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Palm Coast Thursday, Sep. 17, 2020 1 year ago

Kitchen remodeling, toddler wisdom

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2-year-old Luke seemed the least helpful, but he saved the day in the end.
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

Painting walls and replacing flooring throughout the house has been a true family effort. (It’s not done yet.)

Luke, 2, is the one who seems to be the least helpful. While the older kids can bring in supplies and help cut vinyl plank pieces, Luke wanders around, pushing buttons on the printer and scouring the pantry for lollipops.

“Where’s Luke?” is the constant refrain. “How did he get another lollipop?!”

During one home-improvement session, my 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy, took some initiative. She pointed to an outlet cover in the family room and asked, “Does this need to be taken off?”

I said that it did, and she produced, from behind her back, a screwdriver. “Good thing I have this in my hand,” she said with a grin.

While my wife, Hailey, was at the store, we also wrestled apart the sectional couch. I ended up turning two stubborn sections upside down before they would separate. The carpet under underneath was not pretty.

“Look at all this crap,” Kennedy said, pointing to the piles of coins, pacifiers and socks that had been lost between the cushions over the years.

“Hey,” I said, “don’t call our stuff crap.”

“Well, it is crap,” she said.

There were necklaces and doll heads. There were forks. We found the “poison” card from Clue.

I texted a photo of the pile to Hailey, and she responded: “Oh my!”

We got everything cleaned up and painted, and the flooring was laid down. It felt great for a while.

Then we noticed some water on the new flooring in the kitchen. Wipe it up, no big deal, right?

As Donald Trump once said, “Wrong.”

The water kept reappearing, and we learned that a pipe had leaked in the island sink, and water was bubbling up from the seams of our brand new vinyl planks.

We cut out a piece of the flooring and set up a fan, hoping it would dry overnight. Very discouraging. I gave up for the night.

It was Luke who helped brighten my mood.

I brought him to the bath tub and turned on the faucet. He started clapping and said, “Good job!”

Then I helped him take off his shirt, and he said again, “Good job!”

When I think of everything going wrong in life, I hope I can hear that high-pitched 2-year-old voice in my mind, drawing my attention to the things that are going well: Good job! Good job! Good job!

Brian McMillan has been editor of the Palm Coast Observer since it began in 2010. He was named the Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in North America by the Local Media Association in 2012. He lives in Palm Coast with his wife and five children. Email...

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