This Old House

Ahhhh, isn’t living in an old house wonderful? Except when it’s not? Which is, like, most of the time?

When Derrick and I were in our newly-engaged bliss … ha, that’s hilarious! This isn’t fiction, people! Let’s try that again!

After Derrick and I got engaged in 2005, we began the arduous process of trying to find a home. Most importantly, trying to find a home that had the things we BOTH (aka, I) wanted. Derrick loves “fixer-upers.” I love new construction. This was going to be a problem.

After months of searching, we finally found a little house in Broad Ripple. Close to the Monon and parks (okay, we were young and kid-less … close to the bars and lots of fun, trendy restaurants). And, the rest is history. We have owned the same house for 7 years, and have only threatened to sell it once (we finally took it off the market when we both agreed we were the laziest home-sellers ever. Thanks to a toddler and a newborn, most requests to see the house were denied. Not helpful to potential buyers).

Anyhoo, those of you who know me know I have a real love-hate relationship with this house. Love – cottage-like feel, space for kids to play, proximity to basically everything. Hate – mice and spiders (I know, every house has them. Blah, blah, blah. It’s gross. I hate them. The critters here are on steroids), plumbing issues, finding out (all too late) that everything we want to change is “not up to code” or “covering moldy drywall” thus making each project three times what we actually budgeted.

However, my girls have discovered that an older home works VERY well to their advantage. How, you ask? A few examples:

Over the past few months, Blair has become OBSESSED with the toilet. Not using it, mind you. Just playing in the water inside. Opening and closing the lid. Pulling on that fun silver handle that makes the toilet go “Swoosh” … over, and over, and over again. You know what’s even more fun, thinks Blair? Flushing the toilet over, and over, and over again while Mommy is in the shower and can’t reach me (even though she sticks that wet hand around the shower curtain and unsuccessfully swipes at me, missing me by a good two feet, yet soaking everything else in the bathroom). AND, you know what is even MORE fun than watching soapy Mommy try to reach me? Listening to her screech when the water turns from ice cold to scalding hot each time I flush the toilet. This trick is AWE-SOME!!!! And for some reason doesn’t work when I try it in the nice, new houses my grandparents all live in!

Alright, thinks Blair, now this is boring. Plus, Mommy actually seems a little pissed and I’m pretty sure she’s the one that is making my dinner tonight. Now what am I going to do? Mommy’s locked me in here to protect me from Paige and mostly myself keep an eye on me. Let’s see, Blair ponders. This old door LOOKS latched. Let me push on it a few times, then pull. Yep. Success. See? Blair knows that just like every single door in our house, the bathroom door might click shut, but nothing really fits well so doors are super-easy to open (except the front and the back doors, potential robbers. These have been replaced and are deadbolted, chained and alarmed. So back the F off – oh, did I mention at times our neighborhood is … um, questionable? The suburbs it ain’t, folks).

Both girls now know that if something they want is behind a door, a little elbow grease will pop that thing open in seconds. Closets? Silly, Mommy. We will open those doors and TEAR SHIT UP in there before you can even round the corner and realize what we’re doing. Door to the bathroom (aka, home of the fun toilet and always entertaining toilet paper roll). Oh, Mommy. Now you’re just embarrassing yourself. You ain’t seen nuthin’ till you see how quick we can unroll this paper and stuff it all in the potty.

See,  here’s the thing about these girls. They are the loudest children you have ever met (seriously, ask around). UNTIL they are doing something they know they shouldn’t be doing. Then it’s like super-stealth ninjas have replaced my children, and they are fast little f-ers. They can get in, wreak havoc and get out before I even realize they are no longer in the same room with me.

In fact, as I re-read this, it almost seems as if I might be raising future thieves. Hmmm…

Lord, please let them be good enough to not get caught. And also to only steal the expensive stuff that will make our family rich. I mean, we all want our kids to be the best at what they do, right?

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