Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Properly, this post should go on Voodoo Bungalow, which is the receptacle of my non-mommy thoughts, more or less. You see, we are in desperate need of some remodeling around here. It's been five years since we entered the precious bungalow of the elderly couple who had lived here since the house was built, with our deposit check in hand, convinced (rightly) that we'd found our home. We talked in bed late at night about getting rid of the white petticoat-like curtains in the front rooms (check), about painting over the hospital yellow walls (check), about removing the craaaazy light fixtures (hmmm, sort of check), about lighting the floral valences on fire (check). And now we've just signed another five-year mortgage term and have buckled down to our aesthetic responsibility of demolishing the tragic kitchen and entering the 1990s, at the very least.


The Kid.

He lurves the linoleum, the dingy and sad beige linoleum. Its squares are just like the stepping stones that Indiana Jones has to tread so very carefully in a variety of booby-trapped temples across the globe.

He lurves the refrigerator. The refrigerator that chirps and sighs, piddles and moos all night long and that sticks out 6 inches from its niche.

He lurves the retarded countertop that sticks out of nowhere, eats up space and fails to supply even one inch of storage space. He particularly loves the plastic corner guard that I tacked up to prevent him from bumping the top of his head, the guard that now hits him squarely mid-chest. It is also sacred and must not be moved.

He lurves the wacky mitered oak valence above the kitchen sink that screams "key party!" to all the ghosts of ladies in caftans.

He cherishes the inappropriate red paint that I slapped over every visible wall surface in there over teh course of a frenzied half hour one day while going a little insane from all the nursing and writing and nursing and writing and making dinner and nursing and writing. And the nursing. It reminds him of milk, I suppose, while it reminds me of all those rest-cure short stories we were forced to read in college.

He adores the stair well separator that is also made of mitered oak. The one that says "this way to shag rug of an unconscionable color" (and thank GOD for the flood of 2004 that forced our hand on the matter of the entire basement).


Loves it.

The yellow metal pantry doors?

Loves them.

The maple cabinetry with ornate (wait for it) mitering?


Yesterday, when interviewing a renovator, I asked him how much he could accomplish between the hours of 8.15 on a Wednesday, when Kid goes to school, and 5.30 when he returns from karate. Could he get the whole thing done then, so I could present the kitchen renovation as a fait accompli?

He thought I wanted to pull a fast one on my husband and told me that he couldn't get involved in anything like that. When I explained that I wanted to pull a fast one on my six-year-old, he gave me a pitying "there, there, crazy lady" stare and told me that it would take at least 10 days. Given the extent of what needed to occur.

So we've scheduled our kitchen renovation for July 5-11, 2010, when, God willing, Kid will be at wilderness camp learning to climb mountains, scoot through rapids, tend to snakebite, etc. If it runs behind, we're holding Week 2 in reserve--that would be scat identification, spelunking and horsemanship. His splashy wilderness camp will cost us more than the kitchen renovation--rapid scooting knowledge does not come cheaply---but it is obviously the kindest solution for all involved.

As I am writing this, the fridge is piddling and mooing forlornly, as though it knew what I was plotting. If it tells Kid, I will freaking PULL ITS PLUG.


  1. Your finest piece.

    My kids loved a dead truck full of squirrels. Sometimes the weirdest things anchor them. Rest assured, he will get over it. Especially if, when he gets home from camp, there is one drawer just for him to put things. And the first time he opens it there is candy, cash, and legos.

  2. I've read this post twice. You have a way with words that is simultaneously sardonic and truthful. That's how much I like it. Very nicely done.

  3. Children are aesthetically shallow. Did my two appreciate today's road trip to Romney, WV, where there are nearly twenty well preserved houses from the reign of Queen Anne? No. While I was taking in the double chimneys and the oak beams, they wanted the giant inflatable Santa on the lawn of some nasty vinyl covered bungalow.