I fixed the shower wall that no one broke.
That’s right. You heard me. I. Fixed. It.
I’ve always wanted to be a HANDY person. In reality, I’m just not all that handy. What I am is impatient and lazy. You know how when you put together chocolate and peanut butter, it’s a great combination called a Reese’s cup? When you put together impatient and lazy, it’s a great combination we’ll euphemistically call RESOURCEFUL.
I am ALL KINDS of resourceful. You betcha.
The children have been showering in my bathroom, and it’s been a great reminder for me about why I feel that a master bathroom is my God-given right as a mortgage-paying adult. I would rather live in a house one quarter the size of my current one and still have my own bathroom than in a house twice this size where I have to share one with the children.
For starters, they leave a trail of dirty laundry through my room on their way; then they forget their towels and shout for me to fetch them. Once actually IN the shower, they are incapable of arranging the shower curtain so that water doesn’t get all over the floor, nor can they actually reach any of the cleaning items they need. The end result is that I have to stand there and supervise.
[I pull the curtain closed. I open the curtain and fetch the shampoo from the shelf. I close the curtain. I open the curtain and hand over the soap. I close the curtain. I bang my head on the wall for a while. I open the curtain and give the child a towel. Then I cap it all off with a warm fuzzy “STOP GETTING WATER ALL OVER THE FLOOR! DRY OFF! DRY OFF!!”]
My motivation to repair the shower was running pretty high, is what I’m telling you.
So yesterday, I assessed the damage. I peeled away several layers of ancient caulk and examined the fault lines along the afflicted tiles and I realized something that it pains me to admit.
My kids didn’t break it.
Oh, sure; they pulled on it or something and caused it to come off the wall, yes. But AAAAAAAAAALL that caulk that had been there before? The places where the tiles were cracked? It was a pre-existing injury. I had often wondered why anyone would use half a tube of caulking around a soap dish. Now I know: it’s handy for covering up cracks!
I thought about replacing all of the tiles in the affected area. I thought about going to Home Despot and getting all the necessary supplies, and whether or not they would even have such lovely puke green tiles available to match my extremely modern bathroom (ahem). I thought about all of these things.
And then I grabbed my trusty tube of Liquid Nails (it says RIGHT THERE that it’s recommended for wall tiles!) and I glued my little heart out.
Cracked tiles? Glued along the crack. Tiles off the wall? Glued back onto the wall. Voila!
The problem came when it was time to LET GO and resume the rest of my life. There was no adequate way to clamp the soap dish (clamp it to what?), which still wanted to fall off the wall. After a few failed experiments and a lot of fancy maneuvering on my part (as I was kneeling in the bathtub, pressing the soap dish into the wall), I had a fancy makeshift clamp in place. That would be one bottle of shampoo wedged between the bottom of the soap dish and the lip of the tub, with some assistance from a wadded up washcloth.
That was yesterday. Today, I removed the washcloth and shampoo bottle and THE SOAP DISH STAYED ON THE WALL. As did the surrounding tiles. Which made my heart sing a happy little tune along the lines of “You damn kids get out of my bathroom now! Okay, thanks!” But the job was only halfway done.
I took out my trusty caulking gun (what? I totally had a caulking gun on hand, although the last time it was used was three years ago, by Otto, actually, though that’s another story entirely) and proceeded to coat every available surface with caulk. There was a lot of caulk on it BEFORE, true, but really I feel that the previous owners could’ve gone further if they’d been truly committed to EMBRACING the HORROR.
My arms were open, baby. I just kept adding caulk and smoothing it out and removing little globs and putting more on and just accepting that YES, yes this IS a metric buttload of caulking. WHAT OF IT? My caulk is loud and proud and, um, hopefully will keep the soap dish on the wall.
And, you know, I’ve totally got the bonus french manicure look going on now, too, so it’s all good.
One more night, and then my bathroom is MINE again. The children are being returned to their shower with very simple instructions: Don’t. Touch. ANYTHING.