Adventures in Plumbing

A Gods of P B & J Story

“Mommy, there’s water in the toilet.” Noah came running from the bathroom, crashing into my legs as I rounded the corner from the kitchen. “Of course there’s water, silly goat. There’s supposed to be water in the toilet.” I ruffled the short blonde hair on his head playfully.

“No, I mean LOTS of water. It’s going over the sides.”

No. No, no. This could not be happening. Not again. I ran full speed to the bathroom to see the toilet overflowing, water puddling on the tile floor and creeping perilously towards the doorway where the new wood floor started.

Think Kim, think. Trying not to panic I strained to think of what to do first. Normally I would yell for my husband. Except he had moved across the country with his colleague-slash-girlfriend, leaving me alone with our 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. Bastard. Okay Kim, focus. I bent down and gripped the shut-off valve. It was stuck so I grabbed a towel and put all my force into it, falling forward on my knees and soaking my last pair of clean jeans in the process. At least it moved and, thankfully, the water stopped spilling over the edge of the bowl.

I sighed a quick breath of relief before I realized the lake on the floor was millimeters from the wood floor. Reaching into the cabinet, I grabbed a stack of freshly washed towels and threw them at the advancing pool. Once I had used my supply of towels the bulk of the water was gone, leaving only a slick sheen glossing the tiles. Careful not to slip, I went to inspect the toilet. I was tempted to stop and call Adam.

Adam had been a godsend. His daughter Katie was in Noah’s kindergarten class and he was a widower. Having been unexpectedly thrust into single parenthood, Adam had stepped in and helped me navigate the rough waters early on. Several times I had thanked the gods of peanut butter and jelly for sending him my way. But it was time for me to stand on my own two feet so I fought the urge and peered into the swirling waters of the clogged toilet.

Luckily Noah hadn’t gone Number 2 so I could stomach what I saw. Which was water and toilet paper. A lot of toilet paper. An awful lot of toilet paper. Again. I looked down at the empty roll on the holder. Taking a deep breath, I counted to ten before I screamed his name. “Noah!” There was no response. “NOAH ALEXANDER PIERCE, you better get your butt in here now!”

His innocent angelic face peeked around the corner and he held up one hand as if to signal STOP. “Mommy, I can esplain.” I bit my lip to keep from laughing because he was kind of adorable but he had nearly destroyed my floors and my toilet so he wasn’t getting a pass. “Go get the plunger from my bathroom.”

“Um, about that mom.” Was he serious with this? Adorable would only take him so far. “Noah what did you do?”

He defiantly put his hands on his hips, a habit he had recently picked up from his older sister Hannah. “We were playing Avengers and I was Thor and I needed a hammer and my stupid cheap toy hammer that Kyle sent at Christmas broke so I took the plunger and then it broke when Ben turned into the Hulk and tore it apart.” I tried to keep up with his run-on sentence and didn’t know where to start – calling his father by his first name (Kyle), insulting his father’s choice of toys (which I secretly kind of enjoyed), taking the plunger without permission or ruining it without telling me.

Of course, this left me in quite a pickle. I had no plunger, but I had already consumed a glass – okay, maybe two glasses (a tad bit oversized) of wine that evening so I clearly couldn’t drive to the store to buy a new plunger. I was going to have to call someone. Shit. The gods of peanut butter and jelly hated me.

I picked up my cell phone and scrolled to his name. Adam. My finger hovered on the call button. I really didn’t have much of a choice. I counted the rings. One. Two. Maybe he wouldn’t answer. Three. Four. I could call Kelly’s husband. Five. I let out a breath of relief. “Hey Kim, what’s up.” Shit.

“Adam. Hi. I wasn’t sure you’d answer. I’m not bothering you am I? Are you busy?” As usual my mouth just kept making words. “I’m not busy. Is everything okay?” I could hear the warmth in his deep voice and a blush crept over my face. This wasn’t good. What had started as an innocent friendship with Adam showing me the ropes of single parenthood had evolved into spending more and more time together. I couldn’t deny his good looks, impeccable manners, respect for women, the way he smelled like he had just stepped out of the shower no matter what time of day it was, even when he was sweaty he smelled like soapy sweat. Stop Kim, focus.

“Um, well, the thing is, uh, Noah sort of stopped up the toilet and I went for the plunger only to discover that he also ruined that playing Avengers so I have a toilet full of water and toilet paper and God knows what else.” I was grateful he couldn’t see the crimson color that was covering my face and chest. “Um sorry, too much information.”

I heard a low chuckle. “It’s okay. I was going to order pizza for Katie and me. How about I bring a plunger. I’ll fix the toilet and you can call in a pizza delivery order. I like sausage with extra cheese.”

I was glad he couldn’t see my goofy teenager grin through the phone line. “Sounds good. And Adam . . . thanks.” I looked up and thanked the gods of peanut butter and jelly for coming through once again.

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