Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Up a Wall

As you guys already know, I can be way Type A when it comes to things around the house. I know this. I embrace it. Trying to change it would be like asking a drug addict to just, you know, stop liking drugs so much. Ain’t gonna happen.

As my husband, JT is well aware of my neurosis. My incessant need to control my surroundings rarely jibes with his DGAF attitude toward most household chores. He truly couldn’t care less if the dishes are done, the floor is swept or last year’s Christmas decorations ever came down. He’s not lazy - if I ask him to do something, he does it. It’s just that the little things that are on most homeowners’ radars, like bagging leaves or fixing broken heaters in the dead of winter, don’t seem to occur to him. Honestly, I’m not even mad. I’m jealous.

Suffice it to say that when JT and I set out to paint the nursery, we had different approaches. We were only doing part of the room. The pale cream colored half stayed the same while we covered a few accent walls a much warmer greyish/taupe shade (it’s a wonder I don’t write for Better Homes and Gardens). I wanted to meticulously edge the walls, making sure there was no overlap where they met the ceiling or baseboards. He wanted to slap paint on a roller and go to town. We actually made a pretty good team, and after about two hours, we were done. We high-fived and called it a day.

The next day, I swung open the nursery door and about toppled over. The room was a disaster. It looked like a massacre of an entire taupe-blooded civilization had occurred. Streaks of the hue ran atop the original paint in haphazard patterns but in no way coated the former color. It was clear a second coat was in order, so I popped open the paint can and got to work.

It only took about 45 minutes to run over the walls again, and this time, I was convinced it was perfect. Until I took a step back and my eyes landed on one particular corner. The intersection of two walls, one taupe and the other cream, looked like I’d painted it while jumping on a trampoline. A wonky line of taupe paint bled over to the cream wall. I mean, I’m pregnant so I’m fairly certain I hadn’t been drunk while edging that particular spot, but all evidence was to the contrary, and it needed to be fixed stat.Just looking at it, knowing it was there in all its awful imperfection, made me uncomfortable. Because that’s how crazy I am.

I decided the best plan was to cover the mistake marks with the cream paint, so I traveled down to the garage and stood in front of the wall of paint cans left there by my pals Jason and Bec who owned the house before us. Most are marked with their corresponding rooms, but I couldn’t find one labeled “Nursery,” so I gathered up a few that looked close enough and hauled them back upstairs. I set about opening the first one, stabbing at it with a screwdriver in attempts to loosen up the thick layer of paint that had formed around the lid.

JT appeared in the doorway and watched me for a moment.

“Whatcha doing?” he asked, leaning against a non-newly painted wall.

“I’m...argh....repainting...ugh….that corner!” My stabbing worked and the lid popped off.

“OK,” he said. “Why?”

“Because it’s all messy,” I said. I stirred the long settled paint, dipped my brush in and carried it over to the wall. I dotted a teeny bright white spot on the offensive area. Clearly not a match.

“Babe,” JT said, watching as I pounded the lid back on can No. 1, then started the struggle all over again with can No. 2. “It’s really not that big of a deal.”

“It is to me!” I cried, popping this lid off with more ease. I rushed over to the wall and swiped a splotch of wheat colored paint. Strike two.

“No one will ever notice that,” JT said inspecting the corner and wiping off my most recent mistakes with a towel.

“I notice it,” I said, gathering up the two cans to take back to the garage and grab more.

“Babe,” JT said again, this time with a “slow your roll” tone. “You get that our daughter is going to grow up and probably draw on these walls or want to hang stuff or ruin them in some way, right?”

“I do,” I said, stopping in my tracks.

“So they’re never going to be perfect,” he continued.

“I know,” I said, peering at the corner and feeling a shudder run up my spine.

“So, seriously, just leave it. It’s fine,” he said, taking the paint cans from my hands.

I looked at the corner again. I knew he was right.

I also know this whole motherhood thing is going to challenge me on so many levels, but at least this one I can see coming. I know kids are messy and unruly and wild, but I also know that’s part of what makes them wonderful. And I’m going to have to give in to that chaos to a degree if I’m ever going to stay sane.

Right then, I decided to let the botched wall serve as a reminder of my need to calm the heck down. Hopefully, I’ll remember to look at it whenever my daughter has dumped her toy box and the entire contents of her closet in the middle of the room for the 10th time that day and laugh.

And I’m not even worried about her drawing on the walls. I bought the paint that lets you just wipe that stuff right off.

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