This story is in our new and not haunted house. My youngest daughter was a baby when we had painted her room pink with baby fairies on the boarder, it was adorable. Now flash forward to a preteen and saying that her room is for a baby. Ummm? ok, (I love your room but whatever) I take her to the store to pick out her paint and I offer her support and also I say helpful things like “Imagine that color on all of your walls. It will surround you. Do you want to be surrounded by that color?” She picks out a beautiful color that we both agree with. (I learned my lesson from the last time) I bring the paint home and I am a bit excited for painting. You see painting is the type of home improvement that gives immediate gratification. It is the best feeling in the world to have a fresh coat of paint on the walls. I also should point out that I am 4’7″ tall. I love painting but it is not an easy job for me. It involves a lot of climbing and wiping the paint off of the ceiling because I rarely use the proper tools…like a ladder.
First I have to move the furniture….I am sure everyone has their own method and mine is just sort of the lazy method. I move all of the furniture to the center of the room and go from there. As I started to move furniture I start finding things, “treasures” if you will. I find old toys that were her favorite for a hot second but apparently not liked enough to crawl under her bed for. (I’m not judging because I have shoes under mine that I have sacrificed to appease the monster under my bed) I find half-chewed dog bones and cat toys. I am not impressed by many of these treasures. Every once in a while I will find a toy that makes me say “AWE! I remember you.” But the toys are not really what this story is about. I start to move the dressers from the wall.
My daughter’s dressers were on wheels and I was thrilled because it makes it super easy to move. Then I find out how easy it had been for literally anyone to move (including my children) because I find that my youngest daughter has a hiding spot….
flashback to when she was two years old…we had a leak…leak isn’t even the correct word. I had a waterfall coming out of my light fixture above my kitchen table. I know very little about what to do in this situation. First there is fucking water coming out of where the light is coming out of and my brain melts at what is fucking happening right now. Am I having some sort of fever dream or something? There is a thought in my head and its all warped and sort of confused within the chaos and it says “wAtEr and EleCtriCitY Don’T mIx. TuRn Off thE LigHT!!!” I turn off the light by the switch while holding my breath because I am not sure if I can die from this or not. I didn’t die but the water is still coming out of the light so apparently that didn’t stop it. Next I have to turn off the water. I start to run upstairs to tell whoever was in the shower to turn off the water but then I think maybe I shouldn’t leave the sparking light fixture. But then I am like I will run halfway and then Yell “Turn off the water. Guys, Turn off the Water.” all the while watching the light fixture because I am a real good person to have in an emergency that’s Why. I watch as the water drains onto the table Through the Light. Like I’m still uncertain what the fuck is happening. I finally get through to my son who is showering (he’s obviously showering wrong, I at this point am assuming, because water doesn’t belong flowing from the light) He comes downstairs and (I am not proud of this) I accuse “What the hell were you doing up there? Water is dumping out of the light fixture all over the table. Did you flood the bathroom?”
My son is four years older than my youngest which makes him six. His father travels which puts this pressure on him to be “the man of the house” while his father is gone. My son looks up and sees the water pouring onto the kitchen table through the light and has the same reaction I have “How is it?” he asks followed by “The bathroom isn’t even wet.”
I run upstairs to see that he’s correct the floor is completely dry. I check all of the other rooms and not wet. I run downstairs and yes this is happening. I look at my son and shrug. He (at six I might add) says “I’ll go downstairs and turn off the main water valve.” I follow him because this sounds important and like something that the actual adult in the house should know about. I watch him turn it off and the flooding in my kitchen stops. He then says “Maybe we should call a plumber.” I look at him and blink like yes yes that sounds like a thing, we should call a plumber. (but the only plumber I am familiar with is the one on Sesame street in the “who are the people in your neighborhood” number) So I stand there for a bit thinking how do I get in touch with him? (because is he still a plumber after becoming famous on tv) My son grabs the house book we got when we first moved in and shows me that there are various numbers in there for services you may need. Ahhh!
