When David told me he was headed to St. Louis in June my first thought was, "I know what I am going to do for him for Father's Day!". I excitedly mapped out my master plan to give the garage an extreme makeover while he was gone. There was a minor kink in my plans when I discovered that his trip would be the week after Father's Day. I decided to go ahead with the makeover and simply wrote in his card, "Your present will be ready when you get back from St. Louis."
David appreciates a neat garage. It's his domain. Where he keeps all his tools and manly things and where his workbench is. Unfortunately the workbench has been piled under junk for awhile now. When the basement flooded in the winter of '09 we quickly threw everything we could salvage into the garage. It's never really been the same since. There was an old computer, my desk, a toy box, etc that decided to settle in nicely and never return to the basement. We had 3 old car seats and a dilapidated double stroller all stacked up in one corner.
So I got to work. To be fair, we got to work. The kids were excited to surprise Daddy and were eager to help. Of course, I didn't tell them about the surprise until after he left to avoid any innocent slip ups. The girls helped sweep the floor and all of them took little loads of stuff down to store in the basement. I even enlisted Reese to help me scoot my desk across the garage over to the door. Reese sweetly filled up 4 water bottles all on her own for us when it got so hot.
It was funny to see the kids' different reactions towards the cleaning project. Reese was really supportive and kept saying, "This looks really good Mom! Daddy is going to be so surprised! It just looks so much better!".
Drue kept coming in to survey the progress and saying, "I don't think you're going to get it done before Daddy gets back..."
And Tate didn't really have any words of encouragement/discouragement. His main concern was when he would be able to ride his big wheel in the garage.
It took a little longer than I'd anticipated. And I was a bit disapointed because in my head the finished project was supposed to look like something straight off HGTV. I even picked out a nice light shade of gray paint to spruce up the walls with. The unopened can is still sitting in the garage. I never got around to painting. I didn't beat myself up too much because I realize the HGTV shows have a whole crew helping them and they don't have 3 little ones to keep track of and feed and take to the pool and feed again.
David was surprised when he pulled in tonight. He thought he was at the wrong house. The garage and I have now bonded. I know where stuff is and I don't trip over things on my way into the house. I am going to think twice before I clean out the van and toss a trash bag full of toys, clothes, cups, etc into the garage to sit indefinitely. Before I didn't really care much about it. But now I am invested. And I want to keep it tidy. A similar feeling I get after I just finish cleaning the kitchen only to go in 5 minutes later to find a dirty dish in the sink and cereal spilled all over the counter. Drives. Me. Batty.
And, yes, our garage floor is even clean enough to eat off of. At least Tate thought so...as he swiftly picked up his cereal and shoved it in his mouth after a few bites had fallen out of his cup.