My parents’ Christmas gift to me was a new bathroom floor to replace the linoleum floor that the dogs ate. Somehow, the new tile became a complete renovation of our only full bathroom. This has become the kudzu project.
When Doug, Tommy and my father gutted the bathroom, they scattered the contents everywhere. The toilet went in one bedroom, the bathroom door in another and the vanity went in the living room. Vanity drawers were scattered everywhere and the metric ton of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and bathtub toys were strewn about. The only room immune to the bathroom content redistribution was the girls’ room that already had a mountain of crates and containers holding all of Sarah’s worldly belongings (sniff-sniff). I can’t wait to take a shower with the new water softener, I know it’s going to be all worth it.
The thought of leaving town with the house looking like a disaster movie was frightening, so I set out to undo the boys’ work. While I carried, dragged and pushed everything out of the bedrooms, the boys made terrible demolition noises. Crunching, smashing and drilling noises make my skin crawl. I deliberately avoided the destruction room.
Late Saturday night, Doug was the only person still working in the bathroom and I was almost finished putting Evan’s room in order. I can’t say it was clean, because everything in the house remains coated in an inch of construction dust. The children’s doodles and messages written in the dust are still visible, despite the fresh layer of drywall and sawdust grit.
The sudden sound of breaking glass jarred me from my exhausted zombie-state. I raced down the hall and stepped into the bathroom at the exact moment that Doug’s sledgehammer caused the old bathtub to explode like a pipe bomb. A cloud of metallic dust, slivers and chunks rained sideways upon me. Doug grinned from earlobe to earlobe like a child kicking down sand castles.
I walked away silently in search of the tub of baby wipes to dust off my dignity with minimal damage.