|See? The crumbling stoop loves me!|
I was extremely ready for the weekend. This is largely in part because I love weekends, but even more largely in part (how many parts am I allowed?) because the house broke even further on Thursday night.
P.J., having ventured downstairs after work to, you know, inspect the demolition team's work- because boys simply HAVE to poke the drywall, ask about the coils, and guess how many RBIs it gets. (I have no idea what I'm talking about anymore.) I'm glad he did, however, since he found that the newly exposed area behind the sink and toilet was experiencing- what we call in the business- A LEAK. From the ceiling. That's right, a leak was coming from the bathroom directly on top of the broken bathroom. An area which (aside from a couple weeks prior's unsecured bathroom sink) was generally a top notch room in our house. In fact, it was the newest. Which, sadly, was a mammoth selling point back in '09. ("A new bathroom? What, is this the Hilton?")
Also, it was discovered that the upstairs bath had been placed in the floor by cutting through support beams. (I cannot even expand upon this further, it hurts my face too much.)
So, we called the plumbers back. (At this point, I'm pretty sure they're just living in our alley waiting for the bat signal to come back and fix our place. The gushing water symbol? Perhaps a teardrop?) They arrived the next morning- just as our renovation team showed up to finish up the bathroom's walls. (Definitely a teardrop.) And, being Contractor Guys, they disagreed on certain issues with each others' work. The tile, drywall, and electrical guys tried to work around the plumbers as they went up and down all three levels, flushing toilets, filling and draining sinks, and running showers- all to find out which thing had most recently failed us.
On a positive note, the contractors finally found some common ground. The water continuing to spill from the upstairs was pinpointed to the main floor toilet, eliciting a unanimous- "That ain't good!"
One of our plumbers lifted the toilet to find that it was never secured to anything, ever. It might as well have been a bathroom chair. No bolts. In fact, the reason for the leak was because the toilet had been placed at a slight angle ON TOP OF THE OLD TILE FLOOR. The lower level's jackhammering had cracked the tenuous wax seal and whoosh, Leak City. The previous owners hadn't felt like ripping up the floor, you see, and had only made minor attempts to cut the new tile around the askew toilet. Under the toilet was a substance that we're gonna go ahead and call mud. And water was everywhere. There was a risk of dry rot on these floors, as this problem had apparently been going on for awhile.
"You might have to take this bathroom down to the studs, too," we were informed. "Don't use this bathroom for 24 hours while it dries out." (So that's two bathrooms down. We are very quickly running out of real estate in this place.)
While this was happening, I was fielding questions from the downstairs crew (and running outside to circumvent the plastic sheeting still on the stairwell), and sprinting back up to point out things at the request of the plumbers. While carrying Nora and Susannah. Because it was quickly becoming another riddle of whom to carry on each trip; the chicken, the wolf, or the bag of grain. (Still with me?)
There were easily fifteen people in the house. Jackhammering and chiseling from the downstairs, thunking and clanking from the upstairs (and yells to each other along the way: "Still got water coming down?" "Oh yeah!") And a thoroughly freaked out Nora- who responded by "accidentally" head-butting Zuzu with the full force of her body. And that resulted in tears from just about everybody.
Nora eventually crumpled to the couch with a wailed "There are too many people SEEING me right now!" Which I totally sympathized with, but which didn't quite rank as high as another failing level of our home or her baby sister's potential concussion.
Anyway. That day eventually ended. And I still consider it a check in the positive category for a few simple reasons:
-Our general contractor goes above and beyond. (And has not yet blocked my phone number.)
-Our plumbers have stopped charging us for "minor" repairs to our house. Pity? Whatever.
-My mother-in-law sent stargazer lilies and roses, with a [hilariously misinterpreted] note hoping that "the proyeet" was going well.
-My mother is on speed dial- and also has yet to block my phone number.
-And, on a walk that night, we let Nora "convince" us to stop at the ice cream truck.
This weekend was also an A plus: cards and photographs and brunch and pre-prepared coffee and two(!) naps and more walks and even a few moments where we all forgot that we lived in a funhouse. It was reaffirmed that the world's most perfect gift is a handmade card from one's offspring. Always thought my folks were just being kind on that one. But nope- having a hand-scrawled smiley face (with legs!) on a card more than makes all this stuff worth it.
And the naps. The naps are good, too.