Wednesday, February 05, 2014

My New Full Time Job

Then my son-in-law came up to me one morning. He had a concerned look about him. As I said he and my daughter had the big bedroom in the basement. Deni and I had already installed a shower downstairs so they wouldn’t need to share a bathroom with my younger sons. Sharing a bathroom with teenaged boys is not something to brag about nor ever look forward to. I took a peek in that bathroom recently and there is not a bathroom in any gas station in the worst part of any ghetto that could compete with the shear horror. I immediately slammed the door. The thing has to be demoed,walls ripped out, gutted and completely redone, but not by me! Well not the demolition and removal. That’s on the boys like all future snaking of the kitchen sink. It’s the quickest way you can train teenaged boys to never dump grease down the sink. After cramming fifty feet of snake down a filth filled drain then back again doesn’t build a hardy appetite, let me promise you that. However, the more skilled aspects of bathroom building the wife and I handle. I do all the plumbing, cutting, lifting and screwing of the cement board and I get to go outside to the rented tile cutter and get soaked with water cutting tiles for Deni. She doesn’t trust me with putting up the tiles just like her rule about me and electrical work. So she also installed the light in the shower.

As I said my son-in-law came up to me and launches into the news and his plans. Will is a real responsible person and is crazy about my daughter. She married well which didn’t appear promising judging by her first few boyfriends including the one convicted for the armed kidnapping and carjacking. “Tiree is going to have a baby. I’m looking into apartments now.” Before he could go any farther I told him to hold up a minute. I explain that they didn’t have to move but he pointed out we were out of bedrooms. Then I pointed to the big laundry area next to their bedroom. I had used the area for a number of things including as my failed workshop with electrical wiring incident that got me originally banned from doing further electrical work by Deni. “You know when Tiree was a kid when we lived in Woodbridge she had a room smaller that that area.” I explained to Will. “It seems to me it makes more sense to have you all stay here for a few more years especially with the added expenses of a baby. That way you could pack away some money to be able to afford your own place instead of throwing money down a rent hole for an apartment.” Will seemed to relax and agreed that would be a good plan as long as I didn’t mind. I assured him that I didn’t because I was looking forward to the arrival of my first grandchild. I was, in fact, really excited about it. Then Will began to explain how he was working early in the morning doing his locksmith job and Tiree was working late into the evening so they wouldn’t need daycare. I laughed to myself and knew that was a pipe dream. My daughter was a manager at Build-a-Bear which now has turned into a General Manager. She might have to go in at Five AM during the holiday season and not return home till midnight. My son-in-law also had emergency jobs all the time that kept him out late and he begins work at Six in the morning.

Though it hadn’t been but several months since leaving the Washington Post, I was wondering about what my next job would be. Will had answered that question after screwing around with my daughter. I would be granddad daycare. Sure everybody had notions of how things would be when the little one arrived. But I knew her parents were busy with work and needed daycare. I also knew I didn’t want strangers raising what I now knew would be my granddaughter thanks to ultrasound. That ultrasound picture was so clear I could already see Kylie had a very pretty face which often is not the case with babies. Well it’s true. Where did the expression, “A face only a mother could love,” come from?

Having pointed out the space for Kylie’s room in the unused part of the basement, Will contacted his brothers who both had worked in construction and some friends too. Before I could say Home Depot, Deni was on the way there with a construction material list. One morning not long after my suggestion to build a bedroom and awoke to banging. I walked downstairs to find Will, his brothers and a couple of friends framing up the room with two-by-fours. Before the end of the daylight they had the room framed with sheet rock on all the walls. I was so impressed and anxious to see the room completed that I put up the sheet rock on the ceiling the following Sunday morning. I also did most of the taping of the seams, plastering joint compound and sanding. Lots of sanding. I found an Anderson triple pane window on then used it to replace the old basement window in the new room. Finally, my daughter bought the most hideous shade of hot pink the mind could imagine might exists in some universe, for me to paint onto the walls. Her in-laws gave her a piece of carpet which I cut wall-to-wall for Kylie’s room and tack stripped it down. A crib and a few pieces of baby furniture and my granddaughter had her own room. Aside from the glowing pink paint job, it was nice - really nice. Will, his brothers and friends did a pretty good job. I didn’t do half bad either especially abiding by my no electrical prohibition. The room was decorated and ready to go with months to spare.

Tiree’s due date was the beginning of October 2010. Now all I had to do was wait to see how the next phase of my life would develop. Of course now that the room was built I could focus on my normal chores like the vegetable garden which I built the first years we where in the house. My wife thought me crazy and in hind site I don’t know but I had six pallets of construction grade bricks delivered to our house. I use them to build raised bed gardens and I used every single brick. In fact, I need to find some more bricks to finish the paths. My yard philosophy is a no grass policy. Every inch of yard must be producing food or be a pathway leading to the garden beds producing the food. Even though it was a lot of work and I’d never laid a brick before in my life, now I can sit on the raised bed garden walls and plant, weed, harvest, etc. without stooping over. Working in my garden I thought about what it would be like having my granddaughter playing in the garden. Those questions would be answered soon enough.


Blogger Vana said...

LOL Tomas teenage boys really are pigs!! when mine was a teenager I kept his bedroom door closed, it was off limits, of course if he wanted his allowance he had to clean it every Friday, it only lasted clean one day..Hahaha.

I see nanny was now added to your list of chores, congratulations on your grand baby.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Tomás Estrada-Palma said...

Thanks Vana!

5:09 PM  

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