Oldest, 11. Youngest two, 8.
Once I regained my balance, I grabbed a dish towel and knelt down to take care of the water spot, which is when I noticed a series of water spuddles dotting the kitchen floor. My towel and I steadily made our way across the kitchen. When I reached the cabinets, I saw that water drips lined the bottom of the doors like glass beads. I dried my way up the cabinets and reached the countertop where a pile of mail absorbed the pool that surrounded it.
“What happened in here?” I asked, as parents often do.
The children sat peacefully in front of the TV.
“Oh, hi dad,” one of them said. “We’re watching one of those educational shows you like.”
My towel was soaked, so I opened the drawer to get a dry one. Inside, I found what appeared to be a hasty cleanup effort stuffed in the back of the drawer; two balled-up, soaking wet towels. They dripped when I lifted them.
I stepped in front of the TV.
Three innocent faces looked up at me; smiling silence.
After a short interrogation, I discovered that earlier that day, my youngest went to a birthday party and received a goody-bag that included a balloon. Although nobody claimed the idea, one of them thought it would be neat to make a water balloon. While one stretched the mouth of balloon over the kitchen faucet, another cranked up the water and instantly irrigated the first floor. Judging by the amount of water I cleaned up, this was tried several times.
I said, “You guys know better than to play with a water balloon in the house.”
“We weren’t playing with it,” my son said as if he couldn’t believe he had to explain the difference. “We were filling it.”
My wife and I frequently comfort one another by reminding each other that, someday, these people will leave and return the house to its rightful owners.
In the meantime, I’ll just watch my step.
Sorry – got to go. More later.