Baby Grand, Baby Isaiah, and the Headache that Won’t Go Away

It has been two weeks now that our bathroom (at least half of it, that is) has been gutted. And, thankfully, since my last post, much progress has been made.

Just last night, I came home and was pleased to find pretty white tiles in place, a new fan and light installed above the shower, new handles and a very high-placed shower head (Nick was very pleased), and the ceilings all patched up.

With our Cleveland baby shower/Isaiah party coming up in a little over a week, I was beginning to feel some relief off my shoulders. There’s still a lot that needs to be done, but, literally, the dust has settled, some clean-up efforts have commenced, and Nick tried out the shower and reported that the water pressure was not perfect but was definitely better than the trickling down effect we had a few weeks ago.

So, all was well and good last night that we even began to play with our newest toy: a donated baby grand piano!

About two months ago, I was approached at work by a woman who asked if I knew of anyone who would want a baby grand piano – for free – and all that needed to be covered was transportation. She didn’t lie – it was in decent shape and hadn’t been tuned in years. Of course, my ears perked up at the sound of “free,” “piano,” and “grand.”

I took piano for a few years when I was a kid and, as my father predicted that I would, now regret that I didn’t stick with it. As an adult, it would be nice to have a musical vice. However, the scale lessons and hard practice hours I put in as a child were not entirely lost. My family is a piano family. My father and sister play by ear. Nearly everyone on my father’s side can play. To say that a piano is a filipino trademark would be an understatement. Nearly every wedding, gathering, reunion, funeral, or meeting involves a bit of the piano and belting out a song or two.

And so, you can imagine my excitement when the possibility of a baby grand fell into our laps.

A few weeks later, the transaction was final and the piano is now sitting in our living room. I hired a professional piano cleaner and tuner and he affirmed what I already suspected: the piano was in “wild” shape. AKA – it hadn’t been played and/or tuned for YEARS. That kind of neglect is destructive. Imagine a piano like a living body. If you don’t go out for a run or walk or if you don’t do anything but sit in a corner eating Twinkies, you’ll be out of tune as well.

And so, the long journey of repairing our Baby Grand has begun, which is perfect timing as I sing to Isaiah, teach him chords, and fine-tune his ear for the ivory keys. Baby Isaiah, I think, is loving it.

One of the instructions left by the piano cleaner was that we had to play the piano “hard” in the next few weeks and really get the keys moving around again. I made an emergency call to my sister, asking her to come over and play for a while because I am not nearly at the level she is. Even Nick is pitching in. Now, if you can imagine NICK, who may not know a xylophone from a french horn, trying to play the piano just to get it out of its rusty stage, you can understand why I’ve been doubled over, laughing my ass off in the kitchen when he plays.

He sits and plays the keys like he is taking a type writing course and then out of nowhere, he runs his left hand from the bottom to the top of the keys as if finishing off a Bach masterpiece. Oh, my dear spouse. He is such comedy.

So, last night, after I was fiddling with the piano while Nick was huffing and puffing going up and down the steps, clearing out furniture of the soon-to-be nursery when I hear an extremely rare, “You’ve got to be shitting me!” from Nick.

My first thought, “He either found a rat or there’s another leak in the kitchen.”

The ceilings in the bathroom and kitchen HAD JUST BEEN SEALED and I was looking forward to new coat of paint and moving forward in our showering amenities.

For one moment, in all honesty, I almost preferred that he spotted a rat.

I walk into the kitchen to see my hubs staring at the ceiling and, sure enough, there were droplets plopping down onto our newly cleaned floor.

I nearly crumbled in frustration.

As if on cue (I have an emotional reaction, Nick moves into action), our contractor is called and comes right over and accesses the situation. After about 20 minutes of rooting around, he reports it can be fixed first thing in the morning, but he does need to cut out the kitchen ceiling again.

At this point, I am staring like a zombie at the television, wondering if we’ll ever get our lives back.

Even the sight of our baby grand, even the feel of Baby Isaiah kicking his disapproval couldn’t remove our frustration and disappointment of the new deadline: FRIDAY.

Remember, this entire job was supposed to be done LAST WEDNESDAY. ONE WEEK AGO.

But, at least, we are able to shower and I took my inaugural shower this morning and it is quite lovely. I would just love to be able to clean again, move our kitchen out of the dining room, and get ready for more important things.

The saga continues.