Oh, what a Spring Break. What an awful, wretched, broken break.
Except for the most awesome part. And truly awesome it was! Dowlan begins a job HERE in town after Easter. A job. A REAL full-time job with excellent benefits, decent pay and room to move up.
It started with weeds. Well, for me it did. Dowlan went Saturday morning to an 8 a.m. job interview while I faced my nemesis: hip-high weeds filling huge sections of our half-acre yard. After two days of pulling, the front yard was ready to mow, only we didn't have a lawnmower that worked.
Then came the throwing up. Charlie threw up Sunday morning, but just a few times. Mostly he laid around watching TV and looking dreary, weary and bleary. This gave me ample opportunity to pull weeds for 10-15 minute stretches, checking in with him between bouts. Dowlan and the girls came back from church about the time he perked up and then the weeding became a family affair.
Monday began with dentistry. The numbness had not yet worn off when it was time for me to take Charlie to see the psychologist for his first time. The therapies we've done in the past have run their course and I'm trying to figure out what to do next. The 'next' is going to the psychiatrist for meds to help with his overwhelming anxiety and enormous peaks of rage. About halfway through, my feeling started coming back into my face, and talking through the tingling/itching/drooling was indeed awkward.
Then more weeds are supposed to be in order, but I quit after not much effort. I'm blaming my misery on the dental work. Feed the kids. Say good-bye to Dowlan as he heads out of town, only a belt snaps and he doesn't make it off our street. I thank God that he did not try to take his car to his interview Saturday and that PennyVann had gotten him there safely.
Fix the car. Pack for camping. Sleep.
Tuesday had the worst beginning of all--Melody barely made it out of the carpeted room before throwing up. I barely got her on the couch and comforted before I began throwing up. Dowlan began mopping. Melody and I laid on opposite ends of the same couch, a bucket between us. At some point, Schrödinger begins to throw up as well, but at least he can be tossed outside. At some point, Dowlan heads back out of town to work. Melody and I are still not going very long at a stretch. At some point, he calls to tell me the excellent job news, but it scarcely registers.
Wednesday our entire bodies hurt. At some point that afternoon, the lawnmower gets bought and I get the front yard looking passable.
Thursday is time for more doctor appointments. I go to the ENT, where we determine sinus surgery is necessary this summer. Then we take Dixie up to the radiology department for a quick test, then a "quick" trip to the counselor turns into about four hours. (Don't worry about the radiology visit--they're just double checking her heart since she's on a stimulant. All is good.) At some point that day, Charlie is angry to find Dixie using the bathroom when he wants to use the solo toilet in the household. He begins screaming and throwing things. I scarcely remember it, as he screams and throws things a lot these days, but this becomes quite important later in the story. Also that night, we realize that the toilet is not flushing well.
Friday morning we wake up early so that I can take the kids to gymnastics day camp so that I can head to a different medical specialist for a "quick" and minor procedure, only I have to take a Wal*Mart detour for plumbing supplies. I work on the toilet for about an hour before heading to the doc. After waiting in the office for over two hours (as the doc was called in for emergency surgery that morning) I finally get called back and taken care of.
The procedure may have been minor, but the pain and misery are not. I go home and work on the toilet a bit more, clean a bit, then nap. Toilet, clean, nap. Go get kids, go clean, go plunge. Call my Mommy for help.
The next day, mom comes to watch the kids while I add a plumber's snake and driving to the gas station bathroom to my cycle of activities. Snake, clean, Stripes, nap. Snake, clean, Stripes, nap. Call my Daddy for help. Since he can't come until after church Sunday, mom takes the kids home for the night.
I sleep a lot. I sleep in and miss church, which is frustrating for a bit, but then I sleep some more before heading back out to the weeds. Poor Melody had woken up throwing up that morning as well. She was having some rather urgent trips to the bathroom to boot, which made bringing her home a rather frightening prospect. She and Papa stay home from church.
Papa and the kids arrive around 2 and he has The Big Guns when it comes to tools. He snakes from the toilet. He snakes from the pipe outside the house. He snakes from the top of the roof. Nada. He removes the toilet and sets it upside down in the shower and we all run into the hallway for the big reveal. Wrapped in soggy, used toilet paper is . . .
We'd been missing those and knew they'd been in the bathroom during Charlie's tantrum, but neither Dixie nor I saw them go down the hatch and it never occurred to me to connect those dots.
Dad buys me a better weed puller on his trip to go get a wax ring from the hardware store. Toilet back in place, he goes to check how the line is from the house to the city's lines while I begin scrubbing the foul funk from every surface in the bathroom.
I clean up the glasses, which are completely unscratched. No bends, no scratches, no breaks. The only problem is that smell is not coming out. I leave them in a bowl of vinegar while I vacuum and steam mop all the floors and wash the rugs. There's no telling where all we stepped and what all was on the bottoms of our feet.
By bedtime Sunday night, my house is clean, my weeds fairly well taken care of, my kids all healthy again, my toilet working again. Just in time to enjoy the my vacation . . .