Monday, July 14, 2008

Painting fiasco

Saturday was bedroom painting day in the B household. I had a commitment in the morning at our synagogue, so I left around 9:45 am. The plan was that A would do the primer coat in the morning (and J would "help"), and then we'd work together on the actual paint coat in the afternoon.

I got home around 12:30 pm. No one was home. It seemed that A&J had gone out for some lunch. The room was primed, there wasn't a huge mess, and all seemed well. I ate lunch myself, and they arrived home a little while later.

Apparently the morning HADN'T gone well, according to A. J had been demanding (what a surprise) and he was having a hard time "helping" with the painting. But the primer was dry, and it was time to paint. We all changed into our painting clothes, and poured the sky blue paint that J had chosen into the roller tray.

Then, all hell broke loose.

J and I were using an edger to apply paint around the windows and to the perimeter of the walls. When I dipped the edger into the paint, some of the paint started dripping on the DROP CLOTHS. I thought drop cloths were to catch drops of paint, but apparently, according to A, they aren't supposed to get a lot of paint on them. We were doing it WRONG. There was paint on the floor (I wiped it up). He yelled at us. I yelled at him. We were all angry.

Are we having fun yet?

I said: "Do you want us to leave?"
A replied: "YES!"
I said: "Well, we aren't leaving!"

I thought it was important for J to help paint his own room. But A thought it was important to do it THE RIGHT WAY. I coached J and we did the edging as best we could, and A used the roller to paint the middle of the walls. Within a few hours, the room was all painted. The color was beautiful. J was happy and proud. I was angry, though. Very angry.

I said to A: "Do you want your son to think of you as the father who screams at him for spilling paint? Is that how you want him to remember you?"

A eventually apologized to both of us, but I wasn't happy with the whole situation. We won't be painting again together for a LONG while, that's for sure.

1 comment:

nachtwache said...

You're so right. This could have been a great learning experience and lots of fun.
Seems many parents find it tough to let children help if they're not able to do it perfect, problem is, you have to start somewhere to learn something and at the start it's not going to be perfect.
'Practice makes perfect.' I guess not everyone has the gift of teaching.