Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Paint Wars

The other night was Anna's first parents evening, or rather our first parent-teacher evening. It was more of a social gathering than an earnest 'how's my child doing affair'. Unsurprising really, considering she's two.

So there we were, all nattering away, and the teacher asks if anyone has any issues. A couple of people mention some things, (Chauncey has a food allergy, Skylar can't remember if s/he's a boy or a girl etc etc) so I bring up the fact that Anna pretty much always comes home covered head to toe in paint, and could they start using washable paint please because it's not coming out. A couple of parents mumble agreement, and a few offer suggestions, which to my insecure parenting mind sound like "oh, I suggest, Simple Green, and well, superior laundry skills". Parent smiles with mouth only.

With blind persistence and this snotty English accent which in hindsight probably made me sound like a right Mary Poppins, I suggested some options:

a) Anna wears a smock. Well, apparently she does, but it does not appear to limit her creative endeavours vis a vis paint and her clothing.

b) Under her smock she wears 'painting clothes'. I could tell this wasn't popular, and I sort of understand. It's hard enough to get 6 toddlers wearing smocks let alone special clothing underneath.

c) She paint nude. Come on people, this is California after all.

d) Washable paints!! Why are these paints only removable with superior laundry skills?? I think those bitches were lying.

e) Shut up, admit defeat and buy 500 long sleeved white T-shirts at Tarjay.

I think I'm going to have to go with plan e) because when I picked Anna up from school today she was liberally daubed with green paint. Is it just me, or were they trying to make a point here?

This picture does not do justice to the true horror of the situation.....

Obviously I'd much rather she trash a few outfits than stay pretty and clean in the corner with a pair of white gloves on and a nice book, but please, we're not made of money.

Any suggestions? Simple Green? Soylent Green? All-black clothing? Chill the fuck out?


Anonymous said...

As the mother of two boys, 500 T-shirts at Tarjay is definitely the way to go. Those paints are never really washable. You miss one spot with Spray 'N Wash and forget it. Chilly

AliBlahBlah said...

I know, Jen suggested I try and get those stains out with hydrochloric acid. Tarjay it is.

Mary Helen said...

Gah! What kind of people think they can cover children with paint whenever they want to? Why not give the kids some crayons for gad's sake. That's the kind of thing that's going to burn my potatoes when I have kids.

Mary Helen Scribble Nation said...

Question time!! So... What brought you from England to California?

AliBlahBlah said...

I wanted to do a little travelling after college, so I chose to do an internship in sunny Santa Barbara, CA. Little did I realise that my world tour would begin and end there........still 10 years later the reason I set up camp here (my lovely bloke) is still a good one, and SB's not such a bad place to be accidentally stranded either.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

My personal strategy is to dress mine in a white t-shirt every day. There ain't nothing a Clorox bleach pen can't conquer. So far, that is. I'm sure that just typing those words means I will be faced with an unbeatable stain tomorrow.

Iota said...

You could always find an English friend and have a conversation over a cup of tea about how useless American washing machines and detergent are compared to English ones. That might make you feel better, if nothing else. Meanwhile, can you just have a stock of t-shirts that Anna goes to school in, and others that she doesn't. I really don't think it matters if there are little colored stains blobs on a t-shirt at the beginning of a school day, especially as everyone knows where they have come from. I wouldn't bother to pursue the "please use washable" line. I bought washable paints, and they don't wash out very well. Washable, in the sense that you can wash it, not in the sense that you can wash it out!

AliBlahBlah said...

Burgh Baby's Mom & Iota -

Yes I think the definite way forward is chlorox bleach and white clothes. It's funny to think that white clothes are the easiest to clean. And I know what you mean about American detergents. Where's my chuffing Persil? I actually half suspect that my special low-water "High Efficiency" washing machine that merely spits water on our clothes might be part of the problem too.

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