Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pee Wee Design Squad

Run for the hills! My children (with some help from us) are redecorating their room!

It's a project we've been working on for a few weeks, making our winter vacation less of a vacation for my husband than he probably would have liked. But the drywall work finished on Sunday. Yesterday we adults primed the walls and painted the ceiling. And today it begins.

My children are going to paint their own room.

Yes, they are 3, 5, and 7. And yes, I plan on taking plenty of pictures and having plastic drop cloths on the floor -- and on myself, come to think of it. (Would a rain poncho work, do you think?)

Messiness aside, I'm actually excited about it.

We have involved the children at every stage of this project. My boys put on their work clothes during the drywalling and helped their Dad hold and cut the wallboard to size. They held it steady while he screwed it in place.

My youngest supervised periodically. Her contribution has primarily consisted of cheerleading the project and asking her Daddy, at least daily, when the room would finally be ready. (So helpful, really.)

Then came the difficult part. We had to negotiate paint colors with them. My oldest wanted a black room with glowing planets and stars painted on the ceiling. (Conceptually interesting, but a black room? I said 'no.') My five year old wanted a "rainbow" room where every wall, the ceiling and the closet would all be different colors. (Slightly too Punky Brewster for me. Besides, in one year, when his school supply list contains a box of 24 crayons instead of 8, I had an odd feeling he would want to repaint.) And of course, my girly girl wanted pink and purple stripes at first. When we told her that her brothers wouldn't appreciate that color scheme, she said green and white stripes would be fine with her. How considerate.

We decided a visit to the hardware store paint aisle was in order. "Maybe we could look at wallpaper borders to get ideas," my husband helpfully suggested. We ventured out only to find that our local big-box hardware store is discontinuing all their wallpaper.


"You can go look at the cart at the front of the store," the clerk helpfully suggested. My mind flashed images of what could possibly be on the closeout cart... perhaps desert wallpaper with the sunbleached skulls of dead livestock. Perhaps we could find a suitable wallpaper border -- with my luck it would be black with glowing planets on it -- but surely not in a suitable quantity. I trudged to the front of the store with my overenthusiastic tribe leading the way. The stench of disappointment hung in the air (or maybe that was turpentine?)

My husband and children descended on the clearance rack, hooting wildly. I stood back, listening for the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth that comes with dashed expectations.

It didn't come.

Instead, my crew found -gasp- something they all liked -- a wallpaper border with brightly colored tree frogs hidden among the leaves of a rainforest! My oldest was thrilled to find that there were bugs hidden there, too. My five year old excitedly counted the vivid colors. My daughter pointed out that one of the flowers in the picture was bright pink, and one of the frogs had purple legs.

I was flabbergasted... in a good way.

So, coordinating paint and discontinued wallpaper in hand (which, for a dollar a roll, there's no complaining about) we happily left the store.

Which brings us to today. After school, the plan is to don the latest in shabby painting clothes and baseball caps and arm them with green paint and rollers of their own.

Did I mention tonight was also bath night?

- Midwest Mom


  1. I don't know, Julia, desert scenes with sun-bleached skulls works for me - lol! Can't wait to see the photos, maybe HGTV would too.

  2. Wow! You are a brave, brave woman. It will definitely be something they will remember. Good luck with the decorating.


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