Saturday, March 12, 2011

We've been busy.

Among our various projects this week was painting the hallway leading to the bathroom and kids' bedrooms. This hallway had 10 years of grime and greasy fingerprints all over the walls, so it was about time.

Don't judge!

I know what you're thinking. YES, I did clean those walls occasionally. The problem was they had nothing more than (white) drywall plaster on them, so anytime I took a rag to them I dissolved some of the wall away. Nice, right? So yeah, at some point I gave up. I figured anyone who had ever lived with children would cut me some slack.

Anyway, this was an interesting process for a couple of reasons. First, I made the mistake of starting this project in the evening. This means the kiddos were home. And they asked if they could help.


See, I suffer from this disease called Perfectionism. It's terrible. Not only does it cause me to put off doing things until I can do them just right, it also causes me to decline "help" when someone - particularly a minor child - offers to do something I'm sure they can't do my way. Like folding towels, or loading the dishwasher, or permanently changing the color of our walls.

I've been working on the perfectionism thing. I have made great strides since having children and realizing I couldn't possibly do everything myself. Having a spouse who travels so much for work has also forced me to ask others for help, even when it means I might have to give up a little bit of control. I have learned to be thankful for that help and accept it with grace. Most of the time.

But painting? Come on! Painting takes at least a little precision, and if someone dropped a roller or dumped a gallon of paint on the floor, I certainly don't want to be able to blame one of the kids.

Alas, I had no real good reason to say no. So I bit my lip, took a deep breath and handed over a roller.

I did the cutting in with a brush and Rachel handled the larger expanses with the roller.

She did a great job. So good, in fact, I'm afraid she's inherited some of her mama's perfectionism.


Sam helped, too. I couldn't back away long enough to take a picture of him though. The kid has ADHD and his style of painting reflects it. Bless his heart ... he had that paint roller bouncing around the walls like a ping pong ball. And when he was convinced he had given his share of effort, he flitted off to do something else. Which was fine with me.

There was another interesting point of this project.

When the paint was still wet it looked rose-y. Not beige like I expected. Yes, I know you're not supposed to judge a paint color until it's dry, but seriously. It looked pink. It looked so pink that I double checked the top of the paint can to make sure it listed the name of the paint I had asked for. Yep. Behr's Wild Porcini. The same color as the paint chip that had been stuck in a door frame in the hallway for the past year.

I told myself not to panic.

Rachel stepped back, took a look and said, "Yeah mom, it does look pink."


But it's wet, I said. It's wet! Let's finish painting and see what it looks like in the morning.

And by golly, by morning it was dry and the perfect color.

I think I danced a little jig right there in my pajamas.


  1. Oh my gosh, I love it! Good job for letting them help, mommy! :) I have a friend who came to me for cooking advice one time, because her mom always shooed her out of the kitchen. She was 25 years old and didn't know that cutting onions made you cry! You just equipped your kids in a major way. :)

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Dotty! It's hard sometimes, but I know it's important to let them "do" ... and none of this is life or death. :)