Real Life (In Which a Gallon of Primer is Spilled on Hundred-Year-Old Hardwood)

My friend, Jade, is one of the coolest, most talented and genuine people I know. She frequently posts “Jade in Real Life” pictures on Facebook which provide an honest look into those parts of motherhood that happen to everyone, but which no one is willing to fess up to. I am about to shamelessly copy her in that regard. I am also about to shamelessly plug her photography business. (Go to Do it right now. And if you live in Central Texas, call Jade now so she can photograph your wedding, family reunion, newborn session, Wednesday afternoon, whatever. You’ll never regret it.)


Ok, so here goes the first of many of my own Real Life Confessions:


Yesterday I felt like a rock star of a mom. Mags had a tea party, we cooked in the kitchen, I got things set up for us to finish priming/painting the living room later that evening…I even had dinner prepared! And let me just say that this dinner involved marinating and risotto making. I pretty much felt like Mary Tyler Moore in the Dick Van Dyke Show.


And then Real Life happened. It requires capitalization. And bullet points.

  • 7:00 pm – Mags leaves the dinner table to play in the living room while we finish eating.
  • 7:10 pm – Mags plays in the dog water. This is only the 57th time she has done this today. I stifle my intense frustration.
  • 7:13 pm – Mags dumps salt out of the salt cellar while we’re cleaning the dog water.
  • 7:15 pm – Vin discovers the primer in the living room. The full gallon. Poured on the floor. The hundred-year-old hardwood floor. The floor of the house he grew up in. With his mother. His mother who only recently moved out but still has a deep, undying love for the house. The house with the hardwood floors. The floors that are covered in primer.
  • 7:16 pm – In the words of my husband, the fecal matter hits the rotary oscillator. There is much rushing around, gathering of cleaning supplies, muttering of expletives and prayers, telling Maggie to “sit right there and DO. NOT. MOVE.” accompanied by…
  • 7:17 pm – …frantic scrubbing, Lily screaming, me holding back tears, Vin locating a mop, me praying that the Magic Eraser really is magic, and Maggie saying, “It’s okay, Mama?”
  • 7:19 pm – We breathe easy because it all came off the floor. Someone comforts screaming Lily.
  • 7:20 pm – I make a mental note to verbally berate the next person who tells me that, “There’s no such thing as the Terrible Two’s!”
  • 7:21 pm – We have a discussion with the little cherub. Something to the effect of, “…accidents happen, but you have to tell Mama and Daddy, yada, yada, yada.”
  • 7:22 pm – We rest in the calm of parents who have just dodged a ginormous bullet. We’ve come out on the other side victorious! Ha ha to you Real Life! We conquered!
  • 7:23 pm – Maggie dumps out the dog water.

The evening pretty much went downhill from there. Suffice it to say that our sweet baby angel child gift from the Lord God above and light of our lives – if I say enough sweet things I won’t be tempted to go all praying mantis on her – our darling little bundle of happiness and sunshine, bless her heart, she went to bed early.


Please note that I’m leaving out the parts about me dumping pink food coloring on my foot, cursing the ants who are taking over my kitchen, and eating a cupcake. I’m also leaving out the part where I ate another cupcake right after the first one.


Real life, my friends. Real. Life.

6 thoughts on “Real Life (In Which a Gallon of Primer is Spilled on Hundred-Year-Old Hardwood)

  1. Sweet Lord in heaven this had me ROLLING. Especially the part where the crisis is averted, let’s just breathe, Mags dumps out the dog water.
    Oh heavens. I’m SO excited to hear your Mary Susan in Real Life stories. But it’s what you do already MS! It’s what you do already.
    So glad all the paint came up. Maybe Mags needs a sand box, yes? With dump trucks and places to dump water and other things? Possibly in the backyard where Momma can watch lovingly from a porch or air conditioned window. 🙂
    Love you guys!

  2. Granny

    Okay, I’m just going to jump in and say in Maggie’s defense, “Why was there open primer where a two year old could get to It? That’s as silly as having Advil, razor blades, or sharpened stakes in the yard where she could get to them. And, some people have height advantages over two year olds! When you have an ACTIVE, inquisitive, strong-willed, precocious child, you have to become as crafty as a super spy to slip things by them. And, this is a prime example, pun intended! I am glad this story has a happy ending. Otherwise, you could have “limed” the floors for that country distressed look. I come from a long line of people who are proficient in “naming” disasters and passing them off as intended results! God bless, and, no more disaster stories or I am cancelling our plans to visit. I don’t think I’m at the peak of my spy career!

    1. THE PRIMER WASN’T OPEN!!! That’s what we couldn’t figure out…how the heck did she get the lid off??? No idea. Unless we didn’t get the lid on well enough after we used it the last time, but yeah. The lid was on and theoretically secured. She’s that good.

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