Monday, May 29, 2006

Face Painting

My friend Carol popped in with her daughter and grandson yesterday. They'd been to a boat show where Kai's face had been painted like a lion. Roar!!! That's the first thing he said when he walked through the door, scaring the living daylights out of me! At 46, I can't take too many scares like that!

Seeing him with his face painted reminded me of an incident that happened about fifteen years ago. Linn Marie was just about two and her sister, Inger Lise, was a couple of years older.

I can clearly remember being in the kitchen, baking a cake, and thinking that the girls had been quite for a just a little too long. It didn't feel right. You know what kids are like: they're noisy even when they're doing so-called quiet activities. I listened, heard nothing and decided to investigate.

They were in my bedroom. Linn Marie was sat on the bed with her sister standing in front of her. I can picture it clearly. We had the most horrendous green crocheted bedspread that Bjørn's gran had made as a present, and that definitely didn't match the pale blue floral wallpaper! Not that the dark wood bed with the deep red velour headboard helped matters much!

Anyway, I stood in the door opening hardly believing what I saw. Inger Lise was painting her sister's face with nail varnish! Not a pale pearl pink that wouldn't notice too much, either. Oh no, she'd chosen bright cherry red! Her forehead, cheeks and nose were covered in it. The only part that hadn't been painted was her chin, but only because she hadn't got that far yet!

I'm sure I don't even need to describe my reaction but let's just say it wasn’t "Oh you sweet little darlings, what fun you're obviously having" or anything along those lines. That my voice rose an octave or two is an understatement and there were probably words uttered that children ought not hear.

I was livid!

The next thing I knew, the bloke who lived below us came flying up the stairs and smashed our front door in! Yepp. Broke the lock clean off!

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he shouted. "It's two thirty and you know damned well that I sleep in the afternoon when I've been working nights".

"Well, I'm very sorry but what exactly do you expect me to say to my children when they've done something to make me angry? "Don't worry, kids, just carry on as you are and I'll tell you off in an hour?" I don't think so."

But could he understand the logic. Not a chance. So not only did I have a two year old with a face covered in red nail varnish, I was having to explain myself to a neighbour for having a go at my kids during his napping hour! The nerve of some people.

And he refused to fix the lock!

I phoned the doctor to find out what I could do about the nail varnish and was told "Nothing. You'll just have to wait for it to wear off". Great. She'd have to go to nursery with a bright red face. Not that she seemed to care but I certainly got a few strange looks from passers by!

It took about a week for it to go completely, and Inger Lise never ever went near her sister with anything from my make-up bag basket again.

The neighbour? He ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Make of that what you will.



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