Our kitchen is beginning to resemble a kitchen again. Granted, the odd slope of the cockeyed counter and the gaping space beneath the sink make it oddly reminiscent of the break room at the Delftree Factory where I toiled as a carpenter for the Williamstown Theatre Festival so many years ago, only now instead of chain smoking I am popping banana peppers like it’s my job.

The girls have loved every stage of the renovations, from watching mom and dad tear the walls down, “Mama, are you ‘uh-posed to break da walls?” to being carried through the room to protect their feet from the mercilessly splinter throwing floors. Today we celebrated a milestone of sorts with more fresh hardwood floor being laid than not. The threshold from the living room to the dining room has been done for a few days now, but the girls still make Krameresque entrances to and fro as they struggle to adapt to the sudden change from berber to oak. The sound of their palms slapping explosively against the wide planks has become just another element in the soundtrack of life here.

Last night Briar brought her princess tiles out and created a small line that helped bridge the gap between old floor and new. Tonight, admiring the wide expanse of shiny floor, she reconfigured her line to create a dance floor. A 33″ x 44″ dance floor. Not exactly roomy, but she and Avery had the time of their lives spinning and collapsing loudly onto the wood floor on either side.

Later, after dinner at the table which we’ve been without for so long that Briar said, “I love this party,” Sean was doing the dishes and I was leaning against the wall clucking about what a lucky woman I am, we heard a horrifying clatter. Behind a cabinet that has served as a makeshift pantry, moving from one part of the kitchen to the next as progress dictated, we saw a sudden rush of coins and porcelain and then a pudgy hand.

Avery had made her now familiar entrance, catching air as she tripped, sailing into the room and landing belly flop style on the floor, only this time her piggy bank proceeded her and made the entrance to end all entrances (literally) upon the hardwood floor. Aside from a little cut and a bruised ego, Avery was fine. The pig though, well, she was unable to be resuscitated (Sorry Deb!).

I suspect the pig will not be the last victim to shatter upon the floor, nor will the dents she left stay lonely for long, but tonight, wounds bandaged and coins stowed away, we are loving the floors and the way the girls continue to find delight in something as simple as wood*.

* I have pledged to Sean that I will stop with the wicked humor…I almost did him in tonight. Briar was dancing in her “humungous princess party dress” when i asked her to get ready for bed. She pulled the dress partway down and was delighted by how it sat perfectly on her hips. “I’m gonna show Daddy.”

“Ok, honey. Tell him you’re topless.”

I listened to her feet smack against the floor as she ran.

Briar: “Daddy, daddy, look, I’m a top ness.”

Sean: “What?”

B: “I’m a toppen ness.”

S: “What did you say Briar?”

B: “Daddy, look, I’m toppem ness.”

S: “Topless?”

B: “Yes! I’m topless!”

S: “Did mommy tell you to say that?”

B: “Yup she did. I’m topless.”

This was followed by the rapid patter of her feet again and some of the deepest belly laughing I have done in a while. Once I composed myself I nodded that I’d stop, then I felt the kick of another little girlie foot inside and I started laughing all over again.