A Valentine Story for the Books

6:51 AM Elephant & Chick 0 Comments

Last Wednesday I was scrolling through my Instagram (a couple of days before Valentine's Day) and a particular store was offering a giveaway.  To enter the giveaway you had to "like" the picture and then share a comment regarding "the worst Valentine's date you've been on."  I read through some of the comments and laughed (and cried) so hard at some of the stories.  I should NOT have laughed because Karma caught up with me.....   You're not going to believe what happened this past weekend.

Here's what I had going on:
Friday: I had to work from 7:30 am until 3:40 pm tending a 3-year-old.  At 4 pm I was scheduled to pick-up three more kids, from a different family, stay overnight until Saturday, and then drop them off at their grandparents house around 4:30 pm.  Following that,  I had to rush back home to be picked up for a date at 5 pm.

Pretty crazy, right? Not crazy 'pull-your-hair-out', just crazy busy crazy.  Now here's what really happened:

Thursday I found out my Friday class was cancelled but I would need to do an alternate assignment that would take about 2½ hours to complete plus all of my other homework due at the beginning of the week.  Knowing I was going to have a busy weekend, I needed and wanted to knock out all my homework (or as much as I could) that night. I went to bed at 1:00am, leaving about an hour of homework to finish later.

Friday morning went pretty much as planned, other than the mom ended up getting home a little later than planned, but I had to make it work.  I called the parents of two of the kids I was suppose to pick up, but they were not there!  After I freaked out about that I finally found them--safe--about 30 minutes later.  We then had to hurry and get the 11-year-old ready for basketball which actually was cancelled that morning, but I only found out after I had all the kids loaded in the car and was half way to the gym.   That was when I decided we were going to stay in and order a pizza and have a movie night allowing me to straighten up the house and pack the kids overnight bags for the Grandparents house the following night.
The movie ended around 7:45 pm and the kids were asleep in bed by 8:30 pm.  IT WAS A MIRACLE!!  I was in bed and pretty much asleep by 9:45, grateful I was going to be able to have some sleep.
At 11:30 pm, I heard the 3-year-old boy start screaming and I ran into his room as it was so out of character for him.  He told me he needed to go to the bathroom.  Rolling my eyes (as I clearly knew he could do this by himself) I helped him walk to the bathroom.  As I was walking him back to his room I heard a noise from the kitchen and pushed it off to be the dishwater.  As I was walking back from tucking him in, I realized I never started the dishwater.
WHAT ?
I ran into the kitchen only to have my feet soaked in about 2-3 inches of pooled water.  I threw on more lights and discovered there was water everywhere.
WHAT.
My first reaction was to go and check on the kids downstairs-I ran down and saw that they were still sound asleep.  On my way back upstairs I heard something in an adjacent room and threw on the lights to the downstair's family room (which is right below the kitchen) to find a literal rain forest.  Water was actually pouring out of the recessed lights and from the seams of the pine (tung and groove) ceiling.
WHAT?
I ran back upstairs to search for the source of the water leak.  It was coming from under the refrigerator at a pretty steady pace.  I pulled out the refrigerator to see if there was a turn-off valve behind it and could not find one (at this point, I didn't know to look under the sink).  I ran back downstairs to the utility room and was immediately struck by how many pipes and levers there were (they have the ability to turn off each section of the house separately but nothing is labeled. Super cool, but AHHH!)  Overwhelmed, I spent some time just staring at all the levers (something on the order of two dozen). I did not know what to do.
It was at this point that I decided I could not do this by myself.  Luckily my parents house was close by so I called my dad and his phone was dead.  I called my mom and she hung up (she apparently couldn't hear me).  I called a few other people and no one answered.  I fell to my knees in the middle of the water feeling helpless and praying for help.  I then thought to call some other people but I knew no one would understand me through my emotions so I sent a couple of texts and decided my tears were no good adding to the water on the floor.  I needed to do SOMETHING.  I grabbed every bowl that was big enough to hold water and ran downstairs to place them strategically around the room to catch the water (I ended up having to dump them 3 times throughout the next ten minutes).

