home improvement

There is a reason–a good one–that I don’t usually tackle projects that require any handiness or know-how. Actually, there are two reasons.

Reason 1: I know nothing. Seriously, I have zero ability to do even simple repairs, etc. I can read (obviously), so sometimes I read a whole bunch of instructions and then take on some kind of project. I usually regret it, though, even if I don’t damage anything. (And I never, ever have the correct hardware/tools/parts.)

Reason 2: I’m generally working around the kids. Which means–well, you know what it means. Whatever the opposite of “help” is, that’s what you get.

Over the weekend, the flush handle on the toilet in our downstairs bathroom broke. We were busy and didn’t fix it on Sunday, and Conor made the offhand remark, “Looks like the toilet fairies still didn’t come.”

In case you don’t know any 5- or 6-year-olds, I should inform you that toilet fairies are the funniest thing in the world.

So, after teaching today, we decided that we should fix it. I stopped at the hardware store on the way home, got the part we needed, and headed home.

After making lunch, I started working on it. And this is how things went.

2:14: I take the lid off the toilet tank.

2:15-2:20: The kids stand around, looking in and marveling at the contents of the tank (“That’s where the water comes from! There’s a CHAIN in here! MOM! Did you know there’s a chain in here?”).

2:21: I read the instructions on the replacement part. I realize that I bought the wrong thing.

2:23: I fetch the kids back from the corners of the house (into which they fled when there was some prospect that I would want them to get in the car instead of pestering me). We drive back to the store and exchange our part.

2:45: We return home. (I am exhausted and haven’t even started the job yet.)

2:46: I pick up the new package and read the instructions.

2:47: Wesley says, “I’m hungry.” I fix him a snack. Mary does not want a snack.

2:50: I read the instructions again.

2:51: Mary says, “I’m hungry now.” I make her fix her own snack, but it takes longer than fixing it myself.

3:00: I read the instructions again. I turn off the water source to the toilet. The kids run into the bathroom to look at it. (“What did you do? Did you fix it?”)

3:05: I remove the toilet tank. Wesley stares at it and says, “I thought you were fixing it, not breaking it!”

…and so on. And so on. And so on.

I’m pleased to report that the problem is now fixed (at least, it seems fixed). It’s 7 p.m.

 

On the other hand…

…here is Mary’s picture of “the toylet fairy,” from the bottom of the note the fairy left for Conor:

Image

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