Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bang! Whack! ZZZZZZRWOR!!! {thump!}

The above sounds are brought to you by the musical Progress, or Something Like It, brought to you LIVE and DAILY from the Den of Chaos.

Last week, the flooring guys arrived (two days before expected) (which would have been nicer if the floors to be taken out weren’t under two feet of detritus when they called to say they were coming the next morning at Ungodly A.M.) to lay down the laminate in the master bedroom and Captain Adventure’s room. Then they went away. And came back to drop off several lengths of baseboard with the admonition to ‘get those painted right away’.

Wha? Wait, we…WE have to paint these? This is the latest in a long list of surprises. Some of them my husband claims he knew about. Like the baseboard, he claims that everybody has to paint baseboard themselves. Hmm…see, I don’t remember my dad ever having to paint baseboard in our house, and we did have the carpets replaced at least once during my tenure with them.

Or that the folks who refinished the bathroom counters (and bathtub, and shower stall) were OK with stripping OUT the shower stall hardware, but not with putting it back IN. See, I had thought they specifically said they would put the bathroom back in usable condition before they left – but my husband tells me that I am high (well, I do have some new medications, but really…) and that was never the deal and he is going to do that part.


The question of whether ‘later’ means ‘later this week’, ‘later this year’, or ‘at some point before we retire’ is yet to be answered.

So the man dutifully painted the baseboards last night, chuckling all the while at his wife’s naivety. Imagine if you will sixteen 16’ x 3” lengths of wood stretched down your hallway covered in wet paint, overnight. Keeping in mind that there are four young children in this house, one of them an extremely curious three year old.

Yeah. It was splendid.

Today, the flooring guys re-arrived and began tearing away at the girls’ bedrooms. They are almost done for the day (and, by the way, the baseboards are still stretched out at full length on the floor, not-installed and decidedly IN MY WAY), but will be back OH YES THEY WILL to install the new carpet on the stairs and down the hallway. And the baseboard. They pinkie promise. Sometime next week. Ish. Or so. Depends.

It is an interesting experience, all this remodeling. On the one hand, I’ve heard horror stories about remodeling projects of far less scope taking triple the time this one is (allegedly) going to take. But on the other…California Closets (who WERE going to install all our goodies TODAY) now has to wait until the tile is put into the bathroom, which isn’t going to happen for another two weeks. Our dresser is already gone, so our clothing goes…uh…hmm. Well, we don’t even have hanging rods in the closet anymore, so it goes…on the floor. In piles.

The Daily Quest for Something To Wear would rival Clan of the Cave Bear in length and breadth.

The books that are supposed to go on the new bookshelves are fine. They’ve been in boxes for years, being in boxes for another few weeks won’t hurt them or us unduly. But the clothing storage is a real (annoying) issue, as is the fact that my home office is likewise not here at home. I’ve been snatching a few minutes throughout the day, here and there, perched like some kind of nervous crow on one or another uncomfortable surface.

I even blew a payment this month. I got in a hurry (and also had a kindergartener nattering at me, begging to go to Barbie.com or Noggin.com or oo-oo-oo Nick.com) and thought I had set it up but hadn’t. ARGH. Also, whenever I’m asked for something (what’s the number for this contractor? do we have any envelopes? do you have a stamp for this?) my answer is always, “I dunno – it’s in a box in the garage, probably.”

It is no way for a civilized being to live, is what I’m saying.

My master bathroom is still unusable. The fixtures are still in their boxes. The shower stall is in pieces in the garage. There is no toilet, because apparently the toilet cannot be installed until the tile goes in. In “a couple weeks”. Hoookay, but why can’t we put the rest of the bathroom together, the shower and sinks and bathtub and drawers into which we put the stuff that makes my daily life, if not easy, at least more presentable – like hair brushes and toothpaste? Because we need a plumber to come out and grfakrle the shoulder whitchits on the hoozerwhats with a #2 rfalksjtgrah, that’s why.

I have no idea. One Thing is leaking, therefore all Things must be replaced. But I honestly cannot grok why, so I don’t want to call the plumber, I want THE MAN WHO IS INSISTING ON IT to do it. I hate calling contractors and saying, “I have no idea why I’m calling you, except that our hoozerwhats need some #2 thing or something.”

It’s like calling and saying, “Yes, please come to my home, tinker with stuff for a while, charge me $2,500 and then go away so that my husband can charge in and say, ‘No, no, not the goobernuffs! The hoozerwhats! Why did he put in new goobernuffs, when the hoozerwhats are what need replacing?!’”

I am very tired of showering in the downstairs bathroom. It is very small, rather dark (no windows), and also there is no lock on the door. We have had toddlers in this house for the last seven years – we took the locks off after about the twelfth time one kid or another locked herself in there and then got all hysterical because they could figure out how to unlock the damned door.

Nothing says “Fun!” like lathering up and then finding your three year old grinning at you around the shower curtains while yelling, “BOOBS!”, which is a word the boy has not only figured out but likes to show off, demonstrating that he understands the meaning as well by yanking the neck of my shirt down and pointing. “BOOBS!!!”, he declares proudly, exposing my bra to the world.

Charming child, really he is.

ANYWAY. It is all moving along, and according to theory we should be all done by Thanksgiving.

That's the theory, anyway. And I sure hope it proves a true one, because otherwise there really WILL be mayhem in this house.


21stCenturyMom said...

The thing no one ever tells you is that you have to manage the contractor you paid to manage the people doing the work. And then you have to pay them for the privilage. Ride them hard - apparently they like it that way.

As for your son - HE'S VERBALIZING! Excellent! Tell him the one about how a Daddy puts his ding dong in the Mommy's hoo-ha to make a baby and he'll be talking in full sentences in no time flat!

buffi said...

LALALALALALALALAA I can't hear you....

We are having windows put in and will be starting on the kitchen remodel & then the bathrooms and it is all going to go smoothly, efficiently AND under budget. Yes indeedee-doodle it is. And you can't tell me any different. Pbbbbtttt.

Anonymous said...

You have my deepest sympathy. We remodelled our entire house with two babies under the age of two and a deadline for emigration rapidly approaching.

I can recommend yoga and strong drink. (Yoga didn't help but getting out of the house for the lessons certainly did!)

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate doing all that sort of crap ourselves, I hate waiting for someone else even more. Why can't these people figure out that they need to do these things on MY schedule, thankyouverymuch? Hmf. Good luck and keep the espresso IV running!

Science PhD Mom said...

You know, who says you have to wear a different shirt every day? Or different pants, for that matter? It's not like your kids aren't going to wipe snot/buttered toast/Jello/finger paints all over you the second you put a clean shirt on, so why bother changing them? See, one problem solved. And tell DH if he insists on clean clothes "for work" (pfff!), he can shepherd them through the washing machine & dryer and storage himself.

Help any? No? Then I recommend Ativan and a strong drink. You will survive!

Yarnhog said...

Well, I'd think you'd be proud he's using his words.

You have my deepest sympathies.

Anonymous said...

seven days and counting and we take you away from all of it.. .

Susan said...

From the Annals of Contractor Logic:

"Of course we didn't install vinyl caps over your open trusses and fascia when we sided your addition because you don't have them on the rest of the house."

Soooo.... because the other ones are rotting due to exposure since it would require wings or a jet pack to paint them, we should let these new ones rot too?

Makes perfect sense in a weird F'ed up MANLY sort of way.