Eight o'clock at night, and Little Bear is edging toward exhausted-meltdown mode. "Have those spots always been there?" my husband asks, looking at the bedroom ceiling. Knots form in my stomach. "No..."
Leaking pipes, water running, wet insulation, waterlogged tiles crumbling around the edges.
The landlord comes to look and calls his plumber, who is (naturally!) an hour and a half away. I juggle the fussy baby, we take turns reading to him, singing, rocking. The landlord makes more calls. They can't get a plumber for anything, not on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend.
Two neighbors come to look, open up the drop ceiling, plaster all over the bed. Maybe it is the landlord's dishwasher? someone suggests. The baby sobs for bed as men in workboots tramp in and out.
It might be fixed, they think. If the dishwasher doesn't run. At least until Tuesday, it should be fine; here, put these towels in the ceiling. And I'm grateful, truly; praying for no leaks in the night, water dripping on the bed, but grateful for their quick response, the attempted fix.
The room smells strange, musty, but the exhausted child doesn't care: eats quickly, falling right to sleep. We lie wondering, watching dark shadowed tiles, listening for water running. Praying for a peaceful night.