Water Catastrophe, Missed Opportunity


Water, water, everywhere. No, a pipe did not burst in my home. It also didn’t magically start
raining in the Great State of Texas.

My water problem is the direct result of toddler bath time.

Being a mother that is staunch about bath time rules, I can’t believe I let this happen. My rules
are quite simple. Tiny people are not allowed to stand in the bathtub, splash water outside if the
bathtub, play in more than five inches of bath water, or get out of the tub without approval. For
me and my tiny tot, it works.

Somehow, there is one thing I don’t count on: distraction. On my part.
Bad Mommy.
This momma, after drawing the bath water, finding the appropriate toys, and watching the tiny
person settle into a fun bath time, started looking about the bathroom, and somehow believed it
was a good idea to multitask. I mean, it’s partly my fault, and partly the vanity’s. It beckoned to
be scoured.

Who am I to ignore the desperate call from a dirty sink basin?

So, while scrubbing, I issue commands, playing the mindless role half-distracted parent. Sadly, it
can be an easy role to play when there are several things that need to be accomplished.
“Water stays in the tub, Son son. Don’t splash so hard.”
I say this every bath time. It’s standard material, mostly stated out of habit.
And I believe I am diligently multi-tasking–mindlessly–until I happen a glance at myself in the
mirror, in my skinny jeans.
Cringing ensues.
Suddenly I am poking, prodding, and trying to figure out when and how this added weight
appeared. Perhaps from the result of not exercising, paired with copious amounts of pie??
Duh, of course it is!!

My mind is now completely distracted, and I find myself wallowing in weight despair, when my
tiny toddler chirps, “I all done!!”

Turning toward him, with one eye glued to the mirror, I stretched out my hand to help him get
out of the tub. Instead, my tiny human climbs out on his own, and steps onto the bath mat,
unscathed. Yes, he broke a rule. Then again, my mind continues to remain full of plump, new
curves, so takes me a moment to snap back into Mommy Mode. It also takes me a moment to
realize an odd sound.
As I watch, Tiny Tot stomps across the bathroom–not that unusual, seeing as his alter
ego is a dinosaur–but, a small splashing sound follows every tiny foot.

Looking down, all I can see is two inches of standing water, covering the entire bathroom floor,
and slowly soaking into the bath mat upon which I stand. Horror overcomes my mind. Who the
heck cares if I am fat, my bathroom is under water!!

I grab the closest towel, a hand towel, and toss it on the floor. It lands, and is immediately
dragged to the bottom of Lake Bathroom.

Obviously, this is not good. Clean up needs to be handled on a much larger scale. Dirty towels
begin flying out of the hamper as I chunk them toward the sopping wet floor.The three towels
refuse to make a dent in the watery mess. My next idea is to wade through the bathroom toward
the linen closet. When those eight towels also refuse to sop up the mess, which has now soaked
over a foot into my bedroom carpet, I run for the junk towels in the second bathroom.
Also, I am eternally grateful that I never throw out an old towel!
Tiny Tot, on the other hand, thinks Mommy’s actions are hysterical. He is having a blast, and
mimicking Mommy. My tiny human starts unfolding towels, throwing them on top of the water,
and saying a few choice words that Mommy has unintentionally uttered in complete panic.
After mopping up the majority of the problem, I do the only thing I can think to do in a time like

I call my mom.

Once she answers, I let the dilemma spill from my mouth in a harried mixture of garbled panic.
I’m really great at being stressed … not so wonderful at handling stress. My main concern now,
having mopped up the tiled floor, is the carpet, and carpet pad. Both of which squish with water.
So I am panicking, jabbering to my mother, moving soaked towels about the bathroom floor, and
wondering how I am going to drag the dripping mess through the hallway, and into the washing

My mom, ever the calm sounding board, asks, “Does your son know he did something wrong?”

Oh, you mean the giggling boy, throwing towels on the floor, and stomping on the soaked
carpet for the sound effect? That son?


There it is. My missed discipline opportunity. Somewhere between hearing the first splash, and
dramatically throwing down towels, I forgot to be a Mom. What I should have done was to plop
his tiny bum in the naughty chair, and let him scream it out. Then he wouldn’t be giggling while
Mommy is melting down.

Oh, well.
The moment is over. The carpet may be ruined, and I did eventually make his tiny bottom
My next step is to make the new day a chance for better decisions in child rearing, and try to
remember not to drop the ball on discipline.

However, I do know this: in the never ending struggle of teaching my tiny human to do the right
thing, I will doubtlessly have plenty of more times to practice.

No comments posted on November 29, 2012 in Discipline, Winging It, Mom Style

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