So, third-born is highly sensitive. And I was comforting him, which allowed me to take my eyes off of the Lollipop-Honey Badger child.
This was a terrible mistake.
I allowed her to go an entire five minutes unsupervised. Let us recount how she spent them.
First, she opened the door to the bathroom, as she knows she is not allowed to do. Then she guided her younger brother, Gummy, into the bathroom. He is the reason the bathroom door must be closed, as he is very interested in the toilet. Then she handed him the spare roll of toilet paper and stood back to watch what would happen.
What happened was that infant son shoved (SHOVED) the toilet paper down the toilet and flushed. Or she flushed. Someone flushed, and down went the toilet paper, and up came the toilet water. And it was at this point that I heard a suspicious sound and was roused from my attempts to comfort my third-born over his distress that various other members of the family had had the temerity to leave the house.
Temerity: the quality of being confident and unafraid of danger or punishment especially in a way that seems rude or foolish
I tried to mop it up. Lollipop kept trying to tramp into the room and wade in the toilet water. After the third attempt I yelled, "Get away!" which set Firefly off into an entirely new emotional meltdown. Lollipop was not too upset. She took the stuffed animal she was holding and tossed it into the toilet water, then ran away.
After I had unplugged the toilet and mopped up the bathroom, I realised that the toilet water had run as far as the girls' room. Where the girls had been constructing a fort. With all of their bedding.
So I'm doing laundry tonight.
The problem with the notion of family planning is that you don't get a brief on a potential child's personality before you get pregnant. Anyone could tell that fourth-born and third-born could not co-exist in the same home without their mother needing to resort to heavy drinking, but how was I to know that before I knew either of them?