Top 10 Rules for Replacing a Glass Window Pane Broken by Your Starving 11 Year Old Son who Thought He Was Locked Out in the Dark.

DBC DIY LOGO 150x1501 Top 10 Rules for Replacing a Glass Window Pane Broken by Your Starving 11 Year Old Son who Thought He Was Locked Out in the Dark.

Death By Chil­dren is about more than the nefar­i­ous and deadly machi­na­tions of our spawn or their efforts to ren­der us twitch­ing and pale from their ongo­ing appro­pri­a­tion of inter­net porn slang. It’s about a lifestyle, a way of going about your day with a ruth­less Zen focus, a way of being ever more self suf­fi­cient and capa­ble. To that end, we present our ongo­ing series of Do It Your­self projects.

1. Look at son. Lib­er­ally apply hairy eye­ball. Say “This is going to come out of your allowance.”

2. Assum­ing the glass is severely cracked, but not actu­ally knocked out: lib­er­ally apply duct tape until the entire spi­dery shat­ter crack is cov­ered. Say “I’ll get to it tomorrow.”

3. Three weeks later, respond to wife’s com­plaint that the excess mask­ing tape looks like, as they say in France, merde, by care­fully exact­ing the edges of the mask­ing tape so not a shred of tape exceeds the edges of the win­dow frame. This should take about five hours and you need to go to the hard­ware store twice to buy a really expen­sive multi-head exacto knife and more tape.

4. Six months later, think about replac­ing the glass. Say out loud, “You know, I really ought to replace that glass.”

5. Merry Christmas.

6. After the spring thaw, go to the hard­ware store and spend no less than $78 on a glaz­ing tool, glaz­ing com­pound, win­dow points, drill bits (you never know) a new roll of mask­ing tape, one of those cool drain clog snake things, 19 feet of tex­tured step pads, gar­den­ing stakes, and a 4 watt light bulb for the stove. Leave it all in the trunk of your car for through sum­mer vacation.

7. After the sum­mer heat sub­sides, go and replace the mate­ri­als you left in the trunk of your car. Ask Glenn at ACE hard­ware to cut you a piece of glass. When he asks for dimen­sions, spit them out like you mem­o­rized them after care­fully mea­sur­ing. Glenn knows you didn’t, but Glenn’s not going to say any­thing because he’s been telling sto­ries about your mas­ter­piece home-improvement pur­chases for years. He uses you in his stand-up rou­tine instead of mak­ing fun of peo­ple from Alabama. If he knew you were actu­ally from Alabama, he’d never stop laughing.

8. Remove the wood frame pieces hold­ing the glass in. Mar­vel at your skill. Clean all the old glaz­ing putty off the wood. Sweep up. Get the glass out of the car. Care­fully unwrap this per­fect crys­tal square cut to your spec­i­fi­ca­tions. What power. What casual tool using élan. What do you do about the one inch gap between the wood and the top edge of the glass? You move the win­dow up and down, as if there’s some mid­dle posi­tion where the glass fills the frame. How? What? How did? How the hell did you not real­ize the panes weren’t per­fect squares? Ok. Mea­sure it again—where’s the tape mea­sure? Shit. Oh, look, there’s a wooden ruler you bought for the kids. Mea­sure the win­dow. Don’t worry about the fact that the ruler doesn’t bend into the space so you can get an actual mea­sure­ment. Eye­ball it. Reap­ply tape.

10. Get Glenn to cut a new piece of glass. Act casual.

11. When you get home, lay a half inch thick rope of glaz­ing putty all around the frame. Try and fit the glass in. It won’t because you gave Glenn OUTSIDE mea­sure­ments instead of INSIDE mea­sure­ments. The glass is exactly the same size as the hole in your door. Yeah, go ahead, try to force it.

11. Call the hard­ware store and ask for Glenn. Do this at least once a day until he’s not there. Go in and get a 1/4 inch shaved off the glass.

12. Using jeweler’s pli­ers (because you left your chan­nel locks in the van­ity you threw away two months ago) peel the dried putty out of the win­dow frame. This should take a good three hours.

13. Replace glass using tub caulk because you put the glaz­ing putty and the glass points down some­where and you can’t find them. Make sure to use an ungodly amount of caulk so that when you press the glass into its new home, bright white sil­i­con paste oozes out all over your door on the side you aren’t pay­ing atten­tion to. Also, since you don’t have the points, hold the glass in place with the bright blue elec­tri­cal tape you bought as a joke three years ago (because you can’t find the duct tape (it’s in the trunk)). Replace the wooden slats of the frame. Buy another multi-head exacto knife (it’s in your trunk)  and trim that blue tape.

Time: one year, four months, and nine days. Cost: $113.56.

Today, you are a man.

About Bull Garlington

Christopher Garlington is the humor columnist for Chicago Parent magazine, Seattle Parent Map, and New York Parenting magazine. His stories have appeared in Atlanta Parent, Baton Rouge Parent, Parenting ABC (U.K.); Florida, Orlando, Orlando Weekly, Catholic Digest, Retort, Another Realm, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and other magazines. He is the author of the infamous anti-parenting blog, Death By Children; co-author of The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats.

  • Jodi Kaplan

    Oh my!! I’m not a par­ent (or a home­owner), but this reminds me of watch­ing my dad (and my brother) work on home improve­ment projects. I’m laugh­ing so hard, I’m crying.

  • brigid

    I came here because of the name of your post
    Reminded me so much of many bro­ken win­dows, hands noses, funi­ture etc of rais­ing my sons.
    But why was your 11 yr old out­side and think­ing he was starv­ing? thats such a great pic­ture you built.

  • Bar­bara Ling, Vir­tual Coach

    Plex­i­glass, lad­die, use plex­i­glass. We’ve now had plex­i­glass on our front door win­dow for 5 years and it still works per­fectly! (needed it when Hon­or­able Daugh­ter 1 was soooo thrilled to see her friend, she ran to the door, slipped, and bashed into it with her head. She was fine, the door/window/household façade wasn’t. :) )

  • Dylan

    if it cost that much and took that long, you don’t get to be a man.

  • Dorinne

    Between my son and his friends they have bro­ken three win­dows in our house. One was a base­ment win­dow: death by skate­board. A garage win­dow: death by foot­ball. Another garage win­dow: death by golf ball. And I broke one: death by a walk­ing stick! I picked up win­dows where ever I could find them, they broke most of those too! Thank­fully we have freecy­cle in town and I scored enough win­dows lately to fix all the bro­ken ones and have become quite skilled at fix­ing win­dows too!

  • stephanie

    You’re a sec­re­tary in some office aren’t you? There’s noth­ing wrong with it…I’m a sec­re­tary. But I’m a girl. And I’ve never dated a man or even a young man that didn’t have the tools to do that in under an hour. Is being incom­pe­tent funny?

  • Lau­ren

    You are my kind of fix-it guy!