Friday, 27 March 2009

When it all turns to custard on the home run

Also known as 'it ain't over until the fat lady sings'.

Parenting is one of those jobs where EVEN IF the day goes really well and you have oodles of fun and sit around supping home made ginger beer, eating organic humus sandwiches and patting yourself on the back for cruising through the day with nothing but a beautific smile and flour dusted apron (which, I may as well confess has never happened in this house) THINGS CAN ALL STILL GO TERRIBLY WRONG IN THE LAST HALF HOUR.

You know what it's like - the magical hour of bedtime is within grasp, everyone is happy and you are thinking 'YES! We are going to do this! Everyone is going to go to bed with happy memories of the day and I will be able able to go downstairs and open the wine! RESULT!'.

Yesterday looked like it was going to be one of those days. Everyone was happy. Everyone was well. Everyone had grown and developed through the day (well, they'd come out the other side without any obvious physical or mental scaring, which is always a big tick in my book) - until bath time.

We all trooped upstairs and I set the bath running and flushed the toilet.

And that's where is all went horribly, horribly, wrong.

Those of you that know me via Facebook may be aware that recently we had a toilet roll crisis and no toilet roll in the house for an entire day.

Anyway - we got toilet roll again but it would be appear that the toilet had become used to a 'paper free' diet and its guts rebelled against the invasion of loo roll by totally and utterly blocking.

Now I've written about our blocked toilet and using the baby's comfort blanket to unblock it before - but I'm telling you now - this was on another level entirely.

It was 'code red' (and brown, and every other colour contained in the bowels of the sewage system).

The poo-water was filling the toilet to the brim and running down the sides onto the floor and both children thought this was THE most fascinating thing EVER and came rushing in.

I started screaming - and I mean REALLY screaming. 'GET OUUUUUUT - NOOOOWW' and shoving them backwards.

Of course I scared them both half to death and turned them hysterical. I then had to shut them both in my bedroom which made them even more hysterical.

I'm then trying to unblock the toilet and stop the flow of water (I couldn't turn the water off at the mains because, for our house, this involves going out in the street and lifting up manhole covers - not something I really wanted to get involved in. Mind you I didn't want to get involved with several litres of poo-filled water either - but needs must).

So I'm running up and down trying to 'crisis manage' the situation and calm the children down with only the power of my voice (I couldn't touch them due to being contaminated).

The eldest child keeps opening the door and sobbing 'Mummeee, please, MUMMMEEEE, calm me down, CALM ME DOWN, I need a d-d-d-drink' and I'm going 'I CAN'T, LOOK AT ALL HIS POO! JUST GIVE ME 5 MINUTES!' - but he's not getting it and is crying so hard he can hardly breathe. He's begging me 'Mummmmeeeeeeee, DON'T BE CROSS!' and I'm saying (OK shouting) 'I'm not cross at you! It's the toilet - PLEASE JUST LET ME FIX THE TOILET OR ALL OF YOUR TOYS ARE GOING TO BE WASHED AWAY IN A TSUNAMI OF POO WATER'.

Luckily for him he's been studying a book about natural distasters - so the term tsuanmi was reasonably familiar.

However - my reassuring words did nothing to comfort him and he resorted to that age old favourite 'BUT WHY!?'.

At this stage the baby falls off the bed.


He's moving and crying so doesn't appear to need an ambulance but I am so contaminated by poo water (it's soaked up the arms of my jumper) that I can not cuddle him in any way shape or form.

So they are both now hysterical and the hysteria of one is heightening the hysteria of the other.

It's like dual 'cry until you make yourself sick' marathon.

But I really can not help them at this point. Sorting myself out and getting them calmed down will take the best part of 20 minutes and by that point the poo water will have flooded the bathroom and flowed down the stairs.

It's a harsh call but when it comes to 'children so upset that they will never forget this day for as long they live 'vs' my entire house being contaminated by sewage' I went for emotionally scarring my children.

All the time that I'm weighing up the pros and cons of this decision, I am also wracking my brain as to what material could provide enough of a seal to create a good enough vacuum in the toilet (now that's multi-tasking for you!).

Ignoring the crying and the fact my heart feels like it's going to explode, I ram some sponges down the pipe.


The sponges, funnily enough, just absorb about 9 litres of poo water and get stuck down the pipe.



Next try.

A teddy?

No - that is too harsh - even by my standards.

A tea towel?

OK that's better but I need to get my arms right down the pipe and I have no long rubber gloves. It will have to be Tesco's bags.


Oh. Not great. Tesco's bags have 2 little holes in the bottom.

I think I'm going to be sick.

So I'm in the bathroom with arms soaked in sewage, bits of poo filled sponge everywhere (it started to disintegrate), a tea towel which will never see the kitchen again and some very, very rank Tesco's bags.

Oh and 2 children who are by now almost being sick with hysterical crying and NO amount of calming words is going to stop them.

Another 10 minutes and vast amounts of bleach later I could cuddle them.

My eldest was holding in the baby in his arms and sobbing 'Mummee sniff isn't cross with us sniff, she's very cross at the t-t-t-toilet sniff and the p-p-p-poo'.

It took a long time to calm them down and everyone went to bed with a tear stained face and swollen eyes. Not what I had planned at all.

So there we are - don't count your chickens until everyone is asleep and the toilet has been flushed.

p.s If, god forbid, it should ever happen again I'm going to call Alan Sugar and he can send round The Apprentices. I'd like to see them try and do a better job - preferably with Margaret standing in the backround and raising her eyebrows in a knowing fashion.


  1. I'm quite glad Danny got called in to work imagine if that would have happened during the planned Pyjama party!

  2. Oh my god!

    Mind you - if Noah has been here we wouldn't have gone upstairs until later, when P was home and he could have dealt with the poo (actually - he would have dealt with the kids - I'd have had the poo!). I could not have possibly exposed your child to THAT! It would probably have been the main memory of his early years 'that time you left me at V's house and we all cried until we were sick'......Argghh!!!!

    DooDoo was a tad devastated by Noah not coming - I had to lie (again) and say he had a poorly tummy. He will probably quiz you later! He wants to arrange another date!