Monday, May 3, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink

Saturday afternoon I brought Ryan over to Herb’s parents’ house for a visit. It was a gorgeous day so Bammy and Ryan and I took a long walk around Boston. Bammy introduced Ryan to the Make Way for Ducklings ducks.


And he watched the carousel horses (and cats and pigs and frogs) going around and around.


And then when we got back, Ryan got to play with Pappy for a while.


But the real adventure of the day was a few hours later, as we were getting ready to sit down to dinner and the doorman announced over the intercom that there had been a break in a large MWRA water main and all water for drinking, food preparation, and even tooth brushing would have to be boiled before using. I thought to myself, “Oh dear, I’m glad we don’t live in Boston!” And then my husband informed me that our city is served by the same main and therefore our house would be under the same order. Rats.

Of course, I had just filled a bottle for Ryan, so I immediately tossed that out. And as soon as we got home, Herb boiled several gallons of water and put pitchers in each of our bathrooms and on the kitchen sink. As I went to make up Ryan’s bedtime bottle, it occurred to me that I could heat some of the water in the coffeemaker (which I had filled earlier in the day) and cool it with ice cubes – which reminded me that although the coffeemaker isn’t hooked directly into the water supply, the icemaker is! So Herb turned that off so we knew that the supply of ice we had was safe.

I did Ryan’s tubby time that night and he was very disappointed that I didn’t squirt him in the mouth with his bath toys like I usually do. I was especially careful as I rinsed his hair, avoiding getting water in his eyes, nose, or mouth. He doesn’t have any scrapes or cuts at the moment, but I still made his bath time shorter than usual to minimize any exposure to germs.

I’m grateful that the problem seems to have been resolved quickly and we may have clean water again as soon as 24 to 48 hours from now. But it does remind me of how much easier we have it than many other people around the world. And I hope I continue to think of that every time I brush my teeth, and take my vitamins, and wash my hair and my laundry and my dishes, and most especially as I make up Ryan’s formula and wash his bottles. Even though I have to boil the water to make it safe, I use a stove instead of searching for firewood, I have a microwave to warm the water when I need to, and I have a fridge to put a pitcher in to keep it cold. I have bleach and hand sanitizer and bottled water just to make sure everything is sanitary. And because of all that, I have a healthy baby. I am so very grateful for that.

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