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Kids... You Just Got To Love Them...
If You Can Keep From Getting
An Aneurysm In The Process


It started out as such a brilliant idea...

Get some paint and put a fresh coat in the extra room, add a desk, and give daddy a office where he can get some privacy away from the kids.

We bought a beautiful desk, one that could serve all of my future growth as well. One that I could comfortably work from for many more years to come.

We picked out the paint, and my wife joyously jumped into her new project.

On Day One, she painted 3/4's of the room, but ran out of paint. It was a great start.

On Day Three, we patched some cracks in the wall. Then, we moved the desk and finished painting behind where it sat.

So far, so good...

And then it all went wrong...

It went terribly wrong...

Mommy stayed up all night to paint when the kiddies and daddy were asleep. In theory, that seemed the best arrangement, because if she had tried to paint while the kids were awake, they would be bugging her all day long.

Always Innocent
"I did not do anything mommy;
I am innocent."


So Mommy finished the second coat and was waiting for the paint to dry. Before the paint dried, she had fallen asleep in her chair.

To this point, all was well.

Mommy was awaken by our oldest saying, "Look what my little brother did to me."

I awoke to my wife having a nervous breakdown.

As I arose quickly from my bed, I knew that my kids had done something that would ruin my day... And, I was not wrong.

Eighteen hours after having been awaken suddenly, I finally thought about returning to bed. I was able to restore parts of my house to pre-painting condition, but I failed to deliver on my scheduled workload for the day.

Sure, people were upset with me. But, had I let my wife deal with this matter alone, I might have found myself in divorce court.

Kids... You Have Got To Love Them... No Matter How Rotten They Might Be...

  Don't Cry Over Spilled Paint
Yes, that is a drop cloth on the desk to protect it from paint splatters. But, all of that spilled paint just ran down onto the floor.

I came out of my bedroom and met my wife. She was bawling!

She said, "Go look at your office!"

I walked into my new office to see a massacre.

Next to the Drop Cloth
A drop cloth only protects the part
of the desk that it covers.


It is under the desk... No one will notice.
Yes, that is paint and crayons on
the inside-bottom of the desk too.

You might be thinking, "Well, it was only the desk and a spot of carpet..."


I wish the truth could have been so positive...


Screen My Calls
The window was open to air the room. So, the window screen was fair play.


  My window to the world.
And, they painted my window to the world.

I love my kids, but days like this one are tough.

I am sure that in the beginning, they believed in their young minds that they were helping us...

I am trying to remain optimistic. I want to believe that when they were in my office, their point was to help... After all, the painting done in that room was mostly roller strokes, except where they spilled the paint.

Carpet Bombing <<
At the far end of the office, they managed to splatter the carpet all over again. I almost feel like a CSI investigator now.

Collateral Damage
Collateral Damage was inflicted as they left the room. More carpet was carpet bombed, and my desk chair received some collateral damage as well.



But, they went beyond trying to help... I say this because they took their "painting fun" out of my office into the remainder of the house.

Down Coat, Down the Hall
On their way Down the Hall, they managed to tag my $200 Down Coat hanging on the coat rack.

This is what they call the Joys Of Parenthood. Whomever coined that phrase should be taken out behind the barn. I will get the switch.

  They left a trail of bread crumbs.
Out the door and down the hall reveals the horror that is about to be uncovered...

About this time, the telephone rings, and my wife answers it. Between her heavy sobs, I hear, "Mom," and then more sobbing. "My kids... You are not going to believe what my kids have done to my house!"

Once my mother-in-law had heard the extent of the behavior of my three- and six- year-old boys, she offered the best advice that I have heard in my days as a parent.

My mother-in-law recommended for us to find a day care that takes drop-in's and leave the kids at the day care as we worked to clean up the mess.

I was literally awestruck as I entered into the bedroom of my two boys.

  Carpet attracts paint.
More Carpet Damage...
Now, two rooms and the hallway...


If it was within their reach, it had a coat of paint on it.

Painting their Play Town
The board had been set in their room the day before as a race track for their matchbox cars. But, the painting did not stop with their race track... Nope, they felt compelled to paint half of their car collection as well.

 

So, we took the kiddies to the day care center for the day.

Hugs and Kisses for everyone before we left the day care center.

As parents, no matter how mad we might be at our children, we cannot hold a grudge against them. Our children need to know that we love them, especially when we are leaving them for any length of time...


I am still a bit worried about having taken them to the day care for the day. I fear that they might get the idea that if they do bad things, that they will be rewarded for their behavior.

Despite this fear, it was necessary to take them away for the day. Had they stayed with us as we cleaned, they would have only pushed our patience harder... And, we were in no mood to be pushed again on this day.

When you are down, look up.
Don't you love it? They even painted the window sill. That was thoughtful of them.

 
Artistic Endeavors
They even made art on the windows. Make a mental note of the artwork on the window. We will come back to that later. Oh yeah, and the footprints on the window sill... According to my oldest, the images on the window are a cowboy and a pickle.

 

My children have entered into a new age. We have always told them that where there are actions, there are always consequences for those actions.

They have entered a new age, because they are learning this lesson on a scale never experienced before.

