There were a few incidences last week that set into motion our current vagabond existence:
On Monday morning, Jafta woke up early to use the bathroom, and we suddenly heard him calling for help. Mark ran in to find Jafta staring at a rat in the toilet. THE LID HAD BEEN CLOSED. I can’t decide which part of this story is more bizarre: the fact that this rat somehow swam up through the plumbing, or that fact that my husband’s solution was to flush the rat back from whence it came. I questioned Mark heavily on that decision, thinking it sounded a little impulsive. But I soon forgot about it.
A few days later, my mom was in town visiting and India was riding in her rental car. India has a tendency to puke in the car. (Or at art galleries. Whatever.) India lost her breakfast on the ride with my mom, and my mom grabbed two towels to clean it up. Two towels, covered in bits of regurgitated blueberry bagel. She suggested I put them on a pre-wash cycle. I did. I think you know how this story ends.
A week prior to the Disproportionately Consequential Laundry Flood of 2010, I ripped out part of the wall in Jafta’s room. I did this because I was so sick of the musical chairs we were playing trying to get these kids to sleep well. (Little did I know I would soon be faced with a hotel suite with two beds for all six of us. How much do I feel like taking a sledgehammer into these walls? A LOT). I was excited to finish Jafta’s loft bed, but little did I know that the walls I had so enthusiastically demolished were full of asbestos. Which is really only a health risk when it is unsettled so that small particles fill the room and subsequently line the lungs. The danger of asbestos is being in contact with the miniscule particles over a long period of time. I had released those particles all over the boy’s room.
Now, this is the part where everyone says, “Oooh . . . Everything happens for a reason! God was protecting you from living with that asbestos. This flood was His way of discovering the health risks in your home.” Now, I’m still in the middle of this mess and not really ready to start chalking the whole thing up to Divine Intervention. But at the same time, I have been saying a few prayers to be spared from any locusts or flying frogs for the remainder of August.
Back to the rat, the washer, and the bits of bagel. Yesterday I got a call from our insurance company, who wanted to send out an appliance specialist. They had already sent out a plumber to look at the washer, so I was curious as to why they were sending out yet another person to look at it. They explained that this person was going to take apart the washer to determine the cause of the malfunction. It was like a crime scene investiation, and they were very concerned with keeping everything its place. In fact, there was a huge little moment of drama when the guy walked in and found that the washing machine had been moved from it’s original spot. There was much gnashing of teeth as he asked me who moved it. Much costernation when he called his boss to explain that it had been moved. Much yelling and berating of the plumber who moved it in the first place. I could see that finding out the cause behind the washer’s sudden demise was a top priority.
I immediately thought of those bits of bagels, and imagined that this investigator would find them in the drain pipe of the washer and determine that because of user error, our insurance would pay for none of the repairs that we now find ourselves requiring. But . . . in the back of my mind, I also thought about that rat.
I mentioned the rat incident to the adjustor. He brushed it off.
“Ma’am, that’s highly unlikely that a rat could have gotten into the piping. In fact that’s nearly impossible.”
I mentioned it to the plumber, and pointed out a pile of brown droppings that sat in the place where the washer once stood.
“Yeah, I don’t think that’s rat poop. That’s just remnants from the pipe. Now way a rat did this.”
I mentioned it to the appliance investigator, who practically laughed at me.
“This is most likely an internal motor issue. My guess would be rust.”
Today I stopped by the house to grab a few things, and noticed that a copy of the investigator’s report was sitting on the appliance in question. And written in large letters, it said,
CAUSE OF MALFUNCTION: RODENT DAMAGE
So, the good news reading all those Nancy Drew novels in fourth grade has really paid off. And also . . . I got to go shopping for new flooring today. It almost brightened my mood enough to come out of the funk I’ve been in. But then I got to spend two hours in a cramped hotel room with three kids while the baby napped, and I became my own version of Mommy Dearest again.
But seriously, what flooring should I go with? Zebra wood? Tiger wood? Bamboo? Polished Concrete? WHAT?
(Once I change the flooring my house will automatically look like a giant, minimalist loft space, right? Only with an exersaucer artfully placed in the corner.)