May 27, 2012


A primer in raising kids

My new bathroom is nearly done. Nearly. I had high hopes for finishing off the painting this weekend (I've told my contractor I'll do the painting; he hates doing it, and I don't mind) so yesterday, full of vim and vigour (or something) I set up shop and got to it. Nearing the end, I noticed that the second coat was drying kinda funny in spots. I finally looked at the can: I'd been working with the primer, instead of the final paint.

Ya know, when it's already done, it's done. It's like a broken glass. It's just broken. No sense getting worked up about stuff you can't change. Of course that meant I had to spend today painting. Again. With the right stuff. I am rapidly joining my contractor on the I Hate To Paint bench.

The Poor Sod showed up midday to take the boys for lunch. We broke up a couple of years ago, but the man is a class A step-dad.  As they returned and dawdled a bit, I laughingly (but not really) suggested he give me a hand. He's a great painter; he's an artist at heart, and that counts when you have little persnickety detail work to do.

I got an hour out of him. He wrecked his new jeans. I told him he was gonna wreck them, and offered him some sweats, but he told me he wouldn't wreck them. Within ten minutes, he'd wrecked them. He did the cutting in, I did a half-hearted job of rollering. We managed to cover up all the stupid primer I'd put on, and we chatted about the kids. I have a big trip coming up, and I've been nervous about going. He promised to hang out while I'm away. Due to a bit of an age gap between us (shut up), the boys have always felt close to him. He's more big brother-y than Dad, and they get along famously.

The upside is that the boys love having him around, and don't feel like someone is checking up on them. They welcome it. I'll be gone nearly two weeks - which is the longest, ever. And no matter how old your kids are, they're still your kids.

Maybe I'll leave the painting until I get back...

24 Comments:

Anonymous buzzwhack said...

So refreshing to hear about a family that still works together even if they can't live together. I wonder why things go south sooo badly when couples break up? War of the Roses was on tonight. DeVito was excellent as usual.

May 28, 2012 12:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Why is painting such a universally despised sport? Which genius decided we need to paint? Taped and mudded wall board has a certain rustic charm that I, for one, would strongly advocate.

Which is one of the many reasons I love my wife. She knows how much I detest painting and virtually always will do any of it that is needed when I am away on a trip. If it's a big job, she bakes a blueberry pie and her Mom comes over and helps.


And eats the whole pie.

May 28, 2012 1:49 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

It would appear that the Word Gods have finally realized that non-robots like to understand the words that they are using to prove they are not robots (or, in other words, that they are, more accurately, non-robots.) "ityadyin voice" is today's gift to the robot world. So they can learn to speak Russian, I'm guessing. Auto correct will get less of a workout.

May 28, 2012 1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poor sod sounds like a great influence in your lads' lives. Lucky them. I don't mind the painting but it is the set up and clean up that I hate. This weekend we had to ripeout a not-very-old carpet as our beloved dog, no longer with us, had bladder cancer and had trouble controlling himself. The carpet stunk. After ripping it out, we had to clean all the wood underneath then paint it with a special sealant to keep the smell out. WE decided what the heck, may as well put two coats to be on the safe side. We stepped out to do some errands while it was drying and came home to the cats doing their own redecorating. I guess the door to the room we had them in was not tightly shut and we had little kitty prints going down the stairs, through the hallway and into the kitchen. They are such little treasures for helping us out.

May 28, 2012 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Roz said...

speaking of floor coverings, years ago when I had zero experience with cats, I had a white rug in my living room. (yeah, I know). I came home from work and my cat had written her name all over the rug using that drag assy thing cats and dogs do. Rolled it up and threw it away.

May 28, 2012 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorraine had a bit of an "age gap" i.e. robbed the cradle and Roz had white carpets. What is this family coming to? I bet you all wear sock with sandals, too.

May 28, 2012 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Zena said...

But Chris, it's only the one word that we get to understand now. "His nordscu." Whose nordscu?? What the heck is a "nordscu?"

Roz, we've always called it "scootching." Our dog used to do it across the backyard. And later, when he finally lost what was left of his tiny mind, he did it on the deck. It was an old deck, with peeling wood...

I have a great painting story. It involves a teenager, a full can of aqua-coloured paint, a bathroom, a wobbly step stool, a rapidly-closed door and an anal retentive drill sergeant (a.k.a. Ma) nagging everyone about not overpainting the trim or leaving splotches on the floor. I'd tell it but I'm afraid our landlord might find out...

May 29, 2012 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, painting. A joy when you get it right (the first time). 2 quick anecdotes. My Mom picks the colour, my Dad paints. Patiently cutting, rollering etc. 3 coats later, Mom returns. Silence. Sheepishly she says "I ordered the wrong number from the chip".

