It started with a diverter valve. For those who don't know, a diverter valve is the small button on the end of your tub spout that tells the water to go through the showerhead instead of through the spout when it's pulled up tight. I'd noticed that ours wasn't working very well - water still came out the spout when you pulled the button, no matter how hard you pulled. I'm a pretty handy person when it comes to little projects around the house, so I decided to fix it. Replacing the tub spout is the answer, so I watched a video on YouTube yesterday which showed the process. It looked easy. Easy easy. Hardly any tools or skill required. Just remove the old one and bring it in to buy a new one, and install.
Removal was, as promised, a cinch. I loosened the little screw on the bottom and pulled the old spout off. I dutifully put it in a plastic ziptop bag and gathered my troops for a trip to the hardware store. Confident that this would be easy and quick, we headed to the grocery store on the way home and did the week's shopping.
Mistake #1. Never go grocery shopping on Sunday. I thought since today was the 1st, it would make more sense to go yesterday. I'm sure today will be busy, but yesterday you could barely walk through WinCo, let alone get to the shelves to buy anything. As a result, I used up my window between feedings and the girls were howling by the time we got to the checkout. A sweet lady in line behind me helped unload my cart while I tried in vain to console Emily and Erin. It didn't help that somehow we'd left one pacifier in the car and they were both hungry. I bagged our groceries as fast as I could (it sure is handy having all of that on-the-job training for bagging!) and we hurried home. After both girls had eaten, I got back in the tub to install the new spout.
I should have known something wasn't right when the screw was crooked right out of the box. Mistake #2. Naïvely, I assumed that it would straighten out once I got the spout on. Oh, how wrong I was. I tried for an hour to get the spout on, to no avail. Finally, I called the store and was told to bring it back, it was defective. I rushed back just before closing to get a new spout and some more direction as to how it went together. By this time, it was past dinnertime, but we couldn't use the shower or the tub until I figured out how to get the spout back on.
As soon as I took the new one out of the package, I could tell it would work better. The screw was straight and all of the parts were aligned correctly. By this time, I knew more about the inner workings of a tub spout than I had ever cared to, other than not really knowing the proper names of the parts other than washers and o-rings. I grimly set to it. Pride had gotten the better of me, not to mention the desire to have even a partially functioning shower in the morning. I used every ounce of skill (not much) and strength (a considerable amount for how small I am) to get the spout on and functioning. That right there I'm proud of.
What I'm not proud of is how frustrated and grouchy I got in the meantime. I definitely said some things I regretted later to my poor husband who'd spent all afternoon doing yard work and just wanted to take a shower and eat dinner with his wife. Mistake #3. This was probably the biggest one. Yes, being on my hands and knees bracing myself against the side of the tub trying desperately to get the spout to slide on just right was inherently frustrating, as was the fact that we were all tired and hungry, but still, no excuses. And after two hours of sliding, twisting, and pushing, my entire body aches today.
Pride hurts. I'm reminded of that every time I move, even typing this post (did I mention I couldn't find my gloves and thus have almost no skin left on my fingertips?). I think it was a timely reminder to swallow my pride and admit I don't know as much as I think I do. That doesn't just apply to kneeling in a puddle of water, trying to get all the spout parts to line up (um, duh, if you put the screw in before sliding the spout on, all the parts HAVE to line up!) but for all of the other times I'm so sure I know what I'm doing (hoping for the girls to nap while we're running errands, anyone?) Pride hurts, and I'm here to tell the tale. And I never thought I'd say this, but I hope the hurt hangs around for a while, because sometimes I'm a slow learner!