I look up plumber….because I can adult….stop judging….I didn’t really know…whatever. I call them and I say “Yes, this is Becki and my light is dripping and I think you can help!” because I am not sure what to say. They ask me if it is an emergency and I was like “Is it an emergency? I don’t know but I don’t think this is safe or something that should be happening.”
“Ma’am if I send someone out tonight you will have to pay extra for an off hours call.”
“How much extra?”
“It’s expensive and, depending on where you are, it could be hours before we can get there.”
Ugh two things you know I don’t like to deal with is expensive and hassle. I make a snap decision to wait until the morning. I get the kids dressed and we buy jugs of water for our long night. The plumber comes the next morning and he asks if he can cut a hole in the wall in my baby’s room to get to the pipes…I agreed because I just don’t want the house to burn down….the plumbing is fixed and now back to the original story.
My youngest used this hole in the wall (that I had forgotten about because I just put the little square wall back into the hole and carried on with my life) as her secret hiding place. I find things that have been missing like car keys that I had lost, Christmas gifts that I knew I had purchased and thought that I had shipped, and her brother’s star wars toys. (this is what gives mother’s alzheimers, kids hiding shit on you. You wander aimlessly looking for your car keys and you are like ‘they couldn’t just get up and walk away…well yes they can and they get hidden in the fucking plumber hole in the wall) I now know why my husband’s aunt was so pissed and said we NEVER sent her a gift. I was like We most definitely did. That was a phone call my husband can make…because I didn’t know how to tell her that her beautiful stationary spent the last eight years in a plumber’s crack. So any way. I find my car keys to the mini van we no longer own. I asked my little angel when she was two if she knew where my car keys were and like a two year old she said “Shhhh! It’s a secret.”
IT SURE WAS. I look through the plumber’s hole and I have a good chuckle. What a funny little kid she was. I now realize that painting includes wall repair and that is NOT what I am good at. So instead, I paint that small square of wall like a piece of art and frame it and hang it up over the plumber’s crack. It’s very cute actually…It says ‘Sing’ on it. I then make more framed art pieces to go with it…one says ‘Dream’ and one says ‘Dance’. Problem solved. I get back to the room painting and I move the other dresser and this is where I find the REAL treasure. I see that my children have been using the wall behind the rolling dresser as a Chalkboard for pretend school. Where my oldest was obviously the Teacher with her handwriting up as the assignment.
first assignment in my children’s classroom….written on the wall in very faint pencil…the problem read like this: You start out with twenty apples. You give two to your friend and you find that nine have worms how many do you have left to eat.
My son’s answer: None because nine of them have worms and I’m not eating them.
He gets it correct.
The next question: Who was the first President of the United States.
the answer: jorj washenton
He gets that one correct too.
next question: When is thanksgiving?
He answers: we get to eat turky
Guys on the day that I find this, my oldest was in college, my son was in high school and my youngest was too old for fairies. I contemplated keeping this fine treasure on her wall. I ask her if I can. She tells me no. I paint over it with tears in my eyes because I know that this is a part of their childhood that I will never get back. Painting with tears in your eyes is not ideal…but I bet more often than not this is how it’s done because the last time I was painting I cried because I was going to die of cancer.
Any way….moral of my story. First keep a book of essential service numbers at your house in case you have water come out of your light. Or tell your six year old to do it….because where would I have been without him. Next kids can pick out their own paint when they get older than preschool. Another very important moral…let them write on the walls…No I am kidding. Let them be kids as long as you can. Kids grow up way too fast, take your time with them and play with them, explore with them and learn with them. There is so much good that comes from being with your kids, they keep you young and they can bring so much joy. Not everything has to be so serious. Take those answers for example…they were not really perfectly correct but they were perfectly them. My little guys mean everything to me and even though I didn’t keep the writing on the wall I kept it in my heart and forever that is where it will stay. Now go hug your children and tell them that you love who they are.
Lastly if you can’t find your shit check the plumber’s crack it could be in there because apparently it is a secret hiding place.
Until next time when I will write about the joys of having a landlord… 🙂