Thank god for insurance. Yesterday morning I was awoken by my husband, who was in a panic. I thought for sure that the house was on fire, as he knows after 13 years (14? I forgot) that if it is still dark outside that something had better be seriously wrong.
"There's flooding in the powder-room that is running into the kitchen and going through the floor to your studio." Yeah, that got me out of bed pretty quickly.
The toilet had overflowed (clean water, or at least as clean as toilet water can be) all night in the little bathroom behind the kitchen and water was everywhere- powder-room, mudroom, about a third of the kitchen, then through the wood floor and through the ceiling below into my studio. Needless to say, I ran right down into my studio to see how bad it was. Luckily for me, the water was running down into a place where I did not keep any fabric or trims or anything like that. There was a giant puddle, but nothing important got wet.
Then we went upstairs. Yarg... The wood floor was already buckling in that horrifying mountainous way that pre-finished floors do, as were the wood moldings. I won't bore you with more details, but for some reason it took my husband a while to find the plunger, but when he did, we found the culprit.
Shiny red candy wrappers. Hersey Kisses from a school Valentine party.
The kids had had plenty of sugar/junk at those parties, so I told them that they couldn't have anymore for desert, but they would have to wait until lunch the next day. My 10 year, J, old pouts when he doesn't get his way, but E, the 8 year old, will figure out how to do what she wants, come hell or high water. Yes, HIGH WATER. Apparently she (we know who is was because J is not a fan of chocolate, unlike his sister) decided that she couldn't wait until the following day for those kisses. I suppose it makes sense to a 2nd grader high on chocolate that flushing the evidence is the best thing to do.
My mother once told me that E is payback. Then she laughed.
I give hubby and myself credit for not freaking out at E when she came down for breakfast. It was worth it to stay calm, as we discovered how compliant she can be when she feels really guilty.
E did not disolve into a puddle of tears or hyperventilate or anything, it just seemed to finally click that there is a REASON that hubby and I have a few rules. We explained that the toilet overflowed, what we found with the plunger, and that there was a crazy amount of damage because of something being put in the toilet that didn't belong there. She sat there for a minute, looked down, then admitted that she snuck chocolate and tried to flush the evidence. She wouldn't make eye contact, but at least she admitted it, even though her natural tendency seems to be to lie at a very high pitch with her eyes all wide. We just calmly told her that being honest is the most important thing, that it isn't worth it to lie.
Don't get me wrong, I don't generally want my children to feel crippling guilt, but... ok, in the case of damage that equals the value of a new car I admit that I'll take it. But only for a couple of days. If she isn't up to her old tricks within a couple of days I will start to get nervous.