My Daughter Rips Off Doorknobs And Other Ways The House Gets Destroyed

My house is falling apart.

It is falling apart all around me. Piece by piece. Rome is crumbling.

My fear is that one day I will find a screw on the floor. Before I can fully look up to see where it could have fallen from, the entire place caves in on me like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I have envisioned it many times.

For starters, some of the closets here have really weird handles. In the basement and my kids’ rooms, there are wooden doors with stiff unturning doorknobs. To open them, you literally yank on the knob. That’s weird, right? It took us a few days to figure it out.

My daughter’s room has two of them. She has since ripped the knobs from both doors.

When she told me about each one, about a year apart from each other, she had the same nonchalant delivery that she has with anything.

Oh. My door broke. When’s lunch?

So now begins the next phase. It’s the same phase we dealt with when the first knob was torn off. I will reattach it, using screws and anything else I can find. Within moments, she will rip it off again. She tears open her closet like a billionaire supervillain revealing a hidden room of golden weapons.

I am serious. The reattached knob doesn’t stand a chance. The hole of the first knob has long been covered in white tape. It sits waiting for the day I move out and screw it back in for the walk-through. Now we have number two to sit by his side.

Not all the household destruction issues are purely house issues. My son, as I’ve mentioned in the past, sleeps like a tornado His bed shifts all over the place and his pillows go flying through the air like the movie version of a sorority pillow fight. I sometimes look in and find him sleeping diagonally with the mattress slowly sliding from the boxspring.

bed ipad

Since we moved here, I have been steadily finding nuts and bolts under his bed. I doubt he’s sneaking them in for the tool fairy under his pillow, so the natural assumption is that it’s the bed. It’s slowly coming undone. There are only so many pieces it can hold, right?

Wrong. There are an infinite number of pieces because I have been picking up nuts and bolts since the day we moved in and it’s still standing there. I don’t know if it’s haunted or what, but it barely wobbles. Yet, it has been vomiting out screws since early last year. Go figure.

It is reminiscent of the breakfast nook we have next to the kitchen. For years, the wooden pieces that hold the booth together kept falling down. I have tightened screws, replaced screws, used wood glue, and even switched their positions. Yet, nothing could stop my son from rhythmically kicking it under his seat during meals. I swear, I think they have a vested interest in watching the home be destroyed. Maybe I’m on a hidden camera reality show – Kids vs. House or something like that.

If that’s the case, the house is losing. There is cereal under the couch that I don’t remember ever buying and empty cups rattling in the laundry. We have torn comforters, forgotten fridge food that I was once begged to buy, and shoes everywhere. Sometimes, when my son takes off his sneakers after school, he’ll put his socks in the sink. That’s a fun one to realize after dinner. I guess they figure that in the game of house-wrecking, every little bit counts.


Do you want to know a secret, though? As annoying as it all is, I love it. I love being a dad and these past few years have shown me that. Since my divorce, having the kids for only half the week is like having two versions of myself.

When the kids aren’t here, things go by passively. Laundry is always running but rarely put away. If no one is coming over, there are baskets everywhere and rooms awaiting a cleaning. It is a perpetual state of limbo where time doesn’t matter. I feel energetic and kind of bored.

As soon as they come back, I am Dad again. I am always moving and always doing dad things. Whether I am preparing a meal, doing an emergency laundry load, making a desperate Amazon Fresh order, or even just balancing bedtime for my son at night while finding time to watch TV with my daughter, my work is seemingly always demanding I move forward.

On those days, I feel my age. I’m exhausted. I don’t have time to be bored. I blink and it’s 10:00 at night. I blink again and I’m waking up on the couch six hours later.

And I never feel more important than I do then. These little people need me and will continue to forever, albeit at varying degrees. That’s not a problem for me. I was born to be a dad and getting to live life with days away from that responsibility only hammers the point home.

Keep ripping off those doorknobs, kid. It just proves that we’re both pretty strong people.



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