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The 5 Minute Job aka "Mummy, it's raining in the house!"

I've not mentioned the bathroom much lately, have I? I admit that it is because it's been going quite smoothly, if slowly since he's only had a couple of hours per evening to get stuff done. The last casualty being the lid to the cistern which is cracked right across. Some especially tough plaster from round the window bounced off it....

But in general I've been quite happy with the progress. The bath was plumbed in been deemed unusable until the last of the board was up, and ideally, tiled. But we're all (literally) itching for a PROPER bath. Couple of nights ago he turned the waster on at the tub but it leaked a bit so he turned it off. He needed a different spanner which he didn't have. I sighed a the new delay but just got on with stuff.

So, flash forward to tonight. Hubby is home from work having picked eldest son up from jujitsu, I'm making tea in the kitchen, while middle son plays in the livingroom and baby naps in his room. Georgie starts to murmur just as Hubby goes up to get changed out of his work gear. He's gone a long time. George is still in his cot complaining at not being picked up yet, I can hear him through the baby monitor. Just as I'm about to call through to Jack to find out what Daddy is up to, Tom says "Mummy, it's raining inside", calm as you like. That said he goes back to his game.

It takes a moment to process.

Then the penny drops, and I can hear muffled shouts from Mark "TURN THE STOPCOCK OFF!!!"

And this is where it's my turn to be totally inept. Stopcock?  Where the chuff is the stopcock? So I shout up and ask, under the cupboard comes the reply, I'll have to take everything out, it's in the bottom corner... So I dive off to the kitchen, taking the baby gate off as I go, open the cupboard under the sink, pull everything out....... No stopcock! Panic! Try to get Jack to relay messages back and forth between me & Mark since we are at total opposite ends of the house. That doesn't work. At all. I end up going up to speak to him, water is pissing everywhere, he's laid on his back, half under the bath, doing his Little Dutch Boy impression trying to hold the flood back.

Turns out I'm in the wrong ROOM! The stopcock is in the cupboard under the STAIRS... right behind the first step, furthest possible point from the door, behind and underneath 2 tons of accumulated family junk! So I rag as much out of there as I can, two bewildered children watching and wondering why it is STILL raining inside when it's beautiful and sunny outside, and why Mummy & Daddy seem to have gone mental. Finally I see a lever!I pull it round and again ask Jack to relay a message to daddy: has it stopped?

"Daddy swore and said no"

Ahh.... I've just turned the gas off. Well, at least tea wont be burning now, and I have learned how to do that for next time. Keep on digging.... STOPCOCK! Finally I find the little brassy coloured bastard. Only now I can't turn it! Please, Mother of God, no! It turns....... I can hear the water stop rushing, although it's still pouring through the livingroom ceiling and over the front door.

Hubby comes down stairs. He looks half drowned. I expect a yelling at for not knowing where the stopcock was after living here for 13 years. He just laughs. Jack had tried to catch the drips from the ceiling in the mouth of a plastic hippo (shame it just ran straight out of its arse) and it was sitting in the doorway, mouth up.

"It was only supposed to be a 5 minute job" he says to me, wringing his t-shirt out.

So now the livingroom, and the stairwell/doorway ceilings are trashed. And we still can't have a bath. But I've learned how to turn the gas and water off......



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