Today Got a Little Messy
Things got messy today. I mean, I’ve got four kids. Three of them are boys. Life gets messy here often. I’ve got my own carpet steamer, for goodness sake! I spent at least a few hours a week scrubbing something out of the tile in the entryway and wiping dirty fingerprints off door frames and light switches. It’s just a fact of life here. I spend a lot of my time cleaning this house, and it will never look clean. And every day I will regret the fact that we bought stainless steel appliances. Oh, how dumb were we when we picked those things out?!?
But back to today. The kids and I decided that we were going to make a gift for their grandparents. They opted for painting. That’s normally fine, but the kids wanted to paint garden rocks. Which meant we had to use the real paint and not the water-based paint that makes life tolerable around here. I have this stuff down to a science—we smock up, we spread newspapers, I pour smaller amounts of paint into bowls designated for this very purpose, and I NEVER TURN MY BACK on them. I don’t answer the phone, I don’t take bathroom breaks. I just sit and supervise with a roll of paper towels at the ready.
Folks, I sneezed.
And in the split second my eyes were closed, my youngest slammed his fist onto the table. And flipped one of the bowls right onto his sister. She squealed and jumped in her chair, which moved the chair, banging it into the table. Which made my middle son drop his rock into the bowl of paint he was using, splattering paint all over everything and everyone. And then he started to cry because his rock was ruined. Of course he rubbed his face, forgetting that his hands were covered with paint. So then he had paint all over his face, and my oldest—who was relatively unscathed at that point—decided that this was a cool look, grabbing himself a handful of paint so he could rub it all over his face.
Then the other kids saw him, and monkey see, monkey do. You can probably figure out what happened next. I had what looked like a bunch of superfans at a college football game. Everybody’s face was a crazy smear of paint and their hands were dripping rainbows all over the place. I really just wanted to turn and run screaming out of the house. And really, if you had seen it, you probably would have held the door open for me so I could make my escape.
Instead, I took a very deep breath and said, in my best mom voice: “Everyone put their hands over the newspaper now and don’t move.”
The kids, startled, did exactly as they were told. I made them stay that way while I looked up “how to remove acrylic paint from skin.” If you’re curious, it involves baby oil, which luckily we had. Notice I said “had”. They all have very soft, very shiny faces right now. We also have a new rule—acrylic painting gets done OUTSIDE from now on.