Now I know what a lift system is. It's designed to lift sewage from the basement level of our house up to the street level sewer pipes. You probably guessed that the learning process stinks, literally. And it's the learning process that's at the core of the problem we encountered last week. I gave Ben a lesson on how to clean a bathroom by demonstrating on the upstairs bathroom and then telling him to apply the lesson downstairs. I don't travel up and downstairs for anything less than a tornado warning, so cleaning anything downstairs is not on my priority list. He cheerfully did as I asked him and finished just before Rachel and Kevin came to visit last weekend. And all was well for a few hours.
Kevin reported that his sleep was interupted by the sound of an alarm on the the lift system He turned off the alarm and the system and went back to sleep. All was well until the next morning when the toilet backed up into the shower. Ugh! Then the drain in the John Deere room backed up. Then I found a wonderful person who came and removed a "swifter" which had entered the lift system via the john. Well, anyway the wonderful person cleaned up the mess and all is working and now we all know that you cannot put anything but toilet paper into a john which depends on a lift system to evacuate whatever is deposited in it. End of lesson. Ben now knows how to clean a bathroom, how to dispose of used cleaning materials, and how a lift system works.
On Friday, I sent Ben to the store to buy some liquid detergent designed for front loading HE washing machines. When we got home, and before anyone used the detergent, I realized it was not designated HE. From prior personal experience, I understand why this is not good. Suds billowing out of the machine and engulfing the laundry room are very difficult to clean up. So, we returned to the store where Ben returned the detergent and got the right kind. He now understands why the container must say HE and he also understands the return/refund process at the store.
Friday evening, we had tickets to see Spamalot. This was a big deal, the kids saw Lion King on Broadway, but we have not seen a professional musical production since. We bought and watched the DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail to prepare us for the parody on that parody. Just after we pulled into the perfect parking place, Logan realized he was sick and was not going to be able to go into the theater. So, we went home.
The glorious upshot of all these events which might have stressed me out, frustrated me, or even ticked me off thirty years ago, was that none of it mattered. Logan is feeling better, no one else got sick (yet), and we all learned a bit. Parenting is so much easier the second time around.