You know how, sometimes as a parent, you evaluate how much mess it's worth? Like, "Yes, finger paints get all over everything. BUT, they wipe right off, and they'll keep the kids busy while I make dinner." Or, "Yes, if we go to the beach they'll get sand all over the car. BUT, I won't have to entertain them all morning." (That one only works for older kids).
Tonight after dinner, Monkey #3 climbed into the tub. I thought "Ok, no problem. He'll be happy playing with the tubby toys while we finish dessert, and then we'll get all the monkeys ready for bed. So, if he gets a little wet, no biggy, because I'm going to take all his clothes off in ten minutes anyway."
Yeah. Well, Monkey #3 had his own ideas. I should have been concerned, or at least checked on him, when Monkey #1 came in (repeatedly) and told me he was in big trouble, that he was in the tub, running water, with his shoes on. Now, "big trouble" to me would be, if the tub was overflowing, or some similarly epic mess was being made. I knew that wasn't the case, because Monkey #1 wasn't panicked enough. I heard the water go on, but I figured, well, it will just run down the drain. His shoes will get a little wet, but that's no biggy either. So, I brushed off my oldest child's warnings, because I was sitting down relaxing, and I didn't want to get up.
The Mad Scientist investigated first. He walked back into the kitchen shaking his head, and said "Well, you could post a picture on your blog." And when I grabbed the camera he said "I thought that would concern you." Ha. I need blog fodder. In my camera and I went. Here's exhibit A:
Uh-huh. He plugged the drain, and proceeded to fill the tub about 12" deep with water. With all his clothes still on. And his shoes. Can you see that, in that picture? Shoes, still on. Still, he's one very happy monkey.
After I finished taking a picture and began to assess the damage, I said "Monkey #3, HOW did you do this?" And he very obligingly grabbed the faucet handle to demonstrate just exactly how one turns on the water in the tub. He was thoroughly pleased with himself, and I really didn't have the heart to get upset. After all, everything I had been thinking was still true. He was just a whole lot wetter than I had anticipated. So, I let him play for a few more minutes.
That's when we discovered that he can get himself out of the tub. At that moment, the mess acquired the potential to achieve epic proportions, and I finally did something about it.