Allow enthusiastic daughter to begin painting walls before drop cloth fully spread. No harm, no foul, the carpet is going anyway.
Attempt to paint intersection of wall and ceiling.
Observe blue streaks on white ceiling. Remember you should have taped the intersection of wall and ceiling.
Tape ceiling at top of wall with half-inch tape purchased at hardware store. Find and apply two-year-old, one-and-a-half-inch blue tape over half-inch tape.
Observe more blue streaks on white ceiling.
Return to hardware store. Purchase wider, green tape. Apply wider tape over two layers of narrower tape.
Complete walls. Step back and gaze with premature self-satisfaction.
Look up. Notice blue streaks and spatters on white ceiling just beyond tape.
Locate two-year-old white interior paint in basement closet.
Stab meaty part of hand while prying open with screwdriver.
Wash and dress wound. Finish prying open old can of white paint. Watch rusty bits fall into paint. Stir anyway.
Use three-inch wide roller to cover blue streaks and splatters on white ceiling with old paint containing rusty bits. Attempt to create neat, squared-off border of not-quite-matching-white-paint-with-rusty-bits.
Realize another coat is necessary to cover blue streaks. Exhausted, pledge to do in the morning, before carpet guys come.
Awaken to call at 8:40 am. Carpet guys will be here in 20 minutes. Oops.
Thrill to installation of new carpet. Looks great.
Notice visibly uneven white paint streaks, not matching rest of ceiling, veering off from the edges of the ceiling into horse-tail wisps moving toward light fixture at center of ceiling.
Take old white paint with rusty bits downstairs, use up all kitty litter absorbing it, and toss it in garbage in frustration.
Return to hardware store. Purchase ceiling paint, new rollers and thicker drop cloth to protect new carpet.
Realize you threw away paint tray and disposable liner along with kitty-litter filled rusty-bits old white paint.
Return to hardware store. Purchase new tray and new liner. Add new brush and small roller too, just in case. Ha.
Also purchase long roller extender pole.
Spread new drop cloth. Use long pole extender to complete ceiling. Look up with premature self-satisfaction.
Look down at walls. Notice white streaks and white drip splatters on blue walls.
Frantically attempt to wipe of white streaks and spatters with damp paper towels, with mixed success.
Retrieve small amount of leftover blue paint from basement. Remove new paint liner with not-quite-dry ceiling paint residue from paint tray. Pour blue paint directly into metal tray.
Paint over white streaks and spatters on blue wall. Step back to admire with premature self-satisfaction. Done.
Carefully fold slightly too-small drop cloth.
What are those two semi-circle marks new carpet? Flaws in carpet, right? Not? Drop cloth not as absorbent as claimed? Decide new chair and ottoman will cover vague semi-circle-shaped, possible-paint-stains on new carpet.
Sigh. Peel three layers of tape from top of wall. Miraculously, all come off easily and together. Walls look good.
Sweating, frizzy and lipstickless, in violation of every middle-aged woman rule imaginable, help FedEx guy who is delivering new chair, ottoman and desk.
Solve physics problem of getting large new chair and ottoman up narrow stairs and through narrow door.
Praise daughter lavishly for very effective help in getting masses of cardboard, plastic and Styrofoam outside for recycling.
Retrieve bits of Styrofoam blowing over neighbors’ yard. Cram into garbage bin. Collection tomorrow morning, no harm, no foul.
Next, solve weight-lifting problem of heavy box-o-desk.
Realize box must be lifted up the stairs one step at a time, as it will not slide up.
Miraculously, get heavy box upstairs, not pulling anything or otherwise injuring self. Apparently. (See how it feels tomorrow.)
Open box containing desk.
Hold back tears upon observing level of assembly required: number of desk pieces, screws, pegs, and little cam-lock thingees that come with every Chinese-made piece of furniture, along with yet another Allen wrench.
Look on bright side. Still only 3 p.m. This sucker WILL be built before dinner.
Plod mechanically through desk assembly using inadequate diagram.
Miraculously, assemble correctly first try.
Except, what was the glue for? Was I supposed to glue the wood pegs in? Feh. Humidity will take care of that.
Place desk. Admire with premature satisfaction.
Realize the one electrical outlet in room is on the wall opposite the only logical place to place the desk.
Discover the only extension cord you own is 1) brown, and sticks out against lovely grey and white new carpet and 2) two-pronged, not three-pronged, which won’t work for daughter’s new laptop.
Return to hardware store. Hardware store is closed. Give up, shower, go to dinner with happy, excited daughter. Promise to set up her laptop when we get home.
Inadvertently cause meltdown at dinner by reminding daughter not to use table as plate. Curse waitress for failing to bring plate. Demand plate.
Drive home insisting we listen to my classical station all the way, rather than channel-surfing pop stations.
Utterly innocent daughter apologizes.
Tell her it’s ok. We’ll both do better next time.
VERY BAD MOTHER.
Hold back tears.
Set up daughter’s new laptop with cord plugged in to outlet in bedroom, while she waits patiently, recovered from meltdown, enjoying new chair and ottoman in newly painted computer room.
And says she LOVES it.
“We did a pretty good job, didn’t we?”
“We did an AWESOME job. I LOVE my new computer lounge. I love watching this (new computer).”
“I’m so glad, sweetie. You were an awesome helper.”
Smile, with satisfaction.
Hold back tears.
Recovering, while planning the next project,
Your loyal, devoted, flawed but hopeful,