Full Glossy For The Win!
You know how in horror flicks the protagonist will walk into, say, a dark and deserted castle with his vacuous dimwit of a barely dressed blonde girlfriend, and then he’ll pause and say, “It’s quiet in here… Too quiet” and then out come the flying blades of death, reducing everyone to a quivering hunks of meat? Well, you don’t really appreciate that line until you have kids. Kids ALWAYS make noise. Even when they’re sleeping. “I can’t sleep!” “I had an accident!” “I need water!” “Daddy, let me out of the attic!” And when my daughter actually decides to get her annual five minutes of sleep, she snores louder than a fucking leaf blower. So when your spouse turns to you and says, “It’s quiet in here… Too quiet” your child is doing one thing, and one thing only: Fucking your shit up.
My daughter was three years old when in a fit of wild, pie-in-the-sky optimism, my wife and I put her in her room for a nap. When she was put in her room, my daughter usually took the opportunity to play with her Barbie dolls, take all of her clothes out and pile them in the corner of the room, line up all the books in her bookcase in a straight line on the floor, anything but actually lose consciousness. One time (and I have this on tape), she sang the words “I’m a fairy agaaaaaain!” for thirty straight minutes. So an hour later when my wife looked at me and mentioned that it was a little too quiet in the house, we both knew we were fucked.
Flash back to six months earlier: My wife and I are in Home Depot. My wife had decided that my daughter’s room could use a little dash of color, and so the two of them settled on a color I can only describe as “Violent Pink”. This color is so vivid, so bright, so profoundly pink, that you can see the paint job from space. I swear you can see it through the exterior walls. The only way that room will ever not be pink is if we redecorate the room using gasoline and dynamite. It is motherfucking PINK, people. And while I was outvoted in the sensible colors that don’t blind bees department, I stood firm when it came time to select the finish. “Glossy. Full glossy. I’m not even going to debate that.” My wife, of course, wanted to consider satin, or even semi-glossy. “No way. Full glossy, or I decorate that room with a fucking baseball bat. End of story.” And so we went with full glossy, even though my wife wasn’t happy with my decision or my sudden stubbornness.
Six months later, my reasons became clear. My wife went upstairs to investigate the deafening silence, and I steeled myself for the worst. It took about ten seconds. “Oh… My… GOD!!! GREG!!!” When I got to the top of the stairs, a wall of stench hit me. I mean it hit me like a real wall. I fell sideways into the hall, reflexively gagging. “Look what she did! OH MY GOD, WHY DID YOU DO THAT!?!?” asked my wife.
My daughter, it seems, had dropped a deuce during “nap time” and decided that although she wasn’t old enough to not crap her pants, she was old enough to change herself, and she did this in the same manner you or I would do it if we’d been consuming lead paint chips for lunch every day of our lives: She rubbed the diaper on things. All things. The carpet, her books, her toys, herself… The fucking walls. I’ve been in honest-to-God Mexican dive bars where the bathrooms had no plumbing, and this was far, far worse. She must have been saving her shit and hatred for her parents for fucking months!
The division of labor was that I would put my daughter in the tub while my wife attempted to clean the room. So there I sat, trying to get shit out of my daughter’s fucking eyelashes, while my wife kept making foul discoveries: “OH MY GOD SHE OPENED HER POP-UP BOOK AND SMEARED SHIT EVERYWHERE! EVEN BEHIND THE POPUPS!” Or, “HOW DO YOU GET SHIT THIS HIGH UP THE WALLS WHEN YOU CAN BARELY REACH THE DOORKNOB!” Or the classic, “THERE IS SHIT ON THE LIGHTBULB!”
When all was said and done, my daughter was clean, if a little red from all the scrubbing. The carpet was clean, but never quite the same. Books, toys, lightbulbs, and other non-essentials were bagged and thrown away. I would rather replace them than have them turned into foul, unintentional scratch-n-sniff novelties. But the walls were pristine.
They say that married couples make a team, and while that may be true in the broadest of senses, in reality the two teammates are more often than not competing against each other. Who controls the remote? Who drives the kids to day care? Who helps the kids with their homework, makes supper, cleans up the cat puke in the hall… The list is as long as the hours you can argue about shit like that. So when life hands you a trump card, you fucking grab that thing with both hands and never let it go. It represents one argument you can avoid, one compromise that won’t have to happen, one decision that won’t turn on a tie-breaking vote cast by a fucking toddler.
“Hey, good thing I insisted on full glossy, huh?” were the first words out of my mouth when I went back into my daughter’s room. “I mean, look at those walls. You’d never know they were caked in shit a few short minutes ago. Damn, that full-glossy paint really is kid proof, isn’t it? Can you imagine what this room would look like right now if you’d chosen a satin finish?” I’m sure I went on for hours while my wife went downstairs and got on with her life. She knew then that my glossy trump card would be played any time paint came up, no matter how indirectly.
“So, you’re her to pick up my daughter for prom, huh?”
“That your car?”
“Paint job looks a little dull.”
