Renovations can be a gong show. Renovations while your parents move in, while your house is up for sale and you regularly have people coming for viewings, and you have a very inquisitive, helpful and strong willed toddler is the mother of all gong shows.
Our plan is to sell our house, and move to an acreage where my parents can have their own house, and so can we. The family will be close together, but still have the space we all want. Eventually, there will be greenhouses to grow fruits and vegetables, and it will be happy times at the “funny farm”. Because, let’s be real. A city girl, her city folk parents, and her prairie boy husband all trying to live on a farm together is sure to drive us just a little bit batty. But, I digress.
These renovations are killing us. The first thing we did was lay the tile in the kitchen. Not a big job, then. But this was several months ago, before the thought of selling hit us.
Even before the thought of my parents and their two dogs moving in hit us, we were able to mostly keep Bean in the living room. She was mostly happy. We could cut and lay the tile, and she could watch. Then, we decided to put laminate down in the rest of the house. This was a few months later than the kitchen floor. Bean was much more mobile, and my dad had come out to help. Bean was right into this whole renovating thing. She passed pieces of laminate to us, she drew all over the floor with our pencils, she took the measuring tape out whenever possible. She was a big girl, and she could do whatever we could.
The next step was helping us to cover the walls with a new colour. Red crayon, over our lovely Benjamin Moore’s Beacon Gray. I do love red. And, evidently, so does Bean. Thankfully we were able to transfer her artistic endeavors to some paper, rather than our walls. Thankfully, crayon is easy enough to clean up.
Two days ago, we decided to take the tile out of the kitchen. I know…we just put it in. The thing is that the tile didn’t look as good as we wanted, and the grout was popping out. Not good. I’m surprised at how nice the new flooring is, though. The change was a very good idea. Bean thinks it’s great, because she can run and slide across the floor. Best game ever.
My parents have been integral in the accomplishment, because they watched Bean while we demolished and replaced. It went much more smoothly than the tile. No random, magically appearing screw drivers being thrown at the floor, no yogurt decorating, and very few “I-need-attention” tantrums. She was happy to check in on us, making sure that we were doing a good job.
Soon, she’ll be old enough to help in a good way, and she will have seen me doing the work, just like daddy, and she will be confident in trying things, too. With the proper supervision, of course.
For now, however, I would really recommend not taking on any renovations while going through three major life changes. Particularly if one of the life stages is going from infant to toddler. It’s just a lot to manage their curiosity and the reno.
Karen Huntley is a local wife and mother and writes a regular parenting column for The Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer.