Just Call Me Noah

Last week I turned the heat on in the house for the first time.

Brandon had left instructions for me to crank the heat up high, and then “bleed” the radiators in every room. So I kicked the thermostat up to 95 degrees, put Hope in front of the TV, and set about the house with a screwdriver in hand. (A dangerous scenario.)

The screw on a radiator in the dining room was stripped. So I got another tool – either a wrench or pliers, I forget which one is which – and loosened the thingamajigy.

All of a sudden the cap snapped off the radiator and high-pressure, VERY HOT water started spraying out of the radiator.

Oh no. Not again!

The water was coming out fast and I could not stop it.

So I screamed. I lost all cool. I muttered the words I seem to be muttering a lot lately.

“God,whatdoIdo. WhatdoIdo. WhatdoIdo. Idon’tknowwhattodo.”

Poor Hope, I think she was scared half to death. The dining room was starting to flood, and I could not get the cap back on the radiator because the water was too hot. I put a towel and a trash can over it, but it did little to stop the force of water.

I didn’t want to move.

Then I saw on the receipt on the dining room table – the one from the plumber who had just put our new toilet in. And yes! The cordless phone was on the table, too. I called the plumber who promised to rush over but was about 20 minutes away.

“Hope! Mommy needs you to go get some towels! Go to the laundry room and grab as many towels as you can find.” I talked very slowly, very firmly like I was giving very important instructions.

She said o.k. and was off.

Ten minutes passed. “Hope! Bring Mommy some towels! I need you to bring towels!!!”

A few more minutes passed and then Hope re-appeared, dangling two pieces of tissue.


(We re-enacted the scene just for you).

At that point I decided to leave the flood and shut off the thermostat. In time, the water temp cooled to the point where I could put the cap on without burning my hand.

The plumber arrived, but by then he was no longer needed.

Thankfully, the damage was contained to the dining room, and it really wasn’t bad at all. I’ll just be saying goodbye to the area rug.

After the plumber left, I took a minute to catch my breath. There was a lot of cleaning up to do. It was only 10 am, and I already looked like I had been through a car wash. But I was relieved the water had stopped.

I looked at Hope standing at a distance; she seemed timid, which is uncharacteristic of her.

“I’m sorry, Mommy,” she said softly.

“Oh, baby. It’s o.k. It’s not your fault.”

I walked over and scooped her up in my arms. Then I realized why she was sorry. She had peed in her pants.

“I’m wet just like you, Mommy!”

18 thoughts on “Just Call Me Noah

  1. Ugh.

    I want you to know that when J was working out of town last winter, we had a lot of troubles like these. It’s nothing like having Brandon in another country, but being alone with a problem that you have no idea how to fix? BTDT.

    love you to pieces, babe.


  2. what if we ALL hold up tissues? 80 million ply might just do the trick.

    look up – there might just be a rainbow 😉

  3. I guess your house is as old as mine! We have the original fin radiators.

    We have had a few floods with ours too over the years.

    I feel your pain.



  4. You know what I think is smart? You are getting all the household crises out of the way early. Once the house has been repaired- smooth sailing all the way! 🙂

    And I do so appreciate the Hope story!

  5. Oh my! You’ve been having some issues with water lately! I hope this is the end of it! Hope bringing you tissue is priceless. Love the picture re-enactment!

  6. Pingback: Earn This « Autism In a Word

  7. Tip: Find out where all the water shut-off valves are in your house, and get familiar with them. There may be a main shut-off in the basement which stops the water to the entire house – if all else fails, that one can be used. But if you are lucky, there may also be shut-off valves at each sink, toilet, etc., which are easier and quicker to access in a water emergency. I’m not sure about radiators, but it would be good to check if they have a shut-off valve too.

    Sometimes the knobs on the shut-off valves get frozen/stuck if they are not used in a long time, or the washers inside may deteriorate. So it is good to test each shut-off valve at least once a year, turning it off and then back on – that also helps keep them from getting frozen stuck in one position. If your shut-off valves are very hard to turn, get them replaced if possible. Don’t try to force them except in a water emergency, as forcing them may break something and cause a water emergency.

    Whenever you have a plumbing problem involving water spraying out where it shouldn’t, if you know where all the shut-off valves are, that should help you in turning the water off.

    That’s just based on my experience; I’m not a plumber.

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