DIY disasters are like buses. They tend to come around in twos or threes. On Saturday daughter two was doing a mud run. We were running late as people who had said they would take some satisfaction in seeing daughter two swim through mud decided at the last minute that they’d rather not. So we had, in effect, to run to the mud run.
Daughter two snuck in just before the warm-up started. People were shouting “we love mud” or some such. There was a band playing and mud-covered sofas and an awful lot of people, half of them mud-splattered. It was like we had stumbled across a strange cult. Daughter two set off and I followed a sign saying ‘spectators’. It led down a mud-filled path across the mud run and onto an area by a mud-filled lake which people were sliding into and leaping across.
After about five minutes a tired-looking daughter two arrived at the top of the hillock I was standing on and swung across a ditch before heading down a slide into a trough of dirt which covered her head to foot in the brown stuff. “I think I swallowed a bit too,” she said later. Lovely. About half an hour later she had finished the course and was having a hot shower. We headed home. I had put a tarpaulin in the back of the car for her to sit on and some towels. “There was a boy running just in front of me and he said that girls don’t like running in mud because they are too worried about how they look,” said daughter two. “I ran past him and splashed a whole pile of mud in his face.” That’s my girl.
Once we got home, she took her shoes and socks off and headed for the bathroom to have a shower. She emerged 20 minutes later. “Mum, the bath is a bit blocked,” she said. I went upstairs. The bath was filled to the brim with brown water. No amount of plunging would shift it.
My partner had spent the morning trying to unblock the bathroom sink. The only problem was that the pipes did not align so, having unblocked the sink, there was no way of stopping the water dripping all over the floor. “OK, people,” said I. “You can go to the toilet, but don’t use the sink or the bath.” I rang the plumber and emptied the bath with a bucket. The toilet is also a bit sensitive at the moment so the entire bathroom could be a no go area in days.
I went downstairs and loaded the washing machine. It only works if you give it a well-timed kick. Daughter one sent me a message on whatsapp, but as soon as I clicked the message disappeared because the battery had packed in as the charger is faulty. Sometimes I think about 90% of my life is devoted to what could loosely be described as troubleshooting…
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.