Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So Maybe It's the Dress...

I had the kids in Target a few weeks ago. It was 6 o'clock at night. Sister and Little Man had some money they'd set aside to spend. We'd been in Target for two hours because they had to figure out every combination of stuff they could possibly buy with $7 in all of Target and then evaluate and re-evaluate their options. These things are important and take time, you know?

As we were headed out I spotted this cute blue dress. Tried it on over my clothes (because that's what you do when it's past dinner time and you have three children in Target) and purchased said dress.

I wore it to church the following Sunday. As soon as the service was over, I bolted to the nearest bathroom and waited in line. An elderly woman emerged from the first of two stalls. It was a tiny, tiny stall - the kind where you have to stand sideways between the toilet and the wall to close the door.

Now, I'd been waiting a long time to get to the bathroom and so I didn't delay. Nor did I pay much attention. I very quickly realized something was very wrong.


I stopped mid-stream and grabbed the tp, cleaned up my mess. Felt the overwhelming mortification. Wondered if anyone could see me through the crack in the door - wiping off the toilet with tp...Lifted the lid. Plopped down and finished business all while wondering how in the world I would explain the need to halt a long line to grab some clorox wipes and disinfect the area - not to mention, we are new in the church. This was maybe our second or third Sunday. SO maybe that will play in my favor and they'll never remember me - I won't wear the dress for a while - or maybe they'll always remember me. And then I'm wondering if there even are clorox wipes or any type cleaner anywhere in the now I stand to flush. And I'm very concerned about how I'm going to get out of this - because I can't just let the next lady come in and use the toilet. It was all wiped off, but ugh - how gross! And then, it was like it happened in slow motion. The toilet filled...and it kept filling...and it filled some more...and then there was a gush and the water began spilling over the sides and I was yelling "oh! OH! OH! How do I turn the water off?" So I'm leaning over the toilet trying to turn the valve and it won't turn - or maybe it wasn't there - I think there wasn't a valve - all I remember is another lady yelling to turn the valve and I was and it wasn't stopping and now there's water - toilet water - all over my dress and IN my shoes and between my toes and ladies are leaving the bathroom because the toilet water is rushing out over the bathroom floor and there's a drain, but the water isn't going down it... the lady in the next stall is rushing to evacuate because the water was running under her stall. I opened the door and walked out.

I was soaked - it was even on my arms from trying to cut the water - and I kept saying, "I am so sorry. I am SO sorry. I promise. It was JUST toilet paper." And the ladies - now there are only two left -the one who'd been in the other stall and the one who'd yelled for me to turn off the water - they are sort of staring at me. They tell me they've never met me. I tell them I'm knew. They smile tell me what a great excuse to meet. I tell them I'll forever be "that girl who made the toilet overflow." They tell me they've never seen it happen before, "but it is an old church."

At least I was off the hook for tee-teeing all over the toilet.

I don't think I'll ever use that bathroom again. And if we worship at the same church - rest assured, lesson learned, and the bathroom was well cleaned after the fact. I've since been asked if I plan on attending the "ova-flow service?"

So I hung the blue dress in my closet and waited to wear it again...until this past Sunday.

We are standing and singing and it's during worship and it's very crowded and we are on the back row. Late comers and deacons stand behind us.

Little Man, without intending to, slips his hand under my dress and then lifts both arms (the dress hits right above my knee), wanting me to hold him. Only, when he lifted both arms, he lifted my dress and slip much, much higher than they should EVER go. Like - I flashed everyone behind us.

I slammed my hands down, trying to push my dress back down - and CUT Little Man's face with my nails - took a chunk out of the corner by his eye and nose and left a long thin slice from the corner of his eye to his cheek.

He burst into tears. Couldn't stop. We had to walk out.

It was awesome.

In other news we had a fun fourth! Aside from The Engineer and I having a little disagreement about a shrub that one of us had already cut back drastically that may or may not have resulted in me crying on the driveway and a note from Sister that read, "To the Grate Mom. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33

But after that was said and done we went to a fun parade and picnic. Mama helped me bake and decorate 50 cupcakes - which we made into a flag. Little Bit stuck her fingers in ten of them. I took them anyway. Just like that. Another mother saw her teens over by the cupcakes. They got in trouble for scraping icing off ten of them. Hee hee. I found out later and told her what had really happened.

During Mama's visit we have worked NON-STOP in the yard! The Engineer began clearing some underbrush in the back part of the yard and discovered a giant brick composter which could really work to our advantage since we don't have a disposal.

Mama and I found a few treasures buried in the beds, too. A blue glass bottle. A wrought iron plant stand and a metal topiary form. A purple easter egg. Two red plastic champagne flutes. And lots of trash. We've hauled close to 20 bags of yard debris to the street.

And the blower is broken so I took it to a small engine shop yesterday. You should've heard me explaining what was wrong...

Dude: So what's going on with your blower?

Me: Well, it won't go.

Dude: Okay, so it won't turn on.

Me: Well, no. It won't, you know, go.

Dude: So it won't stay on?

Me: Well, not exactly. See we moved here about two months ago and when I used it before we moved it turned on but it just wouldn't you know, go.

Dude: So...(confused look on his face) it won't throttle?

