So this is spring break at our house

My son laughed in his sleep on the floor. He and his sister both are camped in the living room right now because their bedrooms are getting painted – and they’re doing the work.

Their rooms have been the same colors since they moved into them as toddlers. They have flat paint – BIG mistake – and very, very pale colors, green in one and blue in the other, but so light they are nearly white. The kids hate their walls.

(They also hate the texture, both way bumpy and knockdown, on their ceilings and walls, but we are not changing that. I expect soon my son will be expressing great gratitude because some of his walls are flat, where we ran out of texturing materials, and his sister will be expressing great envy.)

Curiously, they ended up choosing green and blue again, after my daughter long had threatened a deep red color and my son kept mentioning orange. (He did briefly entertain a gray and neon green Xbox theme.) There was a lot of angst involved (“Dad won’t let us get all black, will he?”) but I kept assuring them I didn’t care what they chose, if they moved out in a few years and I didn’t like the colors I’d just paint over them, sure patterns were OK, yes more than one color was OK (although not the four different colors the boy was pondering at one point, please).

Thanks to the ever-handy, the wall o’ color at Home Depot and the adjacent paint picturer, we finally came home with four gallons of paint: Thyme Green and Emerald Coast for her, Happy Camper and Neptune Blue for him.

There was an odd peace in the house as they helped each other move furniture. At that point, the boy abandoned the project and preferred NCAA basketball, NASCAR, Xbox, anything but taping, knowing his painting would be limited until his dad got home and patched the mui holes. His sister, on the other hand, went into her “I can do this all myself and if you help even 3 percent it will be RUINED for me” mode, consenting to my help only with arranging drop cloths and pouring paint. She taped all the trim and windows herself, made the edge cuts for the green half of her room, wrapped everything up in plastic and asked to watch “Finding Nemo” when she was done, to which I consented, rewarding her with the couch for her efforts. Her brother, who had declined a sleeping bag at first in favor of a recliner, dug one out at some point and remains there still.

There likely will be muttering today because the senior fisherman was tromping in the river yesterday and won’t patch holes until tonight, but there is much that can be done anyway – which I will point out as repeatedly as necessary. My role is more a supervisory one, I have decided. People who think they are old enough to drive surely can handle a little painters’ tape.

This post originally appeared on, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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