How many days does it take to change a lightbulb?

This is a relevant question in my house.
Our main bathroom, off the hallway, has 2 light fixtures that have one bulb in each. Regular size bulbs, I prefer the 75 watt. Usually, when one bulb dies there's a backup in the second fixture, so the bathroom is never dark. What happens when that bulb dies? In the middle of the night, no less? The adventure of "going potty by flashlight" begins!

It's not as glamorous as it sounds but if you are desperate for something to do with your family, by all means, give it a try!

On a chilly Wednesday, October morning, around 3 am, I awake to screams of shear terror!! My feet hit the ground running before I had thrown off the duvet, I was half asleep with eyes barely opened. Tripping over the duvet and throwing on the hallway light switch, I stumbled into the hallway bathroom to find a shrieking 9 yr old (Alexie) saying "TURN ON THE LIGHT! I'M SCARED!" Twas not meant to be. Repeated attempts to turn on said light switch proved to be a futile action.

Once I got the trembling 9yr old back in bed, I went to find a new light bulb to replace one of the dead ones. I looked in the utility closet, where we keep things like that. No light bulbs. I looked in the pantry, in cabinets in the kitchen, in the garage. I even went outside at 4am to look in the storage shed and had planned on unscrewing that bulb to bring back inside, thinking 'I will replace that bulb later' but no. The storage shed had zero bulbs, including the light fixture.


I went back inside the house and decided that I would borrow a bulb from one of the living room lamps. Nope, the sockets were bulb free. I went looking for a bulb anywhere! The kids bedrooms, my bedroom, I would rather get hit by a meteorite than attempt to take my mothers bulb from her lamp, so her room was off limits. No Bulbs to spare, anywhere in this house!
My husband J, walked past me and hung a flashlight on the door knob. Looking all proud of himself. I narrowed my eyes at him and asked "You did buy light bulbs at the store last week, when I sent you to buy light bulbs, right?"
J looked GUILTY! He replied with "I thought you meant security light bulbs for the outside."

There's two ways this discussion could go. I could have lost it and ripped him a new one, it wouldn't change the situation and we would both feel like crap (and wake up the whole house).
Or we could laugh about it and go back to bed for an hour or less.

I chose the latter. The fact that J never gets what's on my shopping list has become something like a joke. I just added it to my "To do list".

Later that morning after the kids had gone to school and J was at work, I asked my mother if she wanted to go shopping. Mom was ready to go! She had a list of places where she wanted to stop at. First place on the list was the library. Then she wanted to stop and see her friend dottie, next would be a stop at the post office, now she was tired and wanted to go home. I clearly remembered asking her if she wanted to go shopping but we never seemed to make it anywhere that sold light bulbs. After taking care of moms needs, I was tired. I put 2 pans of chicken casserole in the oven and did laundry until the kids came home.

The first night of "potty by flash light" was not a success but no one was injured or maimed. The younger kids trotted through our bedroom to use the master bathroom and 3 of them wound up in our king size bed. I woke up to a foot in the face because 8 yr old Max had turned himself 180 degrees while sleeping. 

I had 2 houses to clean Thursday morning. I kept saying to myself "gotta buy light bulbs, gotta buy light bulbs." as I was sweeping then mopping my clients kitchen. How did I never make it to the store?! I specifically remember stopping to buy milk and hamburger meat at the grocery store, they have light bulbs! Yet I came home with not a one new light bulb. CRAP!

Friday morning came around like a kick in the gut.
I swear it seems like those little sleeping bodies just want to maim and injure me!

The adventures of "potty by flashlight" was a disaster! The flashlight was dropped in the toilet and quit working. The teens were now tromping through our bedroom to use the master bath! I woke up at 2 am to the sounds of farting and grunts made by a adolescent teen, who probably needed a laxative. I was extremely grossed out. Later on, I woke up to 2 kids in our king size bed. It's a good thing I sleep in PJ's!!

Today is the day I'm going to buy light bulbs!
Or so I thought. 

The school called at 9am, Dawson (14) is sick. Went to pick him up, took him to his pediatrician's office, dropped by the drug store drive thru, did not buy light bulbs because Dawson was throwing up in a bag, in my car and looking all pasty (whiter than white). No sooner got him home than a different school was calling. West (11) & Allie (12) are sick. No visit to the pediatrician's office, we had Pepto at home (Dawson cannot take pepto, he's allergic to magnesium, hence his prescription.)

I called J begging him to bring home gatorade and light bulbs.

J brought home Ginger ale and duct tape.
Before Friday night was over, everybody but my mother, was sick. Including me.
But hey! We had duct tape!

I slept on the couch.
Woke up to 4 eyes staring at me and wagging their tails. Saturday morning was upon us and no one was out of bed. I could barely move. I made myself get up. I fed the animals. Made peanut butter on saltine crackers, got out 11 ziplock sandwich bags, threw 8 sandwich crackers in each. Poured ginger ale in 11 tumblers with lids. Passed the crackers and drinks to all 9 kids, my hubby J and even gave some to mom. I walked out the door wearing Fridays clothing that I never took off, smelling like a garbage truck, hopped in J's car and drove to wally world to buy dang LIGHT BULBS. No purse, no wallet, no shoes, no problem. 

I dug around in J's car until I found 3 dollars in change. It bought me 2 cheap light bulbs.

To celebrate that fact, I promptly passed out and slept only god knows how long, in the wally world parking lot.
When I got back home, it was complete chaos.

I ignored every one.
Walked into the main bathroom, the one off the hall, and screwed both light bulbs into both fixtures.

Then I did what I always do ... pretend I'm not sick and take care of everybody and everything.

Turns out it was a stomach bug, a 48 hour virus and then it's gone.
I keep telling the kids not to bring home freebies from school but they never listen.
(Technically it took 2 and a half days to change a light bulb but I'm going to say 3 days anyway.)


  1. WOW! You are one busy lady! I am glad you got your lightbulbs finally. I have forgotten to get things many times and I make sure to make a list. But even with a list, I still forget to get stuff. I think it is because us Moms have to do too much stuff and our brains can not handle all the tasks. I sure liked reading this story!

  2. I love how you kept your sense of humor throughout the whole light bulb ordeal! I get it! Men have a totally different perspective and you have to be very clear or they'll throw their own spin on it.

  3. Well at my house its usually days cause a man always "forgets" to put the bulb in. Unless I try to do it then they get angry - why didnt you ask me - I did !