Our children have been blessed. But, they have no appreciation for just how good their lives have been until this week.

Until their painting experience, they had a 27" flat-screen color television in their bedroom.

Colored Television
They put one coat of paint on their TV. And, then they attempted to clean the television, in a vane attempt to hide their misdeed.

 
After they came home from day care, I told them twice, "I can't believe that you painted my television" with a strong emphasis on "MY television". Both times, they failed to comprehend the nature of what I was telling them. But, they will realize it soon enough.

One of my wife's friends drove 45 miles to come help us with our house.

Phaedra's assistance was very much appreciated.

When I brought the kids home from day care, my wife's friend dealt with them herself. She spent a lot of time conveying to our children the seriousness of their actions.

She continued to take care of them for us, right up until the kids went to bed.

From the time the children came home, right up until they went to bed, they sat on the couch straight up and unable to play for the entire evening. They were only allowed up from the couch to go potty and to eat dinner.

  Cooking in the Kitchen
Even the kitchen floor was not safe from the children...

This enabled my wife and I to stay to task.

My wife put her foot down with the kids. Every night, with no exceptions, they will clean their rooms before bed. And, they have lost the right to go to bed when they are tired. Instead, they have a set bedtime from here on out --- no exceptions. And, they cannot watch cartoons until they fall asleep. Those days are over.


As soon as my kids were able to comprehend what a "lie" was, I have told them that the worst thing that they can do is to lie to me.

I tell them that I am more mad at them when they lie, than when they do the thing that they are trying to lie to cover up.

Both of my boys know that this first spanking is for the bad thing they did, and this second spanking is for lying to me about it.

Hand-to-butt, nose-to-corner, butt-on-floor, and no television are the primary punishments in our house.

One day, we were at my dad's house, and my dad intended on teasing our oldest about a spanking. My dad flexed his belt and told my son that he was not afraid to use his belt.

My son just looked at him dumbfounded.

I had to explain to my dad that "my children" have no comprehension of a belt as a tool of punishment.

My dad was stunned. It seemed to have been a real conversation killer.

Do you remember the artwork on the window? Only one of my kids has shown any artistic skill at this point, and it is not the youngest one.

Always Innocent
"I did not do anything mommy;
my brother did it."


  Backing off my story
How does a three-year-old use a roller to paint his own back and the back of his own head?

The funniest question I ever hear from my oldest boy is, "How did you know I was lying?"

I tell him, "Because I am not stupid."

My oldest started his morning in trouble, because although he said he did not do it, he did allow his brother to do it, and never bothered to wake up his mom or I until after the deed was done.

But, as we gathered the evidence, it became clear that mom and I were being lied to again.

It did not take long at all, before we knew we were being lied to. And, it took a whopping two minutes to break the first in the series of lies.

Yes, the little one did not open the paint. The oldest found a screwdriver and used the screwdriver to pry open the can of paint.

The second lie would soon be revealed. Yes, the oldest boy was the one who painted both of their chairs.

The third lie: yes, the oldest boy did paint his brother.

The fourth lie: yes, the oldest boy did paint the backside of the television.

The fifth lie: yes, the oldest boy did paint the nifty little design on the window...

Of course, our oldest boy will only admit to what we call him on directly. And then, we have to figure out what other lies are being told. This is the system I use to keep my mind sharp.

Both kids have the blame game to a fine art, and unless we can nail the lies in our own heads, they stick to their guns until we commit to four or five times of telling them that we KNOW that they are lying. Boy howdy, that is irritating.

Oh Goody, We Are Getting My Picture Taken!
When we first took out the camera, despite having already been in trouble, they were happy to have their picture taken...

 
Oh No! We Are Getting My Picture Taken!
After being told that they were not funny, and that they were in trouble, their wide smiles disappeared.

 

My first mug shot
Mommy and Daddy just took all of the FUN out of my day!

 
We have rented a RugDoctor(tm) Steam Carpet Cleaning Machine. Hopefully, the carpet will clean. (We have been planning on replacing the carpet anyway, just not this soon...)

We put primer on their bedroom walls, and repainted their bedroom out of necessity.

Again I worry that they might get the idea that the way to get nice things is to break things. I hope that they don't get any ideas like that in their young little heads.

We have yet to tackle cleaning the television or my office...

But, instead of getting moved into my new office this week, I no longer know how soon it will be before I will get that opportunity.

CLP
6-year-old son

 
  RNP
3-year-old (and ten months...) son

OMG, it has been a whopper of a week at the Platt house!

Don't they just look like perfect little angels, when they are not covered head-to-toe in paint?

This has been one experience that I truly hope that I will not have to repeat.

I am still stewing inside, but both of my children know that their mother and I do still love them. That is important...


Bill and Becky Platt, and the two little angels that inspired this story.
Bill and Becky Platt, and the two little angels that inspired this story.

 
My name is Bill Platt, and I am the owner of thePhantomWriters.com.

It is my hope that you will never experience a week like mine.

And hopefully, my children will have learned some very important lessons about what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not.

From my family to yours, we wish you the very best this week, next week, next month, and for the rest of your life.


Bill and Becky Platt,
and the two little angels that inspired this story.











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