July 31, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
Yesterday was a blur. I decided to take myself to the King Tut exhibit at the FISM and it was great. For the first time in my life I could walk around the museum, read every little placard and examine every piece of history or as long as I wanted. There were those at the timed-entry exhibit that paid $$ to walk through it and glance at stuff. I had 9:00 tix and I can tell you that the 10:00 group was going through before I got through the entire display. I finally finished at abuot 10:45 and waited for some friends that I knew were going in right behind me. We ended up at a little pizza/sandwich joint and had cheesesteaks, since they were from out of town and we HAD to get cheesesteaks, you know. I mean, you can’t go to Philly and leave without a cheeseteak. What? There’s art, history and culture, too? You are KIDDING ME!
I finally got my posterior home at noonish (after a call from my husband to make sure I wasn’t stuffed in the trunk of a car somewhere, since he gets nervous when I go to the city by myself. Not that he’d go with me.) and fielded some calls, made some appointments and settled down to sweat for the afternoon. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. Yesterday was warmish and humidish but quite tolerable. There was a slight breeze. And I spent and hour taking a nap in our air conditioned bedroom (we borrowed a window unit). I was deep in la-la land and suddenly my phone rings. Anyone that has been to my house knows it is an annoying ring. Right now it is Marriage of Figaro, last time it was Fugue in D Minor. Anyways, it is pretty awful to wake up to.
The Water Company was gracious enough to call and let me know (and residents in my town, although very few got phone calls) that we could not drink the tap water. It seems that OOPS! A water main broke and OOPS!!! A little untreated water may or may not have gotten into the drinkable supply and they aren’t sure but, ummmm, could you boil your water for a day or so? MY BAD!!! Just don’t drink it. Boil it, wash your veggies in it after boil it. Don’t use it to brush your teeth just in case. Oh, you can shower in it (because I want to shower in untreated water that I cannot even wash vegetables in or cook with). And your four-year-old? There’s no reason why he cannot play in the hose.
See, Bugaboo doesn’t just play in the hose. He licks it, caresses it, fondles it, carries it with him everywhere in the yard, drinks from it, knows how to turn it on. He drags the sprinkler in the house, y’all. After four hours of accosting the hose he gets a bath (ironic, I know). Then he submerges himself under the bath water, drinks from the tap, licks the shower head, rubs his body all over the tub, etc, etc. Now, we cannot DRINK out tap water. But I can BATHE him in the untreated water? A child with suppressed immune system, who doesn’t sweat, who catches everything that runs by him and ends up dehydrated? I can bathe him in untreated water?
He ain’t a happy camper. He wanted to lick the mister we bought him but I had to hide it. Then he wanted to lick the sprinkler. Then when I mentioned to my husband that we were skipping his bath as a precaution he heard, “blah, blah, blah, BAAAATH, blah, blah, blah” and ran upstairs ahead of us. Poor kid.
It’s not like we live in a third-world country and cannot even use our measly water supply. I think sometimes we take for granted the fact that we have clean (debatable) water at our disposal any time of day or not. We’ve always done filtered or bottled water here (don’t lecture me on Fluoride, there is great controversy there) so it isn’t as though much will be different. I filled the dog’s bowl with filtered water tonight, just in case. But I am not bathing my child in this water until I know it is safe. Not that it is safe to begin with! But if he is going to drink two-day-old pool water and get diarrhea, I guarantee you he will get sick from this, just because he’s the kid it always happens to.
Panic? Maybe. But I can never be too careful.
Here’s my favorite part of the warning, though: “If your water is discolored or dirty or smells different do not drink it.”
No kidding? If it is muddy or brown or nasty smelling, we shouldn’t drink it? Thanks for the tip! (Geniuses, I’ll tell you.)