Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nature, thou foul beast

Yesterday was a comedy of errors. Well, not errors, exactly, but generalized nonsense. Nature is a menace.

I went to a mom meet-up group yesterday. Those things are lifelines for me. I get out of the house, meet women going through the same things I am, we tend to our babies without feeling apologetic to our companions and take it easy doing infant-friendly things. Yesterday it was a farmer's market. The women were nice, though I was the new one there, and being new is always a little hard. Well, not for everyone, but I do feel out of the loop whenever I meet new people.

It had rained in the morning and I thought the weather was done with that sort of thing, so I left the house in the muggy humidity without a rain cover for the stroller. I had a blanket to sit on for the market, so I didn't really have room for the cover. This was an error. More on that soon.

I was happy to get out, especially since the neighbours were replacing their share of the roof and hadn't thought to warn us. I'd woken up to bang-boom-thud. The disgusting thickness of the air seemed preferable. It wasn't a long walk to the market and on the way I passed a park with a wading pool. I was tempted to just run into it, stroller and all. It looked so inviting and I was already sweaty and heavy feeling. Note to self: go back later.

At the market I stayed for almost two hours and Jack behaved impeccably, as he usually does around others. He saves all his fussing and crying for home. But as I started to feed him, the sky darkened and the wind picked up. Ominous. I should have left immediately after he finished his bottle, but no. I lingered. Tactical error. By the time I left, the storm was imminent and within 7 minutes it was raining. I whipped out my umbrella and, shielding Jack and I as best I could, I hightailed it to a Starbucks. Depressingly, I was 5 minutes from my house and stuck so close yet so far away.

I figured the rain would let up eventually, so I grabbed a tall green tea latte and settled into a chair and tried to dry out the stroller a bit and tuck Jack in so he could nap. He fell asleep, I relaxed a bit and waited.

And I waited. And waited.

Taking pictures of my undesirable situation helped with the waiting.
I passed time on my cell phone, which I recently upgraded, periodically texting the Dude to ask if he was almost done work. I needed him to bring me the rain cover so I could get Jack home without thoroughly soaking him. Also, I worried for my pretty shoes.

Jack woke after a 40-minute snooze and slowly progressed into unhappy baby territory. I changed him, but had no more bottles to give. His bed time was fast approaching and he was getting hungry. Eventually the situation disolved into me dancing him around the coffee shop, continually plunking his soother back in his mouth to calm him while patrons looked on in varying degrees of sympathy and annoyance. I would have been out of there with my cranky baby in a heartbeat if I could have.

I got a call from the Dude saying that he and his boss were coming to get me in the car because there was flooding, both in Toronto generally and in our effing basement.

The Dude saw this on his way to get me.
I really couldn't handle that information. Home was to be my refuge from this madness, and now it was round two of my nightmare. I emailed my landlord with my baby crying in my ear a simple message: our basement is flooded. Call me.

When the Dude arrived I was immediately relieved. I couldn't have been happier to see him. We hauled ass out of there and took a winding way home to avoid flooded areas.

I had to leave Jack in his car seat upstairs while I ran down to assess the damage. There's a crack in the foundation and water had poured in through the stairs, which were wet and slippery and lightly coated in mud. I stepped onto the rug in the nursery and felt a sopping wet squish. I navigated the water to the bathroom, where it thankfully stopped spreading. The rug, no doubt, had absorbed massive amounts of leaking and spared us the agony of a total disaster.

When you have a baby whose bed time it is, a flood becomes a more complex situation. I had to feed him, first of all, while the Dude cleared out debris. Then he bathed Jack while I got out the ratty towels we had bought from Value Village for the home birth that wasn't. Turns out, not such a waste of money.

We had to plunk Jack in his bassinet, though, without the rest of his bedtime routine of allowing him to fall asleep beside us on the couch. I'd been fretting about when to make him learn to fall asleep alone, and turns out I'd reached that point out of necessity. And other than a few minutes of crying and one trip to calm him down, boom. Slept like a champ. I was almost conflicted about how I felt about the flooding after that since it forced sleep progress. I was still horrified, but less so.

Mopping up the rest of the water.

It could have been worse. Our landlord is coming by this week, the gutters should get fixed to dump water away from the house as opposed to directly beside it, and, hell, the floors got a much needed mopping.

So many times before when it so much as looked like rain, I just stayed in. Well, I took a chance and was rewarded with the life-enriching experience of basement flooding. Lesson learned.

Nature: 1, Me: 0.

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