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Disasters are my specialty

It's funny how the things you expect will frighten your children -- horror movies, large bugs, axe-wielding psycho killers -- don't phase them at all, but stuff you never think about --  vacuum  cleaners, sock monkeys, flashlights -- will scare them into a coma.

Lily was in the bathroom the other day, and Jerod and I were discussing something so important that I can't remember the conversation. We heard a bit of a commotion coming from the bathroom, but Lily often sings to herself on the toilet. Ashlyn will sometimes pound on the door and cry until Lily lets her in, and the two of them will bicker because: A -- Ashlyn is playing with something that doesn't belong to her; or B -- Ashlyn is holding the toilet paper hostage.

Jerod and I continued talking until the commotion in the bathroom reached a higher pitch. We exchanged irritated scowls -- half curious in whatever shenanigans were going on; half exhausted at the thought of investigating the scene. It wasn't but a second into our telepathic "rock, paper, scissors -- YOU GO" that Lily began shrieking incoherently.


Jerod and I nearly crashed into one another bolting towards the bathroom from which Lily exploded wearing nothing but her underpants. Her face was red, she was still screaming louder than she ever has before -- "Call 911! Call 911!"

An eternity seemed to pass in the few seconds it took to decipher her panic. I'd already accepted that someone was dead or seriously injured -- Ashlyn must have drowned in the sink, one of the cats died, a serial killer crawled in through the toilet bowl ... I may have been crying myself; it all happened so quickly and loudly.

"MOMMY," Lily grabbed me and pulled me down the hall -- Jerod was bent over in the bathroom. "The house is flooding, Mommy! The house is flooding. Call 911."

The toilet was overflowing at an alarming rate -- I was relieved, because there were no lifeless bodies on the floor -- and Jerod was bouncing around like a guinea pig on a pogo stick. He'd turned the water off, but the toilet was still overflowing -- "Get me some towels."

The task was very simple, but Lily was hysterical. I couldn't just leave her there shaking and crying -- "I didn't do it, Mommy. I didn't do anything wrong ... MOMMY."

So I stood there like a deer in headlights -- both my daughters were crying and terrified; Jerod was yelling for towels; and dirty toilet water was pooling in the hallway -- "LEX! I need towels, NOW!"

"Mommy," Lily moaned. "Do we need to buy a new house now?"

"No, Lily. The house is fine," I assured her. "The toilet backed up. It's not a big deal."

I grabbed a stack of towels from the linen closet and handed them to Jerod. I thought he was going to thank me, but he only shook his head -- "Why didn't you grab the dirty towels from the bathroom?"


Lily is still recovering from the Devastating Bathroom Flood. She'd like us to replace every fixture in the house, because our aged commodes are clearly haunted. I keep telling her it was the toilet paper that made it flood, but try convincing a paranoid 6-year-old of anything. She's not afraid of strangers with candy, but she'll call out the S.W.A.T. team for a little plumbing malfunction.

"Mommy! I'm telling you the truth. There really are ghosts in the toilets."


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