his can was just not efficient when you have so many plants to water and so much helping to do. No, no the sink just wasn’t the best option….not when you have a toilet bowl, full of water just sitting there at the perfect height for dipping.
So the water I just bare handed and crawled through to wipe up across most of my down stairs was mostly comprised mostly of toilet water. The silver lining here is that the water in the bowl was not yellow and was empty. It could have been worse. And of course, when one tells a three year old to fill up a watering can in the bathroom, a veteran mother of three, such as myself, should already know to be very specific on where and how to complete the task…and which “can” to avoid.
At least the mulching is done…