We had an interesting night. I worked until 5:30 last night and my husband was going to take my daughter and son to their practices. Normally, it is my son’s job to feed the dogs. However, my husband didn’t remind him to do it before they left.

After I cleaned up from working, I was headed out the door to the grocery store. My oldest daughter was home and watching the dinner I started earlier. On the way out, I realized that the dogs were looking for dinner. I asked my daughter to please feed them.

As I was gathering my stuff to leave, she went out in the garage to get the food. Unfortunately, on the way into the house from the garage, she dropped the dog food all over the floor. The dogs were more than happy to pick up the food off the floor and I told her to sweep up the rest. The broom is kept in the laundry room next to the washing machine. When she went to get it, she told me it was stuck behind the washer in the pipes. I thought she meant the dryer vent so I told her get it “unstuck”.

An hour later, we were all home. Dinner was five minutes away from being done. My husband was talking to me from the family room, over the sound of the TV. I interrupted him because I heard water running. I had turned on the washing machine about 20 minutes earlier. As I turned the corner to enter the laundry room, I stepped into a puddle. Pushing the door open, I saw water pouring onto the floor and directly down the heating vent. Apparently, when my daughter “unstuck” the broom, she knocked the drain hose out of the back of the washing machine. That’s when the fun started.

I quickly shut off the washer, the water and grabbed the rags out of the garage. My husband jumped up and ran down to assess the damage in the basement. Water was pouring into the crawlspace on top of the Christmas boxes, luggage and furniture we were storing there. Everyone grabbed towels and blankets and tried to soak up the water. The kids were hauling items out of the crawlspace to dry. Our basement looked like a war zone.

Time seemed to stand still as we scrambled to clean it up with the least amount of damage. You could hear my husband grumbling loudly through the floor about the mess. As my middle daughter recalled later, it went something like this:

“Who the BEEP knocked the BEEP hose out of the back of the BEEP washing machine? Who the BEEP didn’t see it was out when they started the BEEP washing machine? Now we got all this BEEP water pouring onto our new BEEP wooden floors and into the BEEP crawlspace.”

Maybe it was the wild pitch to his knee that he got earlier at softball practice. He kept asking for the knee pads we bought for the crawlspace. I thought I saw them a few months ago in the garage. I got no response to my question, “Do you want me to look for the knee pads or clean up the water in the laundry room?”

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I remembered to turn off the stove and save dinner. We put all the wet blankets and towels in laundry baskets and put buckets in the crawlspace to catch the rest of the water dripping from the vents. We sat down to dinner about 30 minutes later. Shaking his head, my husband asked us how this could happen. We said it was his fault.

We told him that it was all because he didn’t remind our son to feed the dogs. If our son fed the dogs, he (probably) wouldn’t have spilled dog food all over the floor, and there would have been no need to get the broom out. If the broom stayed where it was, the hose would not have come out of the back of the washing machine and the water would have gone down the drain.

Moral of the story: Mom nags for a reason. If the kids do their chores and the husband helps to remind them, bad things won’t happen.

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