Bad Ideas

I have had a few bad ideas lately. Of course, they seem like good ideas at the time but somehow during the implementation phase of my idea something goes wrong. For me, it almost always involves Vivi melting down because I try to do one more errand, make one more call, or start one more project when she really needs my attention. Doesn't this point to the universal question all parents grapple with: How do I respect and honor the needs of my child and still get something done?

Well, my bad ideas reached a whole new level of insanity this past weekend when I got it into my head that it was time to paint our kitchen. To put this project into perspective, I should tell you when I moved into this house three years ago, my husband already had been living here for 13 years without making any obvious changes to how the previous owners had left it. Like a dog marking her territory, I quickly got to work stripping wallpaper, painting, mixing and replacing furniture, and making this place into our home. The kitchen was the last of these projects and oh boy, did it need it. (Even though my artist friend Beth described it as "retro cool.")

Of course, when we did all of the other projects in the house we did not have a toddler and what a difference that makes. My great idea quickly spiraled out of control when we realized that one of us would need to keep her occupied while the other worked. We hired a babysitter for a few hours but what I expected could get done in a day stretched into four. At one point, Vivi stood in the doorway leading to the kitchen and said, "Vivi no go in dare. Mama makin' really BIIIIIIG mess." We were all tired, dirty, cranky, and subsisting on take-out that we were eating in our backyard.

We finished last night and does it look better? Yes. Was it worth it? Ask me in a couple of weeks when the memory of the project fades.


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