My friend used an orange tarp to protect the floor while painting a room once. When finished, he could not figure out why he didn't have enough high gloss baseboard paint left. Yup, it was on the walls.

Oh, and my parents are still married, even after Dad re-painted. I am still amazed.

djc

May 29, 2012 8:09 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Zena... if you were from Norway you wouldn't need to ask what a nordscu was. We now know that if you are, in fact, a robot you are not a Norwegian robot. This is how CSIS finds out who you are and where you are. They put out these little clues and judge your response. They know more about you and your subversive robots than you are aware of.

gotoexp fund. Now they want to find out where our funding comes from.

May 29, 2012 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Roz said...

Lorraine likes to wear socks with sandals but I'm trying to break her of that habit.

May 29, 2012 9:53 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Rosalyn is made of mean, but there's no changing that. She's too old.

I love the idea of little cat prints everywhere. When we first had the tub reglazed 15 years ago, Ari, 2 snuck in and made a tiny perfect handprint in the glaze on the corner of the tub.

I, of course, loved it. But his father and the glaze guy both erupted like the pearl clutching weenie tots they are and quickly 'fixed' it.

I would have left it. Still wish we had.

May 29, 2012 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you could reglaze your tub in your new bathroom and let the kitties run around in there. You could have the same effect as my paint prints on the wooden floor. Don't be mean to your sister. If she can get you out of socks and sandals, she is a saint. I hope you weren't tempted to wear them for the tango. Roz, keep an eye on her.

May 29, 2012 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Zena said...

Okay Chris - we're really in for it now:

"zealots deskeys"

I'm scared...

May 29, 2012 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

I was telling someone about the "teething table" up at the cottage the other day. And, I'm used to the abuse I have to endure as the older (yet everyone has to confirm that I am the older) and no doubt, wiser one. I never knew about the hand print. You should have left it. OMG my "prove you're not a robot letters" aren't even in English. They look like Arabic or something. Is this a plot to get me off your blog?

May 29, 2012 2:42 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Yes. Yet another riddle solved: Lorraine Sommerfeld is the boss of the internet.

And, that's not Arabic. That's Ari's handwriting.

May 29, 2012 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Zena said...

continued pinvect.

This is just creeping me out...

But that little hand print. Aw, those are things one just has to hold on to...

I always love seeing bird prints paw prints and little kid shoe prints in the sidewalk. They're like those million-year-old fossil footprints they've found in some parts of the world.

Can you imagine some fastidious ancient rushing to smooth out the mud flats after an mischievous little ape kid ran through them in the rain?

May 29, 2012 3:59 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

uaryeen cotton.

I am NOT in Georgia you CSIS creeps!!!

I have scratch marks all down the side of the drivers side door of my car. That's from our dog welcoming me when I get home from a flight. She gets all "I thought you were never EVER coming home again!!!!" and then "is it time for kibble yet?" Maybe I'll stop buffing them out of the door. And hope some sentimental old geezer will buy it from me.

May 29, 2012 4:15 PM  
Anonymous PJ said...

cendsit cat's

Can you send cats to sit? Or is it the cat's cendsit? What's a cendsit?

Handprints in varnish. Many, many years ago when I was but a wee lad my Father and Uncles were revarnishing the family's old wooden Grew boat. I tried to be good but at one point decided I wanted to get out of the boat. Put my hand where I thought it was dry.... but it wasn't. Youngest Uncle was hollering at me and my Dad, who probably wanted to holler at me, was busy trying to defend me.

I look back at this episode fondly now but I was scared shitless at the time.

May 29, 2012 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Padraig said...

In our old house, when the kids were growing up, we measured them each birthday against the basement door and left a mark. From 1 through 18.
When we moved I wanted to take the door with us, but wiser heads prevailed. Namely my wife.

May 29, 2012 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was giving the artistic cats a brushing last night and low and behold, their usually dark pads on their pads are all white, as were some of their claws. Would this count as a kitty mani/pedi? Jsut in case anyone is worried, the stuff is water soluable and not toxic.

May 30, 2012 8:14 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Roz,
You see?!?! They're trying to fish around and see if you're Arabic! Good god, is there no level too low for these people to stoop to?

Oh... and there was no airplane that hit the Pentagon.

Now I have a blurry picture of numbers! I guess the robots are hard to stay ahead of. Huh... just an update. I had "281 oxyene" so I typed in "you're a moron" just to see if anyone was paying attention.

They are.

May 30, 2012 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Zena said...

"Dear Chris Brown (not the felon);

.Youth,s. ADownly

Sincerely,

The Blog Poster Anti-Robot League"

May 30, 2012 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

OMG! I have a picture of an eyeball and the word Resfyi

like, what the hell is that? Someone has run amok at Prove you're not a Robot Central.

May 31, 2012 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Zena said...

The robots have taken over...

May 31, 2012 1:51 PM  

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