the sweat equity challenge, week 2

welcome to the mommy cave

Admit it. You didn’t think I would actually keep up my own challenge to myself. But I did. In spite of the fact that I had the kids this weekend, and that they were determined to help, and that the project I had in mind (again) involved paint, we got it done.

The room affectionately referred to as “the playroom” doesn’t really see a lot of play time. But it does house a number of the boys’ toys. It’s nice to have a room that I can throw all their crap into the weeks that they are with their dad. But this room, in its current state, feels a little like wasted space, and I have had it in my mind that I would like to de-emphasize the “play” and enhance the prospects of this room serving as a sort of office-slash-reading-room-slash-home-office.

Step one was to weed out the broken and long-ignored toys, chucking those that don’t work and donating those ready to move on to a new household. That step of the project absolutely has to be done when the kids aren’t home because there’s nothing more likely to compel a kid to find a new favorite toy than to threaten you are giving it a new home. So I had undertaken this step a few weeks ago when weeding out toys was a better alternative to whatever else it was I should have been doing.

As for step two, if you have painted a room before then you know how time consuming it can be to prep a room. And let’s just say that these next steps (cleaning, taping, tarping, preparing tools) were made all the more painful when every ten seconds a kid asked, “can we paint now?”

But we got the room cleaned, taped and covered in a drop cloth in less time than it would have taken me to do it alone. (Jack is a master with the blue tape.) I was still a little nervous about letting them paint, but of all the rooms for them to “help” in, I figured it was this one, the one room with carpet, carpet that will (on a more ambitious day) be removed and replaced with bamboo flooring.

As it turns out, Jack is quite the master painter. He is a little heavy handed with the amount of paint he puts on his brush/roller, but then again so am I. Colin, as I suspected he would, gave up after one wall and instead focused on keeping the kittens out of the room while we worked. Everyone has to have a job.

When we were done, the kids quickly proclaimed their love for this room. Of course, at this point I had been envisioning it as sort of a mommy cave, where mommy friends and I will drink wine when our kids have co-opted the living room to watch a movie. But regardless of who is using it when, it felt good to cross another item off my to do list.

If only Jack hadn’t felt the need to cut the paint out of his hair. Next step, schedule kid haircuts.


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