Sunday, June 12, 2016

Under Construction

First it was our friends down the street. Then it was our other friends. Then it was the house stager. Then it was my friend who's a real estate agent. Everyone was telling us we needed to get new carpet. The freshly painted walls were squat without new, fresh carpet to back it up. Plus I had this vision of seeing my house in completely perfect condition before I said farewell to it. We decided we'd bite the bullet and update the spit up stained rags that covered our floors for the last 5 years. 

It was perfect. We had our install set up for Monday which meant we could rip up our carpet all day Saturday. My dad would even be home and had the day free to help, then we'd spend the night on Saturday and Sunday at my parents' because our house would be a tag strip death trap for crawling babies. Jeff would take Eli to school Monday morning and then let the carpet guys in the house. They'd go have a fun little lunch together and we'd all meet back at the house in the afternoon to enjoy our new carpet. Easy Peasy. 

Only thing is, when we went to buy the carpet the week before we were scheduled for our install, we were told the carpet cutter was broken. They assured us it would be fixed in no time. We got our carpet from a home improvement store, so I had high suspicions they were equipped to fix something that was broken. 

We officially bought our carpet about 3 days after we were told the carpet cutter was broken. Someone called Jeff to schedule the install to which Jeff attempted to confirm with the lady that the carpet cutter was now working. "Oh no. It's actually not yet. It won't be fixed until this weekend." She replied. Jeff said he could sense she had screwed up and scheduled other people, forgetting the carpet cutter was broken and now had a lot of back peddling to do. We were glad we were not those people and we had secured the first install after the machine would be up and running again Monday morning. 

We proceeded on with our plan and crammed all our furniture into our two bathrooms and then ripped up all our carpet with Lincoln on clean up duty. 
My dad came and helped as planned. We finished the job in no time and then my parents took us to a Mother's Day celebratory feast at Golden Corral with the Golden crew. 
Ending with a gum ball of course. 
Sunday was Mother's Day. It was so fun to wake up to the boys creating some gifts for me. 

What was even sweeter than getting cards for me was seeing the boys love and give cards to my mom. 

I knew I had arrived at motherhood one afternoon when Eli was a toddler. I was at Olive Garden with him and the waiter only gave me one mint. Something you should know about me is that half the reason I go to Olive Garden is for the mint. The other thing you should know about me is that I'd never dare ask for another mint. There was only one thing to do. With much hesitation and a brief inner struggle, I did what I knew my mom would do and forked my mint over to Eli. 

The moment I gave that mint to Eli, I knew that's what being a mom was all about -- sacrificing what you want for your kids. I instantly remembered all the times my mom let me have the last slice of cheesecake or carefully plated my meals before deciding what she would eat, or the hours she spent at parks or supporting her kids in their extracurriculars. Eli still steals my mints at Olive Garden, and it still reminds me of all the things my mom has given up for me through all the years and I'm grateful for her example of selfless service.

In fact, Mother's Day morning, Carson had already had breakfast and was requesting his second or third breakfast, and my mom quietly and lovingly sliced him up a bowl of strawberries before she sat down for her first (and only?) breakfast. It was special to spend Mother's Day with my mom and to watch her with my kids and remember what a great mom she was and is to me. 
I'll need you to remember that my mom is awesome as this carpet story progresses. 

We went to bed giddy on Sunday night because our 5-year dream of getting new carpet was finally materializing the very next morning. I hadn't been that excited about a purchase since I bought my first Tamagotchi in 1995.

We had an excitedly restless sleep and awoke to a phone call at 7:00 Monday morning. What we thought would be the call telling us our carpet was on its way was actually a call saying that the carpet cutting machine was STILL NOT FIXED! Over 10 days past when we were told it was broken. HOW is it STILL NOT FIXED?!?

The lady tried to just tell us the machine was broken and hang up with no further resolution. I made Jeff pry to get more of an explanation, "Ask if they can get it from another store!" I begged. "How long is it going to be?!?" I wondered. "Why doesn't she know anything?!?" I screamed when she had absolutely no answers to any of my questions. 

I spent the morning huffing and puffing so loudly I almost didn't hear the herd of machines doing their own huffing and puffing right in front of my mom's house. My boys had run out to catch the excitement.
We saw all sorts of machines we had never seen before. The boys stared in awe. One of the construction workers walked by and started talking to the boys. The boys were star struck. I told him, "You're like a super hero to them. They love construction workers and big trucks. This is their dream come true!"

