How could such a dear, sweet child as this cause around $1,000 worth of (out of pocket) water damage?
|Note the "Magnificent Manners Award" he got a couple of days before the water fiasco.|
Well, if you combine a slow upstairs bathroom sink drain, with a full-blast faucet running for half an hour, and an inattentive boy who "just wanted to see what would happen", you get water dripping through your kitchen ceiling, into the walls and down the cabinets. Unfortunately my original 1968 Formica counter tops were not damaged, and it looks like they will not be replaced anytime in the next couple of decades
We had the professionals come over to dry the plaster ceiling and walls. We had two industrial fans, an industrial dehumidifier and another industrial thing that I am sure was doing very important work preventing mold from forming. And I am sure those 13 (but who's counting) holes that had to be drilled in my ceiling and 4 (again, who's counting) square panels cut out of my wall plaster helped vent and drain the water well, too.
I had been working around these beasts of machines for days. They were so loud I couldn't hear myself think. But, on the positive side, I couldn't hear much whining coming from the kids, either.
And what, you may be wondering, did I do discipline the three year old that caused such a ruckus? Pretty much nothing. Seriously. Sure, I was upset at the situation, but I really wasn't upset with him because he didn't have evil intent (that I know of). Discipline is intended to teach children. He got a good talking-to about always turning off water, but without malicious intent and without understanding the magnitude of his actions, the sin wasn't really there. I've been more upset with him for talking back than this.
He was also quite remorseful. When I was mopping up water with huge beach towels, he politely and helpfully handed me a single paper towel to help. Sure, not useful, but his heart was in the right place.
It would be unfair to whine a bit about the situation without pointing out some good that came from it. My children got to work together in a mini-crisis mode. I am ashamed to say that they may have had a better grasp on what to do than I did.
After the initial water was cleaned upstairs and I was trying to mop up all the water coming through the walls and ceilings, I called to my oldest children and said, "Hey! I know how you can help!" I had intended to ask them for more towels.
Instead my son said, "I know, Mom. We need to pray now! God will help us." Imagine how humbled I was that it took an 8 year old to remind me in the midst of chaos that God will bring some calm. And I had no excuse. I had just come off of a church women's retreat less than a week earlier!
Afterward, we all agreed that we felt better. No, it didn't stop the water damage, but it did put into perspective who was really in charge. I was grateful it didn't have to be me.