Real Estate Dad’s trip couldn’t be avoided. Neither could my total loss of control. I know what you’re thinking. “They are 2 and 4, how bad can they be?” But then I’ll laugh. A long, maniacal laugh. The wrath of the terror twins knows no bounds.

Hour 6 after Real Estate Dad’s departure, when we had spent 45 minutes in the car,  an hour at the trampoline park and then met a friend and her son for lunch.  They should have been exhausted. But exactly 3 children were running through the restaurant chasing each other and exactly 2 mortified mothers were chasing them back to their seats. A 45 minute ride home, and I went upstairs to put laundry away. Again, they SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. M comes upstairs giggling.

“Chubs flushed a banana down the toilet.”

Let’s say I didn’t find this too amusing. Chubs has kept Roto Rooter in business since the day she was born. Her piece de la resistance was when she flushed something that caused a main line blockage. Water backed up in the showers and the other, non-clogged toilets overflowed like some horror movie.

We own a 1930’s rowhome in DC. It’s like most every other rowhome in DC with 3 bedrooms upstairs, one of which is tiny. We’ve been using it for Chubs’s room since she refuses to leave the crib. But several months ago I got the brilliant idea to double the girls up and make the small bedroom into the playroom. But, first we had to finish our closet renovation in the master bedroom because our clothes were all over the 2nd bed in M’s room.

I expected the closet would be done in a couple days.

Our contractor said he could be done in a couple days.

It took 12 weeks. Three words: Special. Sized. Doors. We had to wait for that order to arrive.

I also ordered shaker style radiator covers for the girls bedroom and the playroom so I don’t have to look at the ugly radiators in their rooms anymore. Those also had to be custom made, so we waited a couple months for those as well.

Then it was time to paint the room. I was going for a pink/purple girl theme but I made one fatal error. I brought a child with me to Home Depot. And no, not just any child, I brought 4 year old M. Anywhere we go, she finds something that we must buy for her. You could set her loose in a prison and I guarantee she will find something she wants me to buy for her.

That, my friends, is how we left Home Depot with orange and turquoise paint.

Real Estate Dad: What exactly am I supposed to do with this?
Me: Put it on the walls.
Real Estate Dad: It’s so…..bright.
Me: That’s what the girls wanted. I read something in that pile of crappy-but-somehow-5-star-rated parenting books about choosing your battles. I chose to lose this battle.

Real Estate Dad painted the walls in a weekend. Making progress!

Then we had to deal with the trim. Sand. Patch. Sand. Prime. Prime again. Paint. That took another 10 days because we did it ourselves because we’re clearly idiots.

Next is the carpet. We thought about doing wall to wall but decided to use a place that will cut it to order and seam the edges. We used them for the girl’s bedroom carpet and loved it, so I emailed my contact.  Through a series of missteps on their part, a.k.a. “dropping the ball,” (a.k.a. they kept forgetting about me) it actually took close to a month from the time I requested samples to the time they arrived.  After all my calls, begging, nagging and pleading, the samples finally showed up!

I took them out of the package and put them on the floor. They were all really similar in color and pile and it was hard to tell the difference. M wanted to pick one so I said okay and turned around to pour myself some tea. Had I known what was about to happen I would have spiked my tea. With battery acid.

I turned around to see Chubs sitting on the floor with 5 carpet samples in her lap and the 5 identifying labels stuck all over the floor and cabinets.

I screamed “NOOOO” so loud that Chubs started to cry and then M started up her usual nightly entertainment.  Though not just the dancing, I was treated to singing, and she sang an awesome song.

“All the single legs, all the single legs, all the single legs, all the single legs, if you like it you better put a ring on it, all the single legs, all the single legs….”

Then she danced her way through the living room, letting out squeaky stinkers as she passed. And I doubled over in laughter because it was all I could do.

Moral of the story: No! No matter what you see on HGTV, you absolutely do not want to renovate your own house. And should you decide to ignore my advice and buy a house to renovate, you absolutely should not be living there while said renovation occurs.  And should you decide to ignore this and live there while the renovation occurs, do not, under any circumstances, allow any children to live with you during the renovations.