Monday, March 12, 2012

The Straw Hat Incident

The infamous straw hat.
Like most parents, I decorated my kid's rooms super cute when they were little.  I painted a scene from the book "Where the Wild Things Are", (minus the scary beast), on my son's wall.  I can't even imagine how I managed to find the time to do this since my son never slept and would make major messes if I wasn't paying 100% attention, 100% of the time.  Maybe I had plopped him down in front of a Barney marathon...  Still...  ???

                    (Sorry for the spray painted face.  It was someone else's child in the pictures.                             Oh and there is a Charizard poster on the wall for all of the Pokemon fans :))

Anyway, I decorated my daughter's room with pink, lacy, satin, striped wallpaper and put a very girlie, ballerina bear border across the middle of the wall.  Her room was the perfect princess room for a little girl.  We lived in Michigan without air conditioning, so all of the rooms had ceiling fans.  My son's room had come with a dimmer switch to lower the lights while he slept.  He was very afraid of the dark, so this worked out well.

One spring day my daughter, who wasn't afraid of the dark, told her brother that it wasn't fair that he had a dimmer switch and she she didn't.  My son, ever the clever child, decided to help her out.

I had decided to paint my bedroom a nice tan color and, since I had two young children, this took me a few days.  I had left a paint can in my room, waiting for the next chunk of time to become available so that I could finish painting.  BIG MISTAKE!

My son decided that this paint would be a perfect way to dim the globe light on my daughter's ceiling fan.  Most children would have looked for a paint brush and proceeded to paint the globe, if they would have even thought to do this in the first place.  Not my son.  He found a straw hat in my daughter's closet, which had come with one of her Easter dresses.  He filled the hat with paint and carried it into her room, not noticing, or maybe not caring, that it was dripping out of the hat as he walked across the hall. He held the hat up to the globe light to cover the light in paint and at that point, he noticed that the paint was leaking out of the hat and he must have panicked

Our house was built in 1902.  It had many additions added on over the years.  One of those additions was a one story kitchen with a sloped ceiling.  The roof for this sloped ceiling just happened to be right outside of my daughter's 2nd story bedroom window.  The kitchen had been very dark and slightly claustrophobic when we bought the house, so we had recently had skylights installed and had the roof re-shingled with black shingles.

For whatever reason a 6 year old with Aspergers can think of, he decided that this leaky straw hat filled with paint, should be thrown out of the window and onto that newly shingled roof and beautiful glass skylights.  It wasn't like it was the easy solution.  He had to remove the screen from the window in order to do this.  As he struggled to remove the screen, he spilled paint all over the lacy pink bedspread, giant stuffed bear, satin, lacy wallpaper, carpet and a million other things that would be impossible to clean.

Either the deafening silence finally registered, or maybe I heard the thunk of the hat hitting the roof as I cooked dinner in the kitchen below, but whatever the reason, I decided to go up and check on the kids.  Imagine the shock I experienced when I came upon that scene.  I'd like to say that I handled it gracefully or that the punishment fit the crime, but honestly I think I suffered from temporary insanity.  I picked up the phone, called my husband, who, than God, was almost home, and told him that I was done.  I had to leave the house or risk throwing his son out of the 2nd story bedroom window.  I told him that he had better haul his butt home as quickly as possible to take care of the kids!  I grabbed my car keys and drove away. 

My daughter, now 16, still has that pretty, paint stained bedspread.  She doesn't use it as a bedspread anymore, but she occasionally curls up with it when she is sick.  She still remembers that day and the ruined giant teddy bear.  She had to live with paint covered wall paper and a light dimmed by tan paint from mom's bedroom.  (The paint did eventually get scrapped off.)  We moved from that house a few years later and she got to choose how her new room was painted.  And yes, we had dimmer switches installed in every room!

1 comment:

  1. OH. MY. GOD! That's so awesome. The story, I mean, not the fact that your son spilled paint across half the house. I love the whole thought process. . . oh my.

    After the fact did you take pictures?? And while we're on the topic of pictures. . . "I painted a scene from the book "Where the Wild Things Are", (minus the scary beast), on my son's wall." Where's THAT picture on this post??