On Tuesday, my husband, R, picked The Angry Midget up from school. He also invited a friend of hers over for a play date. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem because this particular friend is very well behaved. However, there is, as they say, a first time for everything.
I was out at the grocery store and completely unaware of the play date in progress, or the disaster that was about to befall my living room.
After settling the girls in with a movie and some popcorn, R left them on the main floor while he went downstairs to work on a project. That was his first mistake. All children, no matter how well behaved, have the ability to be mischiefus. All they need is the right opportunity.
Living on a tight budget means I keep a close eye on prices. I keep an especially close eye on the ever-fluctuating price of gasoline. That vigilance may have saved my husband’s life.
After I called to tell him that gas was cheaper in Altoona, he went upstairs to check on the girls.
I’m sure panic set in as he turned the corner and saw the girls. They were in the middle of the living room in swim suits, soaking wet from head to toe, standing in a pool of water.
Not just a little puddle, but gallons of water all over our 50 year old hardwood floor.
I wish I could have been there to see the look on his face when he saw the scene and realized that he had less than ten minutes before a crabby pregnant woman was going to walk through the door, knowing he would be in much bigger trouble than the girls.
R launched into the fastest clean up he's ever had to do, while simultaneously getting the girls dry and back in their clothes. He knew the clock was ticking.
I returned home to him, mop in hand, innocently cleaning the floor and looking a little too happy to be doing it. Looking closer, I saw he had his “lie face” on when he hadn't even said anything yet. Usually, he has to at least verbalize the lie before the “lie face” shows up.
My “Mom Sense” kicked in immediately. It was apparent that something was going on. The floor was way too wet to be from the Swiffer mop R was holding, The Angry Midget’s friend, Emma, looked very guilty, and TAM was nowhere to be found.
At first, I thought maybe he had over filled the fish tank, and I asked Emma if that's what happened. That kid couldn't lie to save her own life. She is just too sweet and honest. She just shook her head no. When I asked where The Angry Midget was, she said, “In her room.” I then asked, “Is she in trouble? Did you two spill the fish tank somehow?”
All I got was the same response: “She’s in her room.”
The Angry Midget showed up then, wearing a different outfit from the one I sent her to school in. I asked her the same questions about the fish tank and the water on the floor. Let me just say right here that my daughter, while very loyal to her friends, will not go down for a crime alone. She saw the bus coming, and pulled Emma under it with her.
It took all of one minute for The Angry Midget to tell me that her friend had dumped a bottle of water on the floor. When I said that one bottle would not make such a big mess, she informed me that the bottle was refilled and dumped several times.
Why did they pour all this water on my floor? To make a slip ‘n slide, of course.
The whole time I was trying to get the real story out of the girls, R had his own strategy. He was trying to tell me that he had mopped the floor to "make me happy.”
It was sweet of him, but he does not mop floors. Ever. That’s when I asked the girls if R had been upstairs with them. He hadn’t.
That’s when R asked if I got my hair cut, because it “looks so nice.” He also asked if I wanted a back rub. He knew his goose was cooked.
I really wasn’t upset by it. By the time I got home, the girls were dressed, and the pool was cleaned up. Sure the floor was still wet, but the puddle was gone, and I didn’t have to be the one to clean it. I really wasn’t upset about it. Was I disappointed in the girls that they thought it was a good idea? Sure.
But R had invited someone else’s child over then went downstairs instead of being a responsible parent and staying with the girls. That upset me. What if something had happened? One or both of them could have been injured. Thankfully, nothing serious happened.
Once her friend had left for home, The Angry Midget turned to me and said, "Mama, I am so sorry. Can you ever forgive me?" Of course I said yes (it was just water).
Then I look at R, who had the most pathetic look on his face.
He said, "What about me? Can you ever forgive me?" It was so pathetic it was funny.
"It'll take a little longer to forgive you," I said.
On the plus side, he started dinner when I asked him to without a single peep, and he was extra attentive all night.
What do I hope he has learned from this? That no matter how well behaved a child is while under adult supervision, there is always that potential for misbehavior, given the opportunity.
What have I learned from this? Not to leave my husband unsupervised. Ever.