A few Saturdays ago (amazingly, BEFORE I knew Paula was coming to visit), I awakened with a bee in my bonnet.
That’s an expression. There were no bees in my home, nor do I wear a bonnet to bed.
We had a Saturday at home with NO other plans. I decided we were going to get something done around this place! Three things (that had been bugging me for YEARS) were going to change.
That very day.
I ran to the store to get some dusting spray and paint supplies. I warned my children that they should enjoy relaxing for the moment, because when Mama came home . . . we were all going to get to work.
I don’t remember their reaction because I didn’t really care what they thought about my plan.
The three things I wanted to do:
- Paint the entryway.
- Dust the living room walls.
- Repair the scratches in my wood walls.
Why did I want to paint my entryway?
Over a year ago, the bug man stopped suddenly in my entryway, ran his hand along the wallpaper and innocently said something along the lines of, “Ohhh! It’s wallpaper! I was thinking, ‘Why does she have carpet on her walls?!’”
(FYI, “Hahahaha” with a period instead of an exclamation point = courtesy laugh on my part. The italics indicate unsmiling sarcasm.)
I did forgive him (sort of), but I was irritated that my delusion that people probably didn’t notice my 80s carpet-like entryway wallpaper was now gone.
A year later, I was ready to finally paint.
Dust the living room walls?
No one made any comments about my dusty living room walls, but I had noticed them recently. I have picture-frame paneling. That’s wood paneling with “frames” within it. Molding in picture frame shapes. It makes decorating harder, but I’ve decided to like it.
I had whacked the walls with a duster a few times over the past seven years, but I had never truly cleaned the molding. And suddenly, a few weeks before this Day of Spontaneous Deep Cleaning occurred, I had seen the thickness of the dust on the up-the-highest molding.
Once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it. And it was starting to drive me a little closer to crazy.
How do you repair scratches in wood walls?
Well, I had purchased (affiliate link alert!) these markers years ago from one of those hang-ey things in the grocery store aisle. I tried them, and they worked. I just didn’t have the patience to spend forever dealing with the ba-jillion scratches we have. (Which goes along with the theme of this post . . . )
Mostly, I thought of this job when I realized I needed three specific and equally-time-consuming jobs to assign to my three children. And then I actually found the markers, which was Victory Number One for the day.
When I came home from the store, I started assigning jobs. I put my oldest (almost 12) on the ladder to start dusting. I had my youngest color in the scratches on the wall and the middlest got to help me tape newspaper to the floor so we could start painting.
All fun jobs, right? Dusting up on a ladder?? Coloring on the walls?? Painting??
Actually, they all were fun jobs.
For like 3.5 minutes each.
My main Mama Job of the day was to repeatedly answer the question, “Can I switch jobs with ____ now?”
Every other job seemed more fun. Even after switching.
Or another way to look at it: Cleaning/painting/scratch repair sounds SO fun! For, like . . . two seconds.
Maybe even 20 minutes.
There is a certain thrill when you see dingy gray dust clump and then fall to the floor (from 8 feet up). The shine of clean wood really is beautiful. Standing on a ladder isn’t something Mom lets you do every day, so there’s that too.
But after the first ladder-move and the second climb, the realization hits that there’s a LOT more to do. And some of the excitement wears off.
And painting? Wow. The joy of truly changing the color of a WALL?! So totally cool until your arm starts to ache or Mama freaks out about a little ol’ drip on the tile floor.
Surely using markers on the wall would be more fun.
Yes. I was irritated. I gave many a stirring speech on topics such as Some Things Must Be Done Whether They’re Fun To Do Or Not and True Satisfaction Comes From Finishing a Job Well and Ladder Privileges Are Directly Related to Maturity Demonstrated in Non-Ladder Related Tasks and such.
But really, I get it. Projects (even cleaning related ones) can seem really fun in the beginning.
It’s the finishing that kind of sucks.
Oh, and the day’s (and day-after’s) “favorite” moment? My 7yo asking why we were painting the carpet wall. And her distress that her friends at church didn’t believe her when she told them she spent her Saturday painting carpet.
And one last “Painting with Kids” tip: I might or might not have let my boys avoid getting paint on their clothes the same way I avoid getting my clothes wet while cleaning the shower. Maybe.--Nony