“You know, when your prom date here was three, she smeared shit all over herself. All over her books, her toys, her carpet. She smelled like a Brazilian port-o-potty when we found her. But the walls came clean right off the bat. You know why? Full glossy, my friend. Full glossy.”
Full glossy for the win, people. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Thanks for reminding me why I have not yet had kids. Also, isn’t science great? A tiny, tiny 3 year old barely craps anything compared to a full sized adult, and yet I bet that room was covered like it got hit by a paint bomb. That’s how it always happens… and it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.
It’s like walking into a phone booth only to find the Empire State building in there. What the fuck?
I laughed so hard it scared my dogs.
Your poor daughter – you’ll probably tell this story at her wedding.
If I tell it often enough, there won’t be a wedding! That’s how to save money, people.
Nothing to do with this post at all, but I just checked the Bloggess, there are 500 comments before mine, and who is number one? Dogs on Drugs, that’s who! Well done Greg.
I think I’ve had the number one comment 3 out of the last 5 or 6 posts. Pure luck that I happen to be at my computer when my RSS feed aggregator shows she’s posted something new.
It is amazing the amount of crap that comes out of such tiny people.
When my son screams “MOMMMMMYYYYY” from the bathroom I have to steady myself because without fail when I go in there to help him wipe (he’s 35) my first reaction is always to scream: Holy fucking hell kid where did all that shit come from?
Glossy is key.
35!?!? Please tell me I won’t be dealing with these issues for three more decades!
This is one of my most favorite DOD posts ever, and that is saying A LOT! poop is horrifying. I cannot wait to read about the prom retelling and the wedding rehash. Good times!
Yeah, I’m kind of looking forward to paying it back during wedding rehearsal dinners and the like. My daughter, on the other hand, will probably be looking into Witness Relocation programs.
Jean-Luc Picard for the win 😉
Makes you want to join the roller-coaster of parenthood, but I think I will stay over here on the real roller-coaster, at all hours of the morning, just for now…
A roller coaster is a good metaphor, but only if there are no safety belts or harnesses to hold everyone in. Just sheer, pants-wetting horror and uncertainty.
Word to the wise…use that trump card sparingly or it may not only lose it’s power but make your child a legend in the eyes of her friends. Serious, if your child figures out (and say what you will about teens but in this area they pay attention–total attention) that you are going to whip that nugget out, they will take ownership and soon you will be surrounded by a group of teens one-upping each other’s shit stories…and you will be standing there wondering what the fuck just happened.
Nah, I’ve already decided that if she gets too out of hand, I’m sending her to military school. Solves a LOT of problems.
You know, we jokingly told her that we were going to send her to military school, and her reactions was, “Cool! I TOTALLY want to go to military school!” We had to remind her that she also wanted braces, which she now can’t wait to have removed. No dice. She wants military school.
Turns out she thought military school was regular school, plus a dorm for girls to hang out in, plus you get weapons. Not quite.
Again…I have to say be careful. My daughter actually joined the military (she makes me hide the pictures of her dressed in a Che shirt). I try to find comfort in the fact that it is the Coast Guard but still I have to repeat over and over…rescue mission…rescue mission!
And that right there is why I do a celebratory dance every time I get my period.
Is that dance improvised, or are there special moves involved? I’d imagine there is a whole lot of fist pumping going on…
When there’s feces on the ceiling, nobody wins.
Amen to that, Rev.
At age two (perhaps it was one?) my son did had a his first really nuclear tantrum. At nap time. We left him alone to cool down in his room. Sure enough, the silence and the hell-smell brought us back 20 minutes later.
Picture a child covered in shit from fingers to shoulders, daubs and smears everywhere, in his hair and clothing, including one big angry swipe along one wall, and across his bookshelf, but now suddenly horrified beyond his years, frantically trying to wipe himself off on his own bedspread, but just making it worse and worse.
If Mr. Hanky ever played Lady MacBeth, no, it was more like Edgar Allen Poe on acid; the expression on his tiny face.
It was total, adult humiliation and total doom. I vowed for his sake never, ever to speak of it.
But this is text, am I right?
Yeah, totally fine to write about it. I mean, they can’t hold this against you in a court of law or anything. That’s why I’m free to write about all those hobos I murdered.
What is this shit! I clicked on something about “missing link” that I thought would take me to something about monkeys and evolution and instead I get poop explosions and laughed so hard I woke up the household.
My brother once did something similar, except in his case it was more Jackson Pollack. We came into the room to find him on all fours, baby butt explosions everywhere, and him using his diaper as a sort of palette as he drew on the sliding glass door. He then felt my mom approaching, turned, looked up at her, and stuck his poop finger in his mouth. And laughed.
*I* can’t wait to tell that story at his wedding.
Yeah, shit to the mouth is always good for a giggle. One time I brought my middle son home when he was super-super little. We also had a new puppy, who I let in when I arrived. Within 15 seconds, the following things happened:
* The dog took a dump
* The boy found the dump
* The boy put the dump in his mouth
* My wife called to see how things were going
She was NOT happy when I told her that our son was eating dog shit.
Omg. This story is amazing. You are amazing for telling it in such a way. Your daughter. Amazing. For taking that first step. As brown as it may be.