Cain and Abel Paint the House

Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for.  ~Jerry Seinfeld

When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, coffee helps. Then the kids wake up and you need a Higher Power and a sense of humor to get you though the day.

After they socked each other in the head over a backhoe, after they decided to have a piece of candy and then ate the whole bag, after I washed a load of towels TWICE and they still smelled musty, after someone stepped on the cat’s tail, after I spent an hour making breakfast burritos/chasing down the runaway baby (he was usually in the shower/)…we went outside. 
I planned on sitting under a tree, relaxing and recovering while the boys rode bikes. I plopped down, ready to have a moment’s peace. The chair had been outside for the night, and therefore it was no longer a chair, but a small pond. I sat and soaked. Why relax when you can sit in a puddle (asked the toddler)?
I decided to cut my losses and stain the side fence. I had bought a brush to stain the fence yesterday. Placing it on the bumper of my minivan wasn’t the best plan, and driving away to church later sealed the fate of my brush. I was slightly disgruntled when I set everything up only to discover my brush had blown away. If you see a paintbrush languishing in an intersection, it’s probably mine.
There are times in a mother’s life when you just have to keep moving or you will turn into a pillar of salt.
I found some ragged brushes in a craft box my mother gave me…I would like to interrupt this post to tell everyone that the WORST gift you can give a mother of three boys is a box full of crafty stuff/glitter. Glitter is the eleventh plague of Egypt. 
So anyway, the craft box THAT HAS BEEN BANISHED TO THE GARAGE DUE TO A GLITTER INFESTATION had some paintbrushes, and since my four year old was digging a giant well in my flower bed with his play shovel, I decided to put the kids to work. 
I handed them the paintbrushes and a cup of water and told them to paint the house. 
They loved it, and suddenly everything was sunshine and roses. I think manual labor for children is probably why the mothers of yore didn’t go completely bananas before the invention of cartoons, but now that I’ve typed it out, it sounds bad…so don’t tell anyone I said that okay?
Seriously though, the boys love to have a job to do. They painted for about an hour. Then we went inside again and I made the mistake of trying to take a shower. 
It’s always fun to be in a shower and hear screams of panic.
Despite the horribly taxing aspect of this day, despite the murder attempts and the thrown plastic dinosaurs, despite the scrambled eggs in diapers and the dog who has diarrhea (OF COURSE), I am treasuring these days. It won’t be long before painting a house with water sounds like a bad idea, and then what shall I do? Give them real paint?
The boys are starting preschool next week.
I will miss them, but it’s time for the next chapter in this Adventure. It’s time for their teachers to teach them that the letter “S” is not a “nugoo”. It’s time for their teachers to hear the pretend word, “nugoo” in response to every question they ask. It’s time for someone else’s table to be covered in glue. I’m sure going to miss it though.

Do you have any recipes for breakfast foods on the run? Any secrets for keeping your kids out of trouble? For showering in peace? 

17 thoughts on “Cain and Abel Paint the House

  1. The getting into stuff slash destruction works my patience harder than any of the other toddler behaviors. Clementine is the worst. She's coming out of it just a little, but Charleigh's heading right on into crazy town.


  2. oh how i love when you write. i feel so much less alone – even though my second boy is only still on the way! i just identify so much with it all! 🙂 and oh, the fun to come. so glad there is another heart out there that i can love little boys with 🙂


  3. You shower with three toddlers? Call me impressed. While I'm past that phase, I still love to chuckle at your adventures! I always got up insanely early to shower before they were up. Or late at night. But during the day? Never accomplished it with my girls that little!


  4. BAAAHHHAAAA! What a day…I have no answers but what I wouldn't give to come over and let my kids paint your fence and sit with you for awhile…even if it was in a puddle.


  5. That photo of the boys painting reminded me of Tom Sawyer and Huck. They have the same joie de vivre. I think they will love preschool, and you'll love hearing the funny stories they bring home. Here's to new adventures!


  6. This is hilarious. I can so relate. Those days where I wanted to lock them all in a giant corn bin and lay in the pool while they ran circles. Play Dough and glitter were 4 letter words to me. But the days did fly and they all grew up. This grandma gig though, is really a sweet deal. Now I only go crazy on Wed and Fri. Penelope is going to be the death of me. She is a whirling bow-legged crazy person who rip shags through the house leaving a trail of chaos. She is a climber. And a jumper. Her sister is an angel who demands snacks and attention constantly. God save the Queen.
    Love ya kid. You make it all sound so fun and I know you know that it really is the best job in the world! Thanks you Jesus for coffee, telephone friends and cartoons.


  7. I did my share of painting (walls, fences, the GROUND) with water when I was a kid. I always thought it was because my mom didn't have money to spend on activities for my sister and me.

    Then I became a mom and it just seemed like genius.

    Another CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS WORKS? game I've played with my kids…

    Collect rocks. Lots of them. All shapes and sizes. Then wash them in a bucket of soapy water.
    Yep. Washing rocks.

    It works. I swear.


  8. Just hopped over because you said on the Facebooks that the comments were cracking you up. You're right. You've got some of the best darned commenters on the planet. So good to see you back here sharing the everyday crazy with the rest of us.

    And, Tom and Huck? Yep. Definitely.


  9. I love “nugoo” we had our own language at our house, too. Or should I say, the kids had their own language. “Don't be a weeshience” translation: “Don't be annoying.” “Schmedlic” translation: “Dirty; I don't want to touch that, it's got schmedlic on it.” “Nogginknot” translation: “It's too hard to think about.” And lastly, the elusive “Hooteen” translation: The number that sits between 14 and 15. It took a long time to teach the youngest that the number didn't exist.


  10. Ah, a shower alone. The dream of every mother with a youngun' or three. Painting the driveway on a hot summer's day with one of those foam paintbrushes? Brilliant use of the brush and an hour. I am Every So Glad you are back on and writing again. It's like Christmas in July (or August)!


  11. JoAnn, I love you…and would still squeeze your neck even if you didn't manage to shower that day!

    Thank you for my laughter workout for the day. Px90 has nothing on you!

    And breakfast meals for on the run? You mean ones that don't leave trails which invite ants to permeate your home and minivan? I got nothing…


  12. Oh I am loving every word of this and your precious sense of humor. Just love the joy and laughter and the positive spin. Great post. My sweet friend Nikki referred me to your blog. I will make sure to thank her. Its so nice to meet you.


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