And knowing it wouldn't work but still tried, I put some towels upstairs:

At this point I decided to try my mom again she answered and awakened my dad and sent him running.  I shuffled him right downstairs to the utility room and he stood there for a little bit looking over the pipes and figured out how to turn it off.  After we got the water turned off we got busy cleaning up the standing water. We finally decided I should call the owner of the house's father (Grandpa B) to appraise him of the situation.  We discovered that he had been working on repairing a small leak under the refrigerator earlier that very day.  It was midnight at this point and I felt so bad waking him up, but he came over 20 minutes later bringing a wet-dry shop vacumn at which my dad had helped me clean up the water in the kitchen.


I was surprised the kids stayed asleep through it all, but seeing the shop vac come in and smelling these weird smells coming from the utility room, I decided I wasn't going to risk yet another thing happening that night nor for the kids to get frightened, so I decided to move the kids over to my parents house for the remainder of the night.  Tucking the kids back into bed at about 12:30am they were asleep within minutes. I finished the night with a shower and then went to bed myself.

Saturday morning started at 7am and my mom helped make pink pancakes for the kids!

The two youngest wouldn't eat the pink ones....;)



We had our various activities that Saturday consisting of basketball practice for the oldest and soccer practice for the 6-year-old and then birthday parties, while Grandpa B was looking at the fridge and drying the carpet (only 5 gallons of water came out of the basement carpet!!)
I dropped the kids off at and the Grandparents and managed to get a 10 minute nap before being picked up for my date (luckily, he was late).

Oh just wait, it gets better.

The whole night he kept a surprise (totally fine, I love surprises).  We were on our way to dinner and he mentioned that he wasn't feeling all that well but thought that after eating something he would be fine.  We ate a beautiful Italian meal and he said he felt better and acted accordingly.  We had to eat fast (as we were behind schedule) to catch the next part of the date.  What, you ask?!  The ballet.  I could not stop smiling for the first Act of Swan Lake.  I love the ballet.
By intermission I could tell my date had gone slightly downhill and suggested we leave, but he said we should stay.  I should have insisted we leave, but I think he sensed I was thouroughly enjoying the performance.
The ballet ended, and my date could barely stand through the ovations.  We started making our way to the car and we took it very slow because he was sick and I was wearing heels.  We were ten steps from the car and he was ghostly white.  I offered to drive thinking he'd say a hard no (it's his new car and he's a man!) but he looked at me and said, "Actually, that'd be great."  Scary.  I've driven other people's cars before but this situation just seemed a lot different.
I stopped to get him some sprite and water for the ride home all while blasting the heat because he had started getting the chills and we just decided to go straight to his apartment and get him recumbent.
I walked him inside his apartment and his roommates came to the rescue.  Next issue, how to get home...so I called my mom.  MY MOM CAME AND PICKED ME UP FROM A DATE.
That was a first.

Oh wait, there's still more.

My mom and I laughed about the night and then headed for bed.

Sunday morning I had to be up early for an important meeting.  About half way through I started feeling a headache coming on.  On my drive home I started getting freezing cold and blasted the heat even though the sun was shining outside.  I had another meeting to attend so I took a 20 minute nap.  I felt better and went on my way.  I was 10 minutes in before I could not keep my head up it felt so heavy and I was shivering so badly.  It was at that point I decided I just needed to go home.  I barely made it inside to the couch before I collapsed.  Laying there all I could think of was, "Oh no, HE GOT ME SICK."
I did not move from the couch from 11:30am until 8 o'clock the night, totally missed church.  I tried, but I just couldn't sit up.  My head hurt so bad that the very thought of getting up exhausted me.

I had the flu.  Not the stomach flu, the flu.  And how did I get it?! Because it's spread when someone who already has the virus touches something and then another person touches it and then touches his/her eyes, nose, or mouth.  So the salt and pepper shakers..the door handle..the steering wheel.  It was clear.

Now I'm not saying this was the "worst Valentine's Date" ever, but it sure did make for a good story.  I had a wonderful time over me weekend, it was just filled with so many unexpected events.  I am so grateful for all the help I received throughout the weekend especially from my parents.  Luckily those kids were so good, and very helpful, and my date was so thoughtful at arranging for a night at the ballet.

So here's the takeaway.  Amongst the craziest and even thought you have no idea what to do as a whole, JUST DO SOMETHING.  Sometimes it's the little things that can make all the difference.


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