Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Adventures in sprinkler repair

I got a wild hair yesterday, prompted by breaking a part on my drip line Monday night. I decided to take it upon myself to fix it and solve my lack of water issue in the front yard. So I spent yesterday digging in the dirt, playing in the water and fixing sprinklers! After four trips to Home Depot, during which I got to ask a prepubescent child to help me find the thingy that goes on the end of the other thingy, I actually fixed it. I think it was a miracle. And nothing dripped, at least not by the time I was done. And I learned a whole heck of a lot about my sprinklers. I even learned how to replace the heads to get more coverage. Look at me go! And I raised up four sprinkler heads in the backyard so that I should no longer have dead spots. But amongst all my success, were some major adventures with the children.

First and foremost, one should never, ever take small children to Home Depot. For my first trip, and my introduction to the teenager who helped me, I took only Lillie, Katherine and Odessa. I thought I'd taken a pretty good crew, but the fact of the matter is, I should never take Odesssa shopping. Period. Never. She sat in the cart happily for all of 1.2 seconds before she started kicking and rubbing her feet together to make her shoes fall off. Then Lillie and Katherine took turns climbing, pushing, and doing gymnastic feats on the cart. After I threatened their lives forty two times, they decided that chasing Odessa was much more fun. I had to liberate her from the cart for fear of death. The kid won't sit down in the cart. She has to stand up. So I got her down and let her walk while I tried to explain what I needed. (My teenage friend was actually pretty helpful and only gave me and the children a couple of 'looks'.) This, of course, was as successful as having her in the cart. She proceeded to get into bins of stuff, squealing with delight every time she got caught.

And then, Lillie had to go to the bathroom. Of course!! Unfortunately, I already knew where the bathroom was. We've been there many times. After finding all of my parts, we ran Lillie to the bathroom. At which point I realized that Odessa had lost a shoe along the way. So we had to backtrack and find her shoe, which luckily we found. It's not like the kid has a ton of shoes if we lose one! We survived the checkout with minimal whining and requests for candy and headed home. I think it was more exhausting to go to Home Depot than it was to fix my sprinklers!

So after the Home Depot adventure, the sprinkler adventure began. I was smart though, and didn't begin until after I put Odessa down for a nap. I even managed a childless trip to Home Depot during nap time to get a different part and visit my newfound friend. The problem was that all of my children needed their ears cleaned out yesterday. I would say, "Go grab me the screw driver, it's in the garage." They heard, "blah blah blah, screw driver, somewhere, hmmmm." After they disappeared for two hours I would go retrieve said object myself. When child returned, I would say, "Where'd you go?" To which I got variations of, "You told me to get the screw driver, so I went to Africa to find it." Ok, not Africa, but seriously, they didn't hear a thing I said yesterday!

Then Odessa woke up before I was finished. Did she play nicely with her siblings? No, of course not. She sat in my lap and cried. And any time I put her down she screamed like I was going to leave her forever. Apparently the Home Depot trips were as traumatic for her as they were for me. So after raising two sprinklers with her in my lap, I decided it was enough for one day. And I did the final Home Depot run of the day with Dad in tow. Much easier!

So the moral of the story, women can fix sprinklers and survive Home Depot with children. The verdict is still out on whether or not it should be legal!


Julia said...

Stacey, I love the way you tell your stories. Amazing the crazy things mothers do!

Susan said...

I laughed to tears while reading the part about telling your children to get the scredriver--bad news--it doesn't get better.