I had returned from school drop off duties last Friday morning and was minding the twins. And by minding I mean trying to keep them from destroying the house or each other. They are flourishing in the increased attention they receive each morning when the older kids have left for school and before they head to their afternoon Pre-K classes. Two little personalities taking on new life unencumbered by oppressive older siblings.
The first order of the day completed, my focus shifted to our inoperable shower and the plumber that had arrived to fix it.
I ushered him upstairs where he had commenced to cutting a hole in my wall in order to access the faulty thermostat and water control valve. The valve had stopped working leaving us with two options for water temperatures, hot or cold. No combinations or blending of the two. In a manner typical of the way I fix problems I simply turned down the thermostat on the hot water heater. A comfortable shower setting. Worked well if you want a nice warm shower. Not so well if you need to wash dishes.
The plumber had been working not quite half an hour when I got a call from the fence guy. At last! The new driveway gate was being installed. “Ed, you wanna show me exactly here we need to place this thing?”
I told the plumber I’d be right back and left him to destroying my wall.
“Holy crap! That thing is massive!” I told the fence guy. He just smiled.
A few minutes with him and some general instructions and I headed back inside to the plumber. He was busy, working away at the pipes and pausing every few minutes to explain to the twins what the various tools in his bag were used for. Pausing perhaps too often as the twins had begun to monopolize his $70/hour time.
I brought them downstairs and tried to get them interested in something other than plumbing.
The plumber had called out for me to turn off the water so I headed down to the basement. I was followed by Zella.
Head over heels Zella.
For some reason, do kids really need a reason, she had decided to put on Zane’s football cleats. Zane’s football cleats that are twice as big as her tiny feet. And then walk down the basement stairs. It was a very short walk. I turned to see her somersaulting in slow motion to the bottom of the stairs her fall cushioned by the mound of stuffed animals lying there.
I scooped her up to give her the once over (luckily just a scrape on the knee). I was still holding her when the phone rang.
“Hello Mr. Lamaze, this is the school nurse. Zoë is in the office and not feeling well at all. Can you come get her?”
I began to laugh.
Zella was still crying in my arms, audible I’m sure to the school nurse, the plumber was still calling to me from upstairs about shutting off the water and the fence guy was knocking on my door with a few more questions about the gate. And all I could do was laugh. I’m not even sure I gave her an answer before hanging up the phone.
It was 9:30 in the morning.