As a single mom, things have never been easy for me. Everything, with kids, takes about 16 times longer to do than without them. And we rarely, if ever, get breaks. It’s like Christmas, when we get a day off or some time to be just alone. So when my brother offered to watch my kids and my house for a Saturday, for Mother’s Day, I had to choke back the gratitude. He much prefers a simple “thank you.” I was so thrilled with the idea of a day on my own that I schedule it with him about two weeks in the future, wanting plenty of time to plan and arrange and buy tickets or whatever.
So when the day came, I was all set. I had tickets to a show that afternoon; I was going to shop my brains out at the better mall in town; and I had scheduled lunch and facials, in between, with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was just settling in to watch the movie when my cell phone rang. It was my brother, suggesting that I come home immediately, saying that there’d been an “incident.” He wouldn’t elaborate beyond assuring me that the kids were fine.
One can imagine my feelings and fear as I raced home. What the heck is an “incident”? As I walked into the kitchen, I saw through to the guest bath and my brother-in-law on the floor, desperately trying to soak something up with rags. What had happened is that one of the kids had tossed several small plastic toys and a large amount of feminine hygiene pads into the toilet and flushed twice. No one was saying who it was. We were beyond that. We had ugly black water damage everywhere and more coming in out of the toilet. Even the tub had begun backing up.
A plumber was on the way, said my beleaguered brother. He had actually contacted the owner of a sewage cleanup company he knew. A sewage cleanup company? I had never heard of such a thing but was glad that my brother knew this guy. They arrived and took charge and I’ve never been so grateful. I couldn’t afford another house, and I’d have to borrow just to pay what this would cost, if my insurance wouldn’t.
The sewage cleanup process is a disgusting and lengthy one. It took a lot of elbow grease and chemicals by this company to achieve. We had to move out to a hotel room for a few days and that takes money. But I didn’t want my two very young children near sewage cleanup; how gross.
When we got home on the third day, the reek was gone and it was hard to tell where the damage had been. Sewage cleanup was at least a known quantity. When the bill arrived, I just had to gulp and write the check. It was done and my kids knew what a toilet was for now.