My Kid Flooded Our Home. What’s the Worst (Most Expensive) Mistake Your Kids Have Made?

by Darwin on October 4, 2011

I love being a dad, I really do.  But sometimes my kids do things that, well, test me.  Last night I received a frantic call from my wife that water was pouring through the ceiling, soaking multiple rooms going all the way down to the basement.  By the time I got home, I found pools of water in the dining room, a constant stream of water running down our chandelier, an entire section of carpeting soaked upstairs and water making its way all the down to the basement.  It was quite a site.  Here’s what happened:

The Thousand Dollar Hermit Crab

Evidently, my 7yo was playing around with his hermit crab, cleaning him off in the upstairs sink or something.  The kids are always screwing around with closing the drain in the sinks and I’m always telling them to knock it off.  Well, this time, I guess he got distracted, walked away, and left the water running with the drain closed.  So, you know that little hole thingy on the front side of the sink to drain water away when that happens?  Yeah, that doesn’t work.  So, about an hour later, my wife was in the kitchen cooking away and heard some strange noises in the dining room.  That would be the water pouring through the ceiling.  Queue the frantic phone call.

Sometimes, It’s Not What You Do, But How You Handle It

I have to say, for all the yelling and screaming and freaking out, my son handled it pretty well.  He fessed up immediately, apologized and helped us clean up and dry things off all night.  It was an honest mistake.  By the time I got home, he already felt terrible and I didn’t think it would be appropriate to hammer him more.  I just put him to work and we talked about it later.

Because we reacted quickly – I cut out a bunch of drywall and punched holes in the ceiling where I could see watermarks, set up 2 dehumidifiers and used a wetvac to get rid of as much water as I could – I don’t anticipate more than several hundred dollars in damage.  If we were gone when it happened, it could have been much worse.

My wife was calling it a catastrophe.  I consider it a life experience for him – in accepting responsibility, how to atone for a mistake, and finally, why kids need to listen to their parents about screwing around with water!

Anyway, it could have been much worse and I can think of many things I know other kids have done that ended up costing their parents more.  For instance, one friend had his kid throw the Wii remote through a new plasma TV the same week they bought it.  Another kid stole their parents’ car and crashed it.  I can only imagine what else we have coming our way.  Our oldest is only 7!  We have plenty to go…

What’s the Worst or Most Expensive Mistake Your Kids Have Made?

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