Today Anna and Will joined me at the new house for the afternoon. I planned on painting, and came fully prepared with a bag-o-tricks that included coloring books, dolls, stuffed animals, and trains. A good time would be had by all. I also brought a portable crib and attempted to put Will down for a nap in his new room with the dolphin pulls on the ceiling fan that he loves so much (he shows everyone the dolphins). But alas! My little one whose favorite question is “Me stay up?” would have no part in sleeping this afternoon.
So I painted the trim in the front living room, and Anna and Will set out in their play, with the occasional skirmishes requiring my referee skills. After a while they settled down to color in the other room by the fireplace, and the music from the portable radio entertained my mind and set the rhythm for my paintbrush. I was moving right along, and then I realized… it was a bit too quiet in the house. That time-tested parental notion came to mind – when things are too quiet, it’s time to see what they’re up to. So I casually called out, “What are you guys doing?” To which Anna replied, “Don’t come in here.” Not a good sign.
(Let me preface what comes next by noting that Anna and Will had been playing around the house with their shirts off, which sounds odd, but Will’s shirt was a bit too big and he was bothered by it so I let him take it off; thus Anna had to do the same, which I didn’t see any harm in, so there they were.) So I tiptoe around the corner and come up behind the two of them. They look up at me with big grins. Anna had used a red marker to color her whole torso and parts of her legs and hands, while Will had chosen a black marker for his personal decorating. They had also doodled on their knees with a pen. The good thing was that I had been wise enough to buy only washable markers, so clean-up wasn’t too terrible (although I think even after their baths, they had a faint coloring to them).
I did manage to finish the trim in that one room, and that’s all for today. One thing is true: it is certainly a thousand times easier and more productive to work on a house without small children around! But you do what you can.