Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day Adventures

A Story I Wrote to a Friend Five Years Ago
on February 15, 2002
(Thank you, Janet, for saving this story for me.)

Yesterday my 13 year old son climbed up to get something off a high shelf in the garage. He had permission to get the Ravioli but I thought he'd use a ladder or a stepstool. But no, he used the Rubbermaid box I have below it. Well, now, my daughter is an artist, but her artistic nature isn't always concerned about some of the little details. She had a gallon can of pink paint, from painting her room, sitting right near the Rubbermaid box...and she hadn't been able to get the lid on real tightly. Well, I'd seen that paint can there a dozen times (and thought vaguely that it shouldn't be there) but never realized it wasn't shut quite as well as it should be. I'm sure by now you can see the picture. My son came down from the Rubbermaid box onto the paint can, tipped it over onto the floor and his foot. Fortunately, he is just "dumb" enough to go barefoot in the winter. Otherwise he would be wearing pink shoes! Fortunately also, it was latex paint, which will wash out with soap and water if you get it soon enough. I thought it was so appropriate that the paint was pink for Valentine's Day.

I also felt blessed at their attitudes. My son said it was his fault for not using a ladder. And my daughter said it was her fault because she left the paint there. They both offered to clean it up, and I suppose it would have been better to have let them and just given them advice, but I felt better just digging in. However, my son made lunch to help out, and my daughter went with me to get kitty litter, and she later took another son to work for me. I really do think the kitty litter helped. I got the idea from a friend who paints murals for a living, who had once told me that if you have old paint to dispose of, that the garbage pickup will take it if you dry it up with kitty litter first. So I used that, and used old bread bags for plastic gloves, and lots of paper towels, and lots of garbage bags. My eight year old son assisted me (strong willed, difficult child but very competent and helpful).

We had been so afraid that Dad would come home and drive his car into the garage while I was out buying the kitty litter. So I thought I'd put an old high chair right where he parks his car. One son said that then he would start to drive in, get mad, get out of his car and head into the house to ask who put that high chair there, and hit the paint (with his feet) and down he'd go. I actually told that to my husband later, and he actually thought it was funny…though if it had really happened, NONE of us would have thought it funny…and we wanted to be sure it did not happen. So my daughter just temporarily disabled the electric garage door opener, so he COULDN'T drive his car in, even part way. But as it turned out, we got home and got the paint all taken care of before my husband got home. It “only” took about two to three hours. But we got the garage floor cleaner than it's probably ever been.


Anonymous said...


Margaret Mary Myers said...

For anyone reading the comments, my "artistic scatterbrained daughter" is now my adult daughter and best girlfriend. She is fun-loving but also hard-working, working full time her last year of college; then going on to massage school while working full time. Thanks for commenting, Mary. :)

Alice Gunther said...

LOL, this is a great story! And the part that really had me laughing was your son's speculating on what might happen if Daddy found the highchair in the garage!

Your writing really brings the whole family alive so well!

I love the comment from you daughter too--isn't it great when these beautiful little ones of ours become life long friends? : ) : ) : ) Wonderful!