Friday, June 15, 2007

Ode to a Contractor

One of the things the property manager recommends is that you re-caulk any bathtubs and showers that haven’t been caulked in awhile. So today I think I’ll spend some time sitting in my shower, peeling out the old caulk and prepping the surface for new. Have you ever done that? It’s really a pain in the back, but it does make the shower look better. And, hopefully, it prevents the shower from springing a leak while the tenants are using it.

In our case, we only have to caulk the one shower, thank goodness, because the other two are relatively new. In fact, one is brand-spanking new, having only just been installed a few short weeks ago by Mr. Andy and his crew. Mr. Andy is what the kids call our contractor guy, and I swear they’ve spent as much time with him as with us over the past year or so. All three bathrooms had to be redone because of water damage and a tragic overuse of 70s style vanities. He put in a new kitchen, and I’m happy to report that I don’t miss the old chartreuse paisley laminate countertop a bit. He put in a new door in the basement. And just last week he installed a new front door and storm door, along with a new piece of subfloor, as we discovered that the subfloor in the entryway was absolutely rotted through. At this point, we really ought to just hand Mr. Andy every second paycheck to cover all the work this house needs. Remind me again why we want to hang onto it and rent it out for the next three years?

The kids love Mr. Andy because fun things happen when he’s here. Sometimes, he takes the doors off their hinges or pulls cabinets off of walls. Other days he sets up a noisy, scary looking saw in the front yard. He crashes and bashes and smashes up tile, yet somehow no one ever puts him in time out for this flagrant violation of the house rules. A couple of times, he even carried a toilet out of the house and placed it squarely on the lawn – and if you’ve never heard a seven year old’s laugh when he sees an actual TOILET! Right in the middle of the FRONT YARD! Well, then, you haven’t lived. Nothing in this world is funnier to a small boy than the sight of a toilet on a lawn. It draws kids from blocks away.

So I think my kids are going to miss Mr. Andy, potentially more than they miss their friends, who can make lots of potty jokes but cannot actually pick up potties and move them around. Which leads me to Parenting Tip #1. If you are trying in vain to get your small boys to eat their veggies, I suggest you tell them this: “Kids, if you want to grow up to be big and strong and able to impress your friends by carrying a potty out onto the lawn, you’d better finish those veggies.” Just a thought. And with that, I’m off to sit in the shower awhile…

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