I meant it, too. We might as well have been at Disneyland by the look in their eyes. They've never cared much for meeting movie characters, but they get that sparkle in their eye whenever they hear the rumble of a tractor. 

The crew all seemed genuinely flattered by my boys' interest in their work. They all waved, honked, and chatted with the boys every time they passed. 
Before long, one of the crew came up to Eli and Carson with safety vests and hard hats and welcomed them to the team. It was the sweetest, most thoughtful, and completely unexpected act of kindness. Especially when paired against the carpet fiasco I was dealing with in the background. 
The boys took his "Welcome to the team." to heart. They immediately felt entitled to begin directing the traffic of the vehicles. 
There would be 30-60 minute lulls sometimes, so the boys would come in, take off their gear, but as soon as they heard an engine roaring up the hill, they scurried back into their outfits and hit the scene for as much of the show as they could catch. 

Lincoln even joined in on the fun, staying safely in my mom's lap whenever a truck would pass as he wasn't quite sure what to think of the big, loud machines. 
My mom taught the boys the motion to get the trucks to honk at them and the boys really went wild with that. There was a little street sweeper whose driver really seemed to get a kick out of the boys. He gave them a little toot every time he passed, and we are pretty sure he was sweeping our street a few extra times to keep the show going for the boys. 
It wasn't until Monday night that the carpet people finally got back to us:
"Good news!" They informed Jeff, "You are our first install after we get the machine fixed. We have you all set up for Thursday morning."

She acted like she had solved all of our problems and no big deal and hung up the phone. No reimbursement of any kind. No real acknowledgement of the annoyance that they had essentially made us homeless for the week. No nothing. I was so mad. 

Luckily our week was pretty wide open and we weren't put out too much to abandon all responsibility for 4 extra days. Unfortunately, Eli was still in school, so the normally 5 minutes worth of my life it usually takes to get Eli from school suddenly turned into a 1.5 hour ordeal for the week, but whatever. My mom was super helpful (see comments above). She could sense my stress and stepped in to help with the boys which made the whole thing a breeze. 
I accepted our fate and went grocery shopping, hoping I could cook a few nice meals for my mom to make up for overstaying our welcome. 
By the end of the week, I wasn't ready for it to end. My mom and I had really hit our stride. I was cooking, she was watching my kids, and our hand positioning even began syncing when we FaceTimed my dad in the evenings. 
I transcribed in the mornings while my mom sewed. Carson preferred to be in her company over mine. 
Lincoln enjoyed the extra space. One morning I saw him carrying around a shoe. I saw him try to throw the shoe over the banister, but laughed as I realized he'd never make it that high. I finished getting ready, walked downstairs and saw a pile of shoes right underneath where Lincoln was standing. He figured out a way to chuck the shoes down the banister and had made quite a game out of it with my mom's shoes. 
One evening we had all just sat down to dinner. I asked Eli to join us. "After I finish drawing this note." He replied. I waited a second. Then I saw he was writing his note with a permanent marker which he knew he wasn't supposed to use. "Eli! You're not supposed to use that marker. Please come eat right now!" My patience was thinning. "Just a minute, Mom." He said with suspicious sweetness. We waited...

Then Eli marched over to me and handed me this note:

He will always obey me. Written in permanent marker. While I was asking him to stop drawing. The irony is real.

I did enjoy reminding him of the note for the rest of the day whenever he was being naughty...And I did bring the note home after Thursday finally came and so did our carpet. We bought new bunk beds for the boys which came packed in some styrofoam. The boys began using the styrofoam as swords. I prodded them to take their game outside so Jeff could finish assembling the beds. I went outside to this and was thanking the heavens this disaster was not all over our new carpet.

Moral of the story: Moms are awesome (thanks again for taking us in, Mom!) and if you've ever wanted new carpet, get it! Just make sure you've got a good backup place to live in case your carpet provider lacks the necessary sense of urgency to provide you with your carpet.


David and Mary said...

Your carpet looks nice! I am glad you got to stay with your Mom for a few days, that is a fun memory and it looks like to boys had a great time!

Melissa Smith said...

I have to ask, was it Lowes or Home Depor? We just used Home Depot to get our supplies for our new flooring and they took FOREVER to get the supplies in stock!

Kim said...

Your nice mother comments made me feel so special. Thanks for all your kind words. It was fun having your family here. I loved watching the boys with the big trucks and their security vests and hard hats. So adorable! I'm glad you got a picture of them directing traffic. Such a fun memory of all three of your big-construction-truck-loving boys.