My husband has been working very hard doing physical labor laying tile in a gym. He comes home physically exhausted. And I have had no alone-time since they started the job a couple weeks ago. I am exhausted too. And he is very nice and understanding. But I don’t think he understands. (Just like I am understanding, but I don’t understand.) I mean, I’m not schlepping around bags of grout or heavy tiles or whatever. So why am I so tired? So today I thought about it. And I decided to write this. This is a day of work if my husband worked with our children:
“Ok guys! Let’s start tiling. We have a deadline to meet, so let’s get it done!”
You give Stevo the task of laying the tile and Bob gets to grout. You are going to measure and cut the tile. Things are going smoothly and then… “Bob! What’s in your mouth?” Bob is eating grout. “No Bob! Don’t eat the grout!” You take the grout out of Bob’s mouth and return to measuring tile.
Stevo calls you over: “Hey!”
“Hey. Look at this tile.”
“I see the tile Stevo. Thanks.”
Back to measuring.
“This tile is blue.”
“Sure is,” you answer. Back to measuring.
Through gritted teeth: “Yes Stevo?”
“Look at this blue tile.”
“Oh my gosh!! Just lay the tile, Stevo? OK?” You half yell.
Stevo is crying because you got mad.
You decide to ignore Stevo.
Stop talking please for the love of everything.
“Bob is eating grout,” points out Stevo, matter of factly.
Sure enough, Bob has a mouth full of grout again. You run to Bob and clean out his mouth. Maybe Bob needs a little more one-on-one attention. You get down with Bob to show him how to grout without eating the grout.
Stevo notices this and comes over. “I want to grout.”
“Bob is grouting. You get to lay the tile,” you respond.
“But I want to grout,” says Stevo. Fine. You can both grout. You demonstrate how to grout and leave them to it. You need to measure some tile or this will never get done.
30 seconds later… Stevo and Bob are fighting over the grout. Stevo hits Bob and Bob throws grout at Stevo and begins to cry. You separate them and go to use the bathroom. You need a minute to regain your composure.
You start to relieve yourself when… here comes Stevo. “Are you going to the bathroom?”
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
Funny. You didn’t have to go until I went. “You’ll have to wait,” you respond.
“I can’t wait! I have to go right now!!” yells Stevo.
You cut your bathroom time short and let Stevo go. You need to check on Bob’s progress anyway.
You walk into the room to see Bob sitting on a pile of grout. Tiles are flung everywhere. Some are broken. It looks like a tornado exploded in the room. Yes. An Exploding Tornado… named Bob.
“What happened?!” you yell. Bob says nothing… because he has a mouth full of grout. You take away the grout and Bob screams. How dare you! Can’t you see that he was eating that?!
Stevo returns: “I’m hungry.”
Good. This would be a good stopping point to eat lunch. Maybe you just need to refuel. Maybe that’s why Bob keeps eating grout. You make a trip to the local McDonalds. Stevo wants a hamburger and you get Bob some chicken nuggets. You get yourself some nuggets too.
You hand Stevo the hamburger. “I don’t want this.”
That’s funny, you think. That’s what you ordered.
“I want chicken nuggets.”
“Well those are Bob’s chicken nuggets,” you point out. “You ordered a hamburger.”
Stevo yells and cries and throws a tantrum. You just want him to stop. You give him some of your nuggets. Bob throws his food on the floor. He wants your fries. Stevo wants your fries too. You forfeit your fries and go stand in a corner… by yourself… in quiet. After 7 minutes, you return to see Bob wiping ketchup in his hair. What is up with this guy?
Lunch is over. Back to the job. You enlist Bob and Stevo to help you pick up the broken tile and spilled grout, but they keep getting distracted. After telling them to help 40 times, you just clean it up yourself. Whatever.
Time for a pep talk. “Look guys. I know this seems hopeless. And this place is worse than when we arrived, but I think we can turn it around! We just need to focus!”
Stevo seems on-board. Bob is sleeping.
You check to make sure he is actually sleeping and didn’t just choke on grout. Oh good… he’s sleeping. Thank goodness. Let Bob sleep.
You go to cut some tile. Stevo is laying tile… or not.. it doesn’t matter as long as he’s leaving you alone.
You haven’t heard from Stevo in a while, so you go to check on him aaand-
Stevo is naked. Why is Stevo naked? Is this really my life?
You tell Stevo to put his clothes back on and leave him to it.
2 minutes later, you hear Stevo waking up Bob!! What the crap?! Don’t wake up Bob!!
To your surprise, they don’t fight. They actually start working together. You busy yourself with your work.
A glorious half hour later you check on their progress. Now Stevo is sleeping and Bob is eating grout again. You lock yourself and Bob in a room without grout and just wait for Stevo to wake up.
Two hours later Stevo awakes and it’s quitting time! You look at your progress.
There is none.
But both Stevo and Bob are alive. And there’s always tomorrow.
The end. While I wrote this, my children destroyed 2 rooms. True story.