Friday, February 02, 2007

Is the Glass Half Empty? Or Half Full?

I watched two kids this morning for almost 3 hours while a friend took her other two kids to the dentist. The kids were great; no problems whatsoever. I wish I could end the story there.

Then, the mom came back and brought her other son with her. I hadn't talked or seen her in several months, so we caught up while the kids played.

As we were talking, her two boys and Brown Sugar went upstairs to play. We didn't hear from them for some time. Always a bad sign. Eventually, one of her boys came downstairs and said that there was a mess on his shirt. Sure was! Blue paint splattered all over the front. When we inquired, he said they were painting at the table in Brown Sugar's room. I told him that they weren't allowed to paint in the bedroom and asked him to go tell Brown Sugar to put away the paint.

The moms resume talking. (Bad idea. What were we thinking?)

Her boy returns, this time with more paint on him. Plus he has a plastic hard hat on that has paint on it. Whoa Nelly!!

So, I tell the mom to work on cleaning him up while I go investigate. I walk into Brown Sugar's room to find blue paint all over the table, two chairs and a huge spill on the carpet. Brown Sugar has a tissue and is kneeling, diligently trying to get the paint off a chair. When she see me she says, quite matter of factly,"We really need to clean these chairs, mom."

You think??!!

After staring in stunned silence for a few minutes, I turned around and walked into the bathroom where they attempted to hide the evidence. Attempted...but did not succeed as the vanity and various objects on the vanity are now also blue.

I make my way back downstairs to arm myself with every cleaning product known to man. However, on my way down the stairs I notice an entire line of blue handprints on the wall, just below the rail. The. whole. way. down. the. stairway.

Lovely. Usually I'd be hyperventilating by now, but instead I have an odd peace. I think it's called denial. Or shock. Or post-traumatic stress syndrome.

In the downstairs bathroom, the mom is trying to clean up both sons and the paint they left on the trim of the doorway. When I give her the upstairs assessment, she immediately grabs some cleaning stuff and joins me upstairs. However, as she checks on her other son, he has dumped a glass of water on the kitchen table. Not a big deal except Brown Sugar had left three puzzles she had completed on the table. Water and puzzle pieces are not a great mix. Two puzzles are lost.

On the way back upstairs I easily clean up the handprints on the wall. Back in the bedroom,my friend uses the Magic Eraser to clean up the table and chairs and I take my all time favorite carpet cleaner, Spot Gone, and go to work. The Magic Eraser easily handles the paint on the table and chairs. The carpet cleaner does a decent job, but it still looks like several Smurfs exploded on the floor.

We head back downstairs and as she continues to apologize profusely, one of her sons holds down the water dispenser on the refrigerator and totally drenches himself and the floor.

Here we go again.

I throw some towels to Brown Sugar and put her to work cleaning up the floor. The mom tries to dry her wet son. I dig out clothes for him to wear home.

Just before they left, we made one last discovery on the table. In case you can't see it clearly, those are about a dozen puzzle pieces floating on the bottom.

And there is the metaphor for my day. Do I look at life with kids with my glass half empty or half full?

NOTE: The identities of the mom and children in this tale are being concealed for obvious reasons. The mom has suffered enough humiliation. How do I know?? If you're a parent, you've been in her shoes before. Maybe it wasn't blue paint. Maybe it was mud. Or fingernail polish or coffee. Doesn't matter, we all know what it's like when our kids mess up.

Also, no kids were harmed in the making of this tale. Beaten...but not harmed.


jb said...

I am glad that you had so much peace in the midst of this storm. This story I am sure is preparing me - what is my outlook? I have to keep that in mind, b/c it is always an adventure with kids.

Anonymous said...

What a story! Maybe it's time to look into a Bissell Spot Bot. I have one and love it! It's gotten out more stains than I can count.. it's a little pricey, but so worth it!! Beth M

On Fire For Him said...

Oh my.... That is hilarious. But only, because it is not in my house.

Sorry for your mess.

weavermom said...

Oh my... and oh my again. I only wish I could I say that would never happen at MY house! ;)

And well done on staying calm! (Hey- it made for a great blog story. :) )

~ Amy ~ said...

I was shaking my head as I read that thinking it couldnt possibly get any worse...wrong. I do feel bad for you, but at the same time I'm chuckling too. So, I am wondering, would you have remained so calm and collected if your friend wouldnt have been there? I know I wouldnt have from experience. I lost it when my daughter (almost 3 at the time) redecorated my living room with fingernail polish (bright pink). I never knew there was so much in those little bottles - I swear, it multiplied as it landed. It was on the tv screen, a huge area in our carpet, on an antique chair, entertainment center, or course all over her and other areas too. I wish I had a visitor that day - I would have stayed calmer - I think.