“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Pablo Picasso
Scrub. Swish. Whoosh. Vroom.
These are the sounds of the desperate housewife cleaning her ‘castle’. Or, as I refer to it, ‘Downton Shabby’. But, add on an extra few decibels of volume because it’s not just a regular cleaning. It’s getting the house cleaned before selling the place.
(Combine that also with “pop”, “Grrr” and “swoosh” since it’s not only cleaning but cutting and nailing up trim, sanding hardwood floors and paint re-touching. [Also, combined with other words uttered from my mouth that weren’t so lovely either…])
Sure, I’m not excited about imagining the mass of people tromping through my house and personal belongings for the next few months (or more…). Added to the stress of relocation is going to be the stress of trying to keep the house in tip-top shape enough to have to vacate at any moment when a prospective buyer wants to stop in.
That’s why I was a bit panicked yesterday. The realtor was coming for an assessment of our property, and Bright Eyes decided to go on another rampage…
We were sitting in the living room. She was playing with my hubby and I’s vintage Pentech markers. Seriously, those things are older than dirt, but they still ready and rearing to go. (Crayola’s got nothing on them!)
She was blissfully switching from color to color, scribbling on the older paper I had left from art school. For whatever reason, I got up for a minute. No, make that probably a couple of seconds, and went to the kitchen.
Chaos ensued. I look over and, apparently, she’d secretly sashayed into the dining room, markers in hand and at the ready.
Scribble, scribble, scribble.
*Cue Alfred Hitchcock screechy, stringy movie theme music.*
Ahh, my green wall and white trim were covered in Baby Picasso!
I really didn’t need this, hours before a realtor was coming to look at my place. I repeat, my frayed nerves really didn’t need this. Honestly, my 1920s two-bedroom, one-bathroom place needs all the high points it can get.
Now, I was staring at an abstract mess over new paint. And, I live in an area where almost no one appreciates the master painters, so please don’t wonder why I didn’t have Bright Eyes sign her name and leave the marker masterpiece on the lathe and plaster.
In my years of being a homeowner, I probably have not learned much. But, I do know that Isopropyl rubbing alcohol is something you need to keep around your house.
(Wow, I interject to mention that this whole incident was probably a kick-back from the time I was little [but not that little] and wanted to play school with some of my sisters. I wrote “dog” and other school-like words with blue marker all over a wooden door… *kicking self*).
Fortunately, Bright Eyes wasn’t using permanent markers. The package doesn’t say “washable” or anything either. So, hopeful, I sloshed the alcohol on a paper towel and prayed for the best.
I did see my green wall paint come off on the paper towel. However, it took off the marker with a little scrubbing. I really don’t even notice the green color looking splotchy or faded either despite the paper towel’s green hue.
If you’re a much more experienced (and/or smarter) mom than I am, you probably keep your kids sitting at a desk when coloring. But, if you have a precocious, high-energy kid like mine, that barely seems like an option. When Baby Picasso wants to commission artwork for your home, please try this little trick.
Then, breathe deeply, and thank God you don’t have to paint that damn wall over — again.