My wife is back at work and my daughter home from school for a week. The living room is glistening from a coat of primer and my son has been crapping diarrhea as if he's trying to win a competition judged by weight. He's had four moments this morning already. But it's been 45 minutes since the last one and he's dragged me off to the toilet for a pee as well so I think I'm out of the woods (if the woods was made out of wet lakes of chunk-filled poo obviously) for the foreseeable. He's busily shoving his new train around right now. My daughter is coloring in a princess book she was given by family and wants to be left alone until it's done. I took a peek or two though to make sure she is just coloring it in and isn't secretly mainlining chocolate until it's all gone.
Christmas is very much over. Boxing Day morning we packed everything away and chucked the tree out the front door ready to be burned. I've heard a little moan from others about how it ruins the ambiance or isn't right to take it down now. Balls to that - it was in the way. And if I want to convince my daughter that I simply had to wipe the Christmas songs off her MP3 player until 12 months from now I had to go the whole hog and declare the Santa and tree part of it very much over. Besides with all the football on this week I need the goal set back up for carpet football where the tree was. I can't simulate Andy Carroll sitting on a bench and then missing the goal completely if I don;t have it set up. More importantly there's 2000 pounds of flooring sitting in my dining room ready to be installed this week. Which means painting, doing trim and guff like that before chucking it down. So with the tree dying on the lawn we could get to work putting primer into the wee hours last night. Cue painting on the walls and shoving furniture out of the way.
My wife estimated it would take five hours to prime. She painted the room last time almost full-term pregnant and that's how long it took her. She didn't pick out that color though - that was me. I thought it would be cool and edgy. Instead it looks like an Oompa Loompa that had been Tango'd by Dutch UDA fanatics. Hence why it's being painted over with what we are calling a Dijon-naise color. I assumed that with my awesome help we could trim a third off that time. So I moved furniture while my wife did some edging. Then I grabbed the roller and got to work. Great stuff. After flying through that first wall and feeling immensely helpful and talented my wife asked me to please please stop painting. Apparently I suck quite badly at it. Worse is that I genuinely cannot see that I suck at it. My wife explained it quite thoroughly and although I was looking at her boobs for while she pointed at the wall I couldn't really see why her wall patch was so much better than mine. Just rest assured that she definitely could. Years ago in my mid to late teens a friend and I blagged a painting gig and pretended we knew what we were doing. The guy wanted a cheap job done off the books by young-uns out of technical college. Instead he got me and my mate gushing buckets of paint all over a car park. When he thought we should be done he came out to find 1/5 of it shoddily painted and told us to piss off unpaid before we got into trouble. Apparently my painting skills have not improved much since then. I did paint the ceilings very well in half the house mind. But evidently my skills are so poor that my wife preferred that I just keep her company and move stuff while she got it done.
I'm immensely impressed with my wife. She is sharper than almost anyone I could pit her against. She has a breadth of talent that is even more impressive too. She's mechanically gifted, intellectual, the best cook on earth and smarter with money than anyone. She can also do detail oriented work very well in a way that I cannot. She also has a very strong work ethic and drive to get stuff done. And yet sometimes she will do things that don't make any sense at all. Take yesterday's shopping. She's been telling me for a few weeks that she's only got one pair of decent jeans. So with the Boxing Day sales I told her one store she likes has 75% of jeans so she should buy a few pairs. "Great idea!" she says. Fifteen minutes later she shows me her list of clothes on the company online website. Two shirts, a bathing suit and three pairs of pants. No jeans at all. I can't make sense of that at all. Especially as my wife owns five bathing suits that she looks amazing in and doesn't go swimming ever. Presumably she's got some sort of online bikini gig going on I don't know about. Or her boyfriend has a jacuzzi. This shopping confusion came very quickly after she arrived home from the hardware store to buy the paint we needed. Granted she did get the paint. But also carried in a nativity set (we already own three) and a live Christmas tree. "It was on sale," she says. Well yes of course it was - it's the day after Christmas. Christmas trees tend to go down in price after that. "It's for Evelyn. For her room." Oh well maybe we should go back and get some more then? "It has glitter on it." Well how could you not buy it then?
My wife is also very good at claiming she is asking an unweighted question whilst at the same time actually asking a question that is loaded with the heaviest weight imaginable. For example she can ask, "did you wear that shirt on purpose yesterday?" - unaware there may have been a statement attached to it - and then claim that it was just an innocent question. The fact that I can't answer it Yes or No without loading even more weight on top of the supposition inherent in the question means nothing to her - she meant nothing and me saying she did is rude. Another classic question in this mold is, "why do you wash the dishes that way?" After which she will claim that she has no opinion of any kind as to how dishes should be washed, and that she as just having a conversation. This statement will be made alongside a description of the only and correct way that dishes should be washed based on data collected in a graph. As I don't have a graph then she finds it absurd that I would pretend to be an expert in dish washing. "A charlatan - that's what you are," she will say with her eyes.
Anyway, that's sort of how I thought painting would go because she's quite precise and can see any mistake or imperfection that I genuinely cannot. When we moved in here we had to do every single thing in every single room. A lot of it was ripping stuff down (and I mean removing the walls, floors and ceilings completely) in every single room, insulating, hanging dry wall, installing windows and getting the rooms ready to decorate. It was bloody hard work. That's what I did. At the time I was quite sick too and by the end of it was sicker. My wife came in afterwards (before and after squeezing out a baby) and painted, laid tile and made it all look good. Once after grouting the upstairs bathroom I cleaned up the excess and washed the tiles. Took me ninety minutes to clean that tile. After which my wife asked my why I hadn't bothered to do it and was now lying down as if I was sick or something. Then she did it "properly." I cannot tell the difference.
But the painting would go differently obviously. She hates doing it, and I had loaded my MP3 player with some awesome music for motivation. I was jazzed to do it actually. Ten minutes in she asked me if I had put the song on my MP3 player that was playing. See - it's the same sort of question. I thought about telling her that no actually I hadn't - it had fallen on there and I couldn't get it off. Instead I didn't get the chance to before she begged me not to paint anymore and to turn Cool TV on instead. She was happier to do it correctly by herself as long as I turned off my awful music, talked to her the whole time about stuff she wanted to talk about and try not to insist that she looks hot in her painting clothes.
This morning my son didn't notice the walls. My daughter did and suggested we paint the kitchen next as that's ugly as well. Very tactful that. Tonight the actual paint goes on and I'm pretty certain my wife will hurt me if I try to help with that. So I'm on baby-sleeping, furniture moving and waiter duty. I might try and get her to paint in one of her bathing suit bikinis that she no longer thinks is good enough though.
I'm thinking she'll say no.