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Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like things just couldn’t get worse? You know, one of those days where you can hear the informercial announcer in your head saying, "But wait! It just gets better!" Well, my friends, that was called my yesterday.

It all started at 12:30 in the morning. My dog who has had the runs for the past week or so was "knocking" at the back door followed by a "Ruff!" Ugh, she needed to go out. So, I crawled out of bed, went downstairs, let her out and practically fell asleep at the kitchen table while she did her business. I went back to bed and struggled to go to sleep for at least an hour. Why is it that when you wake up in the middle of the night your brain starts to explode in all sorts of thoughts of what you need to do, what you forgot to do, and how you are going to do it all?

Two hours later, I heard the "knocking" and the "Ruff!" and I was up again. Repeat. Repeat. Yes, I was up with that dog almost the entire night. It was like having a newborn all over again except this time I'm 44 years old and not as spry as I once was.

Around 5:30, I woke up to an awful smell. Oh no. I must have slept through a knock and a Ruff. My sniffer went into high gear as I tried to find out where the accident happened.  Lovely. In my 8-year-old's room. I went through the clicking of my brain trying to decide if I should wake him up and clean his carpet now or let it go for another hour or so. Finally, in a half-trance, I found myself scrubbing up the mess with only the light from the hallway to guide my way. I needed to get that dog to the vet.

Brushing my teeth before work, I was none too pleased to see the water wasn't draining. By the time I finished, the sink bowl was 3/4 full. Where on earth was a plunger? Oh yeah, that's the thing I had taken to my sister's cabin and forgot to bring home.

The sitter arrived, and I went off to the office for a few hours. Thankfully, it was an uneventful day. Anything else, and I might have lost it.

When I returned, my younger son and the sitter were playing football in the front yard. "Hey Mom! I gotta show you something!" Luke yelled as I got out of the car. I thought he was going to  show me how well he could throw the ball or something, so I stood there and said, "Well, show me." "No, it's not out here. It's in the basement." This was not going to be good.

As I walked down to the basement, I could hear the sitter yacking something about having gone down there to play and then they found… Really? There's water at the bottom of the stairs, some standing water by the toilet in the storeroom, and water seeping from under the storeroom walls onto the carpet. What the heck?

I quickly wrote out a check to the sitter (I forgot to mention that when I stopped by the ATM on the way home from work, I discovered that I had forgotten my billfold at home) and sent her on her way and started investigating.

Okay, our water heater was leaking. Bad. Where's the shut off for the water? How do I shut off the gas? Where are all my beach towels so I can clean up this mess? Oh yeah, those are all at the lake. Better use the good bath towels.  Yuck. How much is a new water heater going to cost me and how long do I have to go without hot water?

In the mean time, I could hear Julie (the dog with the runs) knocking at the back door again.

After spraying off Julie's rear, I told the boys I needed to go to Lowes to get a water heater. "Can you stop by the grocery store?" my older one asked. "I was going to make a sandwich, and I got out the bread and left it on the counter while I went upstairs for a second, and I think one of the dogs ate the loaf." Well, of course that happened. 

As I drove to the store, it hit me. It was already 1:30, and the kids hadn't had lunch yet. Where is that mom of the year award when I deserve it?

I bought a water heater and thankfully they also offered install service (sometime in the next 48 hours, but it could be longer since it was Thursday and they don't do installs on the weekend.) Great.

I returned home, hastily fed the boys, headed back to the basement for more water clean-up, and realized it was time for the vet appointment. 

Julie is a huge dog. 110 pounds of pure fur that gets on everything. Because of her weight issue, she cannot jump into the back of the car, which means I have to hoist her rear to get her in. Yes, that's the gross disgusting rear that is seeping nasty stuff.  mmmm. 

I get to the vet, they run tests, and oh, joy! She's got whip worms! Hallelujah! And I get to treat her for them (and my other dog because they are contagious) every three months for the rest of her life. Oh, lucky day!

I got home, gave her the first dose of meds and went back to the basement to assess the situation. No more water. Thank God. Then remembered that fine little present from 5:30 this morning and went to Luke’s room to clean the carpet again. 

As I washed my hands in the bathroom sink, and it started filling up, I about kicked myself. Forgot the plunger. What next?

Luckily, the rest of the night went pretty smoothly. When my husband called (did I mention that, of course, he is out of town?) and asked me how my day was, I said just fine. I was too tired to fill him in on the details. After all, it was just another day in this paradise we call life. 

Mollie Protzman


Mollie is an Omaha native and a mom of two boys ages 13 and 8. She's been married for 20 years and spent most of those first 10 years living in various cities around the country. Before kids, she was in marketing communications and public relations and then stayed home with her boys for 11 years while doing freelance writing on the side. The day after her youngest one went to kindergarten, she just about went berserk with the quiet in the house and nothing constructiv ...

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