try to improve my house. I know this sounds dramatic but it feels like every few weeks I’m dealing with some major act of vandalism and it’s killing my will to make any improvements. The recent incident I posted about here was committed by Mr. Man so now that he’s joining in on the “fun”, I feel like I’ve been out-manned, out-gunned and out-witted, and I’m on the verge of surrendering.
So I’m reaching out to you my blog-world friends to see if what I’m up against is normal and I should persevere, or if resistance is futile and I should give up now and wait until these monsters go to college (or in the case of Mr. Man he gets put in a home)…
Let me give you a small taste of some of the most recent things I’ve been dealing with…
#1 Inked floors…
One afternoon a few weeks back, my oldest was in his bedroom serving out his time for some misdeed he’d committed when he decided to break open a ball point pen and stab it into the hardwood floors in his room. The pen was full of ink. So he basically tattooed his floors, like some two-bit prisoner giving his cellie a homemade tattoo.
We didn’t discover it for a couple of days and by the time we did the ink had gone deep into the wood — deep like a sophomore Philosophy major wearing his grandfather’s moth-eaten sweater vest trying to impress the girl with a neck tattoo and a job at Urban Outfitters…And as if that wasn’t bad enough we found the inking on Christmas morning.
The Boy spent a week scrubbing the floors with toothpaste. It was a real Karate-Kid-Mr.Miyagi moment for us. #waxonwaxoff
FYI: Most smart people put several durable coats of polyurethane on their floors and so their floors might not be as permanently scarred as our were. Alas, I am not one of those smart people. When we redid our floors I was obsessed with getting a bleached wood look. Like these.
Image via LiveLoveDIY
Four years ago when we refinished our floors, all anyone wanted were dark, espresso finished floors. So my floor guys had no idea how to recreate the look and convinced me the closest I could get was to put a milky, non-yellowing clear coat on the floors.
For the first few months they looked great, but we quickly realized how sh**ty the finish was. This finish has the same strength as Trump’s claims despite facts, photography and the ability of people to count. #alternativefacts
If you’re interested in replicating the look in the inspiration photo above, you need to start with oak floors and then you have to bleach them and then apply a matte polyurethane finish. I learned this when I went to the open house for this Friday’s Featured Flip.
#2 Holes in Art…
Ten years ago, I broke my ankle and was house bound for 3 months. About a month into it, I started losing my mind and was desperate to do something besides watch TV.
(Let’s pause here for a moment: in a million years, I never thought I’d ever feel this way about TV because I love TV. I know a lot of people say that but I truly, deeply and unabashedly LOVE. TV. In fact, I watched so much TV growing up, I sincerely believe TV raised me and that Phil Donahue made me the person I am today.)
My wonderful mother-in-law suggested I do some online volunteering but I was so miserable and felt so sorry for myself, I couldn’t bare the idea of interacting (even in a virtual space) with anyone. So I turned to arts and crafts and let my OCD freak-flag wave. I was very disciplined during this period and everyday I had a very strict routine where I’d paint and watch TV in 2 hour blocks of time until Mr. Man got home. I went on like this for the last month and a half.
Most of the time, I worked on four canvases. When I finished, I was so proud of them because they’d turned out exactly as I’d wanted them to and they were flawlessly executed. I hung the four paintings prominently in my old house. When I’d gotten a little distance from that dark time in my life, those four paintings became an inspiring symbol of how I’d gotten myself through that terrible time.
So…imagine my horror when I discovered what the Boy and his friends had done to them one fateful afternoon.
I should have followed my MIL’s advice and volunteered…
#3 Scratched Mirror…
A mere two days ago, I found a triangle scratched into the huge mirror that hangs in our bathroom.
For an instant I thought a wayward Anarchist had broken into our house, scratched his symbol of hope into our mirror and then left once he’d seen the state of our house, believing it was the home to Anarchist-sympathizers.
Here ‘s what happened a second later:
Me: [in the scary, booming, I-mean-business voice] Both of you get in here NOW! [Two kids immediately come running in] WHO scratched this into the mirror? [Youngest child quickly looks down and at her brother. Mother turns to Boy.]
Boy: [in an irritatingly whiney voice] Okaaaaaayyyy, Mom, it was meeeee. Okay?!
Me: No. It’s not “okay.” How in the hell did you do it?
Boy: With a rock. Okaaaaaayyyyyy.
Me: [said in an equally irritatingly whiney voice] No. It’s NOT okay. [Now, Mom is broken and while looking pleadingly into the Boy’s eyes says] WWWWHHHYYYY would you do this? Wwwwhaaaaat were you thinking?
Boy: I don’t knoooooow. I wanted to see what would happen and I thought it would be fun. Oookkaaay…
Me: [Stares at the ground, speechless and dumbfounded for 30 seconds]
Boy: [taking advantage of this moment, quickly scampers off, never looking back]
FYI: Don’t believe Google when she tells you rubbing toothpaste into a scratched mirror will remove said scratches. Lies!!!
These are only a few of the most recent incidents. There are many, many, many other acts of vandalism my kids have committed on this house. And so I ask you again: knowing now what I’m up against, do you think I should give up or keep going?