We Will Run It Until It Dies

A forty-gallon, sixteen-year-old hot water heater for a family of seven. Five of whom are girls. With long hair.


CC showers before he leaves by 6:15am every day while he’s in production.

#1 showers before she leaves for school at 7am.

I wrangle #2-5 to get ready for school with varying degrees of success, and make lunches.

High school & middle school run at 8am.

I re-wrangle #4 and #5, sifting through lies about how they brushed their teeth and aren’t wearing the same shirt they wore yesterday.

Elementary school run at 8:30am. This consists of me walking with them to the end of the driveway, waiting for traffic to clear, and nudging them across the street. This is my favorite of the the three school drop-offs.

At this point I usually grab my tea and sit down to write. This is when the dogs come and jump on me until I walk them. We would both save ourselves a lot of trouble if we just skipped the part where I pretend like I’m going to do anything besides pay attention to them. Right now, no one cares if I have bathed or not.

I revel in having the house to myself. I go do stuff.

I forget to shower.


Depending on the day, it’s either off to work, or pickups, homework, lessons, sports, dinner.

But always, it’s a forty-gallon, sixteen-year-old hot water heater for a family of seven, whose washing machine is always on and whose dishwasher runs three times a day.

#2-5 fight over shower time. Timing is everything. If your timing’s off, you’re standing in a cold shower. Sometimes #1 also vies for an additional shower. I referee.

Storytime. Bedtime. I’m counting them down.

But there’s this insidious development that has been gradually creeping up on me over these past four years. There are now teenagers that are swiping what was previously my midnight shower time.

I totally pulled rank tonight. I assigned chores and slipped into my bathroom when they were occupied. I announced it, of course, or else they’d just get into the other shower and steal all the water.

Sneaky, but I’m clean. Finally.


Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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