Well, baby amidst construction might be a better way of putting it.
Our building permits finally came through at the beginning of June, about two weeks before Lorelei was born, and she arrived home to a revolving cast of tool-wielding men trooping through the house five days a week. It’s been interesting, to say the least – as with the puppy argument, I’ve never had a newborn and not had a home renovation in progress, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to.
I do imagine that most new moms aren’t dealing with a carpenter’s foot busting through the bathroom ceiling, leaving a hole that rains debris with each new hammer strike (What To Expect When You’re Expecting didn’t mention anything about the best way to remove sawdust from the baby’s hair – then again, maybe we’ve discovered a powerful new weapon against cradle cap). I also had a boobs-out close call with the breast pump one Sunday afternoon when our contractor dropped by unexpectedly with a cabinetry specialist.
The past week, featuring the arrival of the sheetrock team, has been particularly entertaining. The guy who brought the materials over (we’ll call him The Lifter) was not, shall we say, the most cerebral sort.
He arrived just as I was putting Lorelei in her bouncy seat on the kitchen counter so I could scarf down a quick bit of lunch – a piece of defrosted wedding cake left over from our one-year anniversary a few days prior (and no, the irony was not lost on me) – before feeding her.
Lorelei was giving me a decidedly dirty look – I may not be eating solid food yet, but I know you’re eating right now and I’m not, bad mommy – that quickly devolved into full-blown screaming. Over the din, I heard a noise at the front door. A large man was enthusiastically and repeatedly tugging on our old doorbell handle, having mistaken it for the doorknob. It’s a common mistake, but one that most people rectify fairly quickly. This man was not most people.
“Can I help you?” I asked, pushing the door open from the inside. He looked surprised and gave the doorbell handle one final, vigorous tug before letting it go.
“Uh, can you move this silver car here so that we can back into the driveway?”
I figured Lorelei wasn’t going anywhere, strapped into her bouncy seat and screaming bloody murder, so I wiped the cake crumbs from my mouth, grabbed my car keys, and moved the car across the street. As I was hustling back up the front steps, The Lifter turned to me with a knowing look and said, “Um, I’m not sure, but I think your baby may be crying in there.” Supernanny, clearly, has nothing on The Lifter.
We didn’t see The Lifter again after that afternoon. He was replaced by the pair lined up to actually install the sheetrock. One had a portable radio and a passion for country music. Loud country music.
The other was highly anxious to know the whereabouts of our bathroom. I’m a little worried about him, actually. He availed himself of the facilities several times during his work here and blew through both a nearly-new roll of toilet paper and several facial tissues. I’ve started thinking of this crackerjack team as Tex and The Pooper (there’s Matt LeBlanc buddy-movie potential there, I’m sure of it).
It will be nice when the renovation is done.