Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I guess my mother-in-law is to blame for this. Really, it's her fault. She started this tradition of self-learning and independence when my husband was in the 5th grade. She was a single mom with five kids and a car that needed repairs. So, she bought the spark plugs and points, handed them to my husband, told him to put them in the car. When he was done, she handed him the car keys and told him to test drive the car. They lived in Duluth, MN. They lived on a hill. A steep hill.

But, because she handed him the spark plugs, my husband, 11 years old, figured he could do it. He marks his ability to fix or accomplish or master anything life hands him from this definitive moment.

I loved the concept, until it affected MY children and MY house. He began the self-learning concept with our kids when Beth was 11. He handed her a gallon of paint, a brush, and forcibly removed me from the room. I mean forcibly. He wasn't rude, he wasn't too physical, but he did use his hands to propel me from the room.

He wanted to give his kids the same "gift" his mother gave him. A spirit of determination, of accomplishment and of conquering a new task on your own.

-Top Ten Reasons to Not Let your Kids Paint-

Drips on the floor are hard to wipe up.
9. Drips on the bathroom sink , shower and floor are hard to wipe up.
8. Paint that hardens on your bathroom curtain will never come out.
7. Paint in hair is difficult to get out. (Beth had free highlights. And just think, the rest of you women had to PAY for yours.)
6. When you are re-painting a room your child previously painted, you have to put a lot of your color of paint on the ceiling to cover up their color of paint on the ceiling.
5. If you bend over to pick up something on the floor while clutching a full can of KILZ to your tummy, it will pour out. (DUH, Beth!)
4. If you go to the store AFTER painting, but BEFORE you looking in the mirror, it can be embarrassing. Hmm.. .who do you think went to Target with paint on his face?
(OK, maybe I should have added HUSBAND to the title)
3. If you back into a freshly painted wall, you will have paint on a place you don’t want paint, and a tell-tale place on the wall without paint where you wanted paint.
2. When kids are done painting, they just set their brushes full of paint anywhere and everywhere. They also leave out the cans of paint, the paint-soaked rags, the painting tape, the paint-stirrers, the paint can openers...and if you don't put this stuff away in the correct spot, all of it could just

d i s a p p e a r.

- and FINALLY -

1. Because when they are done,

their paint job

might actually look better

than your paint job.
Thanks, mother-in-law, for the "gift."
I really mean it.

1 comment:

Thank you so much for dropping by my blog. Your encouraging comments are much appreciated. I love hearing from others.

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