Me: I guess. It would turn on and stay on, but wouldn't you now, ramp up.

Dude: Throttle?

Me: I guess.

Dude: Ok, (starts typing) stays running but won't throttle.

Me: Well, back then it would stay running, but my husband went to tinker with it a few days ago and it would crank but wouldn't stay on. So, yeah, now it turns on, just won't stay on.

Dude: Ok ma'am, we'll just call you when we know what's wrong with it.


Happy Wednesday!


  1. Oh, Jenn!! This whole post is completely awesome! Seriously, are we living parallel lives? Thank you for sharing your "moments", so glad I am not the only one that does these type of things (pretty much on a regular basis). Love ya!

  2. What is it with kids putting their hands up our dresses? I have the same problem! And yes, I have also flashed numerous people. We are talking a lot about modesty w/ K...she gets it, sometimes. Today she said she didn't want to wear her tank top because it showed her shoulders and 'that isn't me being very modesty!" :-) Maybe I need to work on the "practice modesty w/ others, like me!" aspect of it all :-)

    Thinking about you a lot and meant to comment on several other posts. I prayed for you regularly in June. I am glad to hear your updates...and, I LOVED the post at CDT. I was really happy to see all the ins and outs of the old house...and a snapshot of the new house. Oh, my! I LOVE it. What a beautiful home...cannot wait to see what you do with it. Please share with us as you go. Yardwork is my favorite kind of renovation!

    Love the posts!

  3. Haha! This post? All of it is awesome! I've flashed boob thanks to Emma digging around in my shirt! And the blower-haaaaha!

  4. Jenn, you are *so* funny! I think that every mom can relate to your stories! I've got some pretty funny ones as well~ you've just got to laugh, don't you? Praying for you, my friend!

  5. Any Mom who has more than one to keep track of has had a wardrobe malfunction at some point. Too many hands to keep in an eye on. My question would be, why did the lady put the seat down? I try to avoid touching as much as possible when I am in a public bathroom.
    I hope your week is less eventful than last :)

  6. So funny and familiar! Once Briggs lifted my dress as I was standing in a store with my back to the door- just as a man was walking in. He had the nerve to smile and laugh! I was mortified!
    Glad y'all are doing well. Been praying for you!


  7. Hilarious post! At least now it is. Love the blue dress but it seems to always be around when you are getting in trouble.

    During the first seven years of our marriage, Mr. Sparkling and I moved 5 times. We always started to feel better once we found a church. Funny how that happens.

    Still wishing you well as you get settled.

  8. First, I think the lady in front of you in the bathroom really clogged the toilet (you just couldn't tell which happens sometimes) which is why the lid was down to begin with. It was totally her I think! Second, Jay hacked all of our crepe myrtels back one year in the wrong season right before we had a big party. I was so upset too! Hang in there!

  9. Girl, you make me laugh, and that's just one reason that I love you!

    Little Bit has the. most. beautiful. eyes.

  10. Oh I have had these moments...Hopefully it will be funny...SOON! :) I wonder how many strangers have seen my panties...or worse, SPANX underwear!! Oh the mortification!!! Parenthood is nothing if not truly humbling....on so many levels. We have some really hilarious bathroom stories, too. Oh my goodness.

  11. This is the most hilarious post! Also, such beautiful kids!

  12. this post gave me a much needed laugh! Thank you!

  13. Oh, this is too funny! And awful! And funny!

  14. So... can we see a picture of the blue dress :)

  15. Cute, cute pics. Your holiday looks wonderful. I had a target dress once. It was cursed too. Really. Every single time I wore it something dreadful happened. Ambulances, firetrucks, tow truck kind of dreadful. Tossed the dress and the world was my friend again.

  16. Love the photos of the kids my friend. So sweet! Your stories are always entertaining...sorry that they were mortifying (often they are the funniest, though)...

    Have a wonderful, wonderful day!

    With Love,

  17. Hi, I have come to your blog from Joni's! Loved that house and really enjoy YOUR blog. Couldn't stop laughing from the toilet experience but so identify with that helpless feeling & yes, it was someone ahead of you....
    Really look forward to seeing what you and the engineer do with this house. You are both gifted with "seeing" what can be. I also love that you share your faith. Looking forward!

  18. oh my goodness! hilarious. these are some real Lucille Ball type moments.
    probably the first time a toilet overflow has really been a blessing.

    i'm waiting for the day a child pulls my dress up in public. it happens at home all the time.

    and i have so much trouble with "mechanical talk".

  19. LA made the toilet overflow at the first Boy Scout Dinner we went to. I'm new at the school and the scout association and end up using a pitch fork to dig toilet paper out of the pot. OF course along line of ladies were there as I walk out holding said pitchfork. So sorry about your toilet fiasco. I hope you see how God is using it for your good and His glory. I must confess I just felt embarassed after mine. Maybe He was working on my humility. Hope things are going well. I'm sure you guys are working hard at beautifying your new home. Misty

  20. Honey! You are so adorable. We have all had our potty/overflow/church-flash/kid-slash.

    It shouldn't be funny ... but it so is.

    Hugs to you for sharing. It's good to know we are all in this together.

  21. Oh, Jenn... You made me laugh. Sorry it was at your own expense! :)

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