“Anyone Can Do It” by Tracy Winslow

This story appears in the anthology “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Home Improvement.” 

“Anyone can do it!” they said. “It’s so easy!” they exclaimed. “If you have a pulse, you can DO THIS!” Well I’m pretty sure I’m still breathing, although one glance in the mirror may discredit that belief. So I bought into the hype. I decided to get my craft on.

We had just closed on a new house and the girls wanted to paint their rooms. My six-year-old’s furniture looks like it passed out after a termite rave. In the few years since we purchased Lena’s big-girl bed set, she has colored and spilled on it with abandon. She has plastered it with stickers, glitter, nail polish and Bendaroos. Her awesome feats of gymnastics have sliced countless nicks into the set. A small family of fairies may have taken up residence in the bottom drawer. It was time for a furniture makeover to go with our new home.

red pin croppedI’ve never done anything like this before. So I researched the process extensively on Pinterest. After an hour of looking at hundreds of cute pictures, I was pretty much an expert. I went to the hardware store and impressed the clerk with my infinite knowledge of the process. “Um, I need some pinky colors and stuff to paint with, ya know?” I left armed with about $7,000 in paint paraphernalia and one tiny quart of paint called “Unrequited Love Pink.”

When I got home, it was go time. I spread out the dropcloth, which was actually a giant trash bag. I began with one of Lena’s drawers. Because priming wood was for amateurs, I dove right in. One coat and I clearly saw that yes-anyone-can-do-this glow. And then the kids showed up.

“What are you doing with my stuff, Mommy?” Lena asked, eating a candy treat.

“I’m painting this for your new room. Isn’t it pretty?”nerds

Lena came over to investigate more closely. As she leaned over, she accidently poured her Texas-sized box of candy Nerds into the $20 quart of paint. “Oops,” was all she said.

If you’ve ever painted with Nerds, you know this is not a task for novices. Thankfully, I had all that Pinteresting under my belt. So I mixed those little bastards right in and slogged through it. Unrequited Love Pink soon became Tainted Love, still pink but with a hint of Nerdy goodness. I can do this. This is easy, I kept telling myself.

All the commotion drew the attention of our two-year-old daughter Emmeline and our puppy, Loki. Crap. Please be good, please be good.

Realizing there was free Nerds candy to be had, Emmeline started fighting with Loki for the Nerds shrapnel on the ground, those stragglers that failed to make it into the can of expensive Benjamin Moore paint. Then the two turned their attention to the candy in the paint, both in the can and on the furniture. Lena joined in the fun. A flurry of motherly warnings ensued, only a few I can actually list here:

“Don’t eat that! There’s paint on it!”

“Oh, my God! Get your face out of the paint can, Loki!”

“Stop touching the drawers! They’re wet. No, you can’t eat the chunks off the side of it!”

“Loki! Holy cow. DON’T LICK THE DRAWERS!”

“Yes, I know the drawers are bumpy. It’s YOUR NERDS that you dropped in the paint! No, you can’t pick them off!”

I found myself in prayer: Dear God, this was supposed to be easy. Maybe I don’t actually have a pulse. No. I’m pretty sure I do, because the vein on my forehead is dancing the mambo.

Four hours, two pink kids and one pink dog later, only one measly set of drawers was painted. I looked at all the rest of the crap that I still needed to tackle and felt a little bit light-headed.

Back to Pinterest to research how to keep my kids and dog at bay. Wait! Hmm . . . what’s this? It’s so cute and would be so easy to do. How hard would it be to build a chicken coop?

HomeImprove 250_RGBTracy Winslow is a SAHM trying not to raise a flock of assholes. Besides crafting cocktails with Zoloft, Tracy can be found cursing, crying into her coffee over her stretch marks and Ouija-boarding her deceased metabolism. When she’s not wrangling children and small animals, she is blogging at http://www.momaical.com.

Again, this story appears in “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Home Improvement.” The book is filled with 65 very funny stories by do-it-yourselfers. Purchase this book today from your favorite retailer, Amazon (http://amzn.to/Hm66pb) or Barnes & Noble (http://bit.ly/1w5gLvO).

To submit your stories for consideration in future NYMB titles, go to http://www.PublishingSyndicate.com and click on the “Not Your Mother’s Book” tab.