I wondered how Chip and Joanna Gaines would handle this?

Because I’ve seen lots of renovation shows. But never a hostile one.

“No, not my dresser!” said the boy, his eyes welling with tears.

And that’s what our little fixer upper project was quickly turning into. A hostile, sell-my-very-special dresser sort of family fun weekend.

“I thought you wanted this?” I said to the child.

A fresh coat of paint. An updated room. “Goodbye, Batman garbage can, Hello… well, anything besides a Batman garbage can.”

I had no idea the kid had such a tender spot for his dresser. The dumpy old thing with the drawers perpetually hanging agape as if vomiting pants and shirts down its front. The same one with the wonky runners and loose knobs.

The boy shrugged his shoulders in one of those moments that you were quite certain would be discussed years from now in counselling.

Joanna would have pulled a cupcake from her purse and said something heartwarming. I just kind of growled.

“Do you want to keep it? Because if you want to keep it, we can keep it,” I said, knowing such a turn in events would put me in a bit of a pickle with the woman driving over at that moment to load the thing into her minivan.

Hubby meanwhile was straight up losing his mind looking for Allen wrenches, a very elusive tool in our home and one apparently needed to take apart a bunk bed.

I felt suddenly awful. It was the end of something, and maybe my boy realized it before I did. Yes, it was just a bunk bed and dresser, but it symbolized something more. Change. Growing up.

And it quickly became apparent it wasn’t just the dresser he was going to have trouble parting with. It was that Batman garbage can too. And the delicate snake skins. And bird feathers. The chunk of Ivory soap he carved into a wolf head. And …

“No, don’t throw away that!”

“It is a melted soda bottle!” I rebutteled.

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“Yeah, but I melted it in the backyard with Josh. It is special.”

Even office supplies were not safe from the 12-year-old’s sentiment. A pencil case filled with fresh No. 2s was off limits as well — “Those are my triangle pencils. It took me a whole year to collect those in the fifth grade. Those are very sentimental.”

And rocks. For the love of all that’s holy, did we have rocks. Big rocks. Little rocks. All special. All heavy.

“What are you throwing away?” jumped the boy.

“It is a gum wrapper!” I jumped back.

“OK, that’s fine,” he said, as if giving me a big win.

The gal showed up for the bed and dresser.

I ushered the boy into the other room and closed the door and promised that his new room would have lots of new shelf space for rocks and snake skins.

Then we loaded the bunk bed into the lady’s van.

But, I asked her to leave the dresser.

The one with the wonky runners and loose knobs.

Holding a melted soda bottle.

I am not sure if that is what Joanna would have done or not.

But what I do know is, when that boy moves out one day, he is taking that stupid dresser with him.

Martha Petteys writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her petteyshome@gmail.com or visit her on Facebook.


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