Thursday, June 7, 2012

Don't Fix Things That ARE Broken

"If it's not broken don't fix it? Is that what you said?" 
"No.  Don't fix things that are broken," is what my clever oldest son said to me after the rush of adrenaline was over.  

Just to keep it real I'll let you know that I'm thoroughly embarrassed for not thinking things through BEFORE I did it. And the fact that I might indeed need help in truly fixing it. I'm also soaking wet as I type this so I can't actually have the laptop ON my lap.  

Plumbing. Not for the weak. 
...also not for those who don't think about where the water COMES from before removing things....oops. 

So today I had the brilliant idea to give the boys haircuts.  After some phone Netflix bribing and promise of lots of bubbles in their bath the task was accomplished.  Outside so cleanup was minimal.  Just the kids.  I run their bath water with enough bubbles to make full Santa beards and hats and chest hair for both of them.  Usually I'm stingy and keep the bubble bath for myself.  A promise is a promise.  (Side note- to clarify; just Ian and Landon got haircuts- not Charlie. Don't worry Mom.)

While the kids are playing in the tub I decided to try and fix the knob that turns the water on (it always falls off and in the shower can leave quite a nasty bruise if your toes are too close) - just a simple screw. No big deal. 

But then I notice that the screw and or the plastic part that hold the knob on the faucet are somewhat stripped so I tried a few different screws and not so brilliant fixes and nothing worked.  Meanwhile the kids are enjoying the frothy bath and Charlie is longing to join them or pull all the toilet paper down, he's not picky.  He thinks I'm the meanest Mom for not letting him do either. 

Here's where I should have stopped to think about where the water comes in from.  

You see, I thought I'd just unscrew the little do-hickey and take the stick thing out and see if I could either replace it or work on it better NOT in the faucet.  

Enter water. 

LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER! Shooting straight out like a mini fire hydrant.  Straight at the two very unsuspecting children who are now totally freaked out.  So what do I do?  I try to screw it back on of course.  The baby is crying and the kids are looking to me to save the day.  It won't screw back on.  The water pressure is too much that I can't get the threads lined up.  

Now I'm rushing around trying to figure out WHERE to turn off the water.  I turn off the sink and the washer and the toilet but don't see any main water to turn off.  Meanwhile gallons of water are shooting all over the wee bitty bathroom.  The kids are told to get out of the tub and bathroom and shut the door so Charlie won't get into the thick of things.  They dutifully obey, for once.  I run to the bedroom to get Sean's gym shorts because my jammie pants are so beyond soaked and FALLING OFF.  I don't dare go outside in just my skivvies so I grab the shorts- whip them on and run outside looking for the water main. 

Look here. 

Look there.

Look around the corner.

Look all along the edge of the property.

FOUND IT! Now to get the water turned off.  At first I thought I needed a wrench to get it so I run in looking for the ONE wrench we have around here that Ian uses to take his training wheels on and off his bike.  No luck. 

Charlie is crying.  The boys are sitting naked in the living room where I told them to watch a show while I get things taken care of.  I peek in the bathroom to check the status of the waterflow.  Not over the edge but still GUSHING.  I'm torn between swearing and praying and do a little of both.  (Gotta keep the bases covered right?) 

Screwdriver! I need something to use as a lever against the hole so I can turn it off.  

Too fat.

Too short. 

 (story of my life)

Gun cleaning kit.


I kneel in the ant ridden dead weeds and turn it off.  


The water never went over the edge of the tub but is ALL OVER the bathroom from the spray.  

So I let it drain and look at why I couldn't get the screw thing-a-ma-bob back on.  Turns out there were a lot more wee bitty parts in that spigot than I thought.  They shot our all over the bathroom with the water when it can bursting out.  I might have lost a rubber washer in all of this and that could be extremely bad.  

Simple.  It is not. 

Soaked.  I am. 

Calling the plumber or leaving Broken Things alone.... I will.  

Until I come up with a brilliant solution the water stays off.

At least I kind of got a shower today.  Just not the way I planned.  

I'm sure taking the kids to the hardware store will be lots of fun.  

Here is where the knob is SUPPOSED to go- water SHOOTS out of the middle just FYI. 

The Stupid Knob That Started It All
 A Bunch of little pieces sans one rubber washer....hmmm.. the ball with the stick thing is what I thought I'd just take out, no biggie.  Uh WRONG-O!
A little excitement in what would otherwise be a rather ordinary Thursday. 


  1. Just another Mommy permanent damage done, a great story for your kids to tell their kids one day! Hugs to you -- Fawn

  2. Baaa haaa haa. Sorry, but that is too great for words. LOVE YA!

  3. I love you bunches, but when you QUIT cutting my GrandBoys' hair the curse will be lifted and your life will be rainbows and butterflies. Also. You must never, ever ask your Dad about the time I "fixed" a perfectly good dining table.

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  5. Oh, Sister. I laughed pretty hard, fyi.

  6. Sound just like something I would do. I think I will learn from this story and leave our broken faucet in our bathroom alone. I can handle a little rust as long as my bathroom stays dry. lol :)

  7. Oh. My. Gosh. I could NOT stop laughing! I could TOTALLY see myself doing this :) I'm VERY impressed you were able to find the main water valve, because I have NO idea where that would be on our own property :) Love you to pieces :)

  8. OH, Mags. That? Is priceless.

  9. "Too short. Too fat. (Story of my life.)" You are HILARIOUS. I hereby award you with the L. Elise Haynes Medal of Comedic Awesomeness, which is a very rare and coveted award. You are the first recipient of all time, so...kind of a big deal.

    Sorry about your plumbing situation. You are a braver soul than I. I would never consider fixing a faucet myself. I would just let it drop on my foot every morning until I moved into a new house because I couldn't take it anymore. So kudos for your bravery. :)

  10. Oh my stars!! That was awesomely funny and scary and cool at the same time! Kudos on the water main! May you come out a wiser and dryer woman!

  11. This is so funny. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is so funny. Thanks for sharing!