It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a control freak. Not like I used to be: I don’t think you can parent for any length of time without easing up a bit. That or go bonkers.
But some projects I like to cling to. Others I’d happily share – cooking, laundry, getting up in the night – but funnily enough people seem quite content leaving them to me.
Painting the garden fence is a project I wanted to keep, despite the enormity of it. Partly for a sense of accomplishment. To be able to look out and say, ‘I did that. Me. All by myself.’ And partly because painting is kind of my thing, and I like it to be neat.
Stain, I’ve discovered, is anything but neat. I have three times as many little brown freckles on my arms and face when I finish. So when my son asked if he could help this morning, my ‘no’ was firm and immediate. Then my daughter came out in her painting clothes, and look so crestfallen at not being allowed to help, I gave in.
I thought I’d regret it, but it was mostly okay. I yelled a couple of times as they covered each other in stain, but actually they did a good job on the fence. The grass is also brown, but it’ll mow.
Oh my, but they were covered. I was quite happy when they started a water fight, but as fights soon end in tears, I suggested they wash the trampoline instead.
Genius. They had so much fun sliding around in the foam. Definitely storing that away for another day.
So some fence got painted, and the trampoline is clean. Relinquishing control has its benefits now and then.