The paint spill on Boxing Day 2023

A couple weeks ago, Chris’s dad had told us that he was doing some minor paint touch ups around the house. I had noticed the cans of paint at the sides of the garage when coming and going from the house, but never thought much of it. Chris’s parents’ house has a two car garage that when you add a lot of paint and gardening supplies, plus just household tools and files, feels crowded and borderline cluttered. Once the two cars are in the garage, it’s a tight squeeze to get in between the vehicles, and often when coming in with the second car, passengers in the backseat (as in, Pookster and I) will need to get out of the car before it’s fully pulled in and parked.

Well, despite Pookster being an active toddler running around everywhere, grabbing and ripping things, and causing mischief galore, we luckily have not had anything in the house break or get misplaced in our 2.5 weeks here. So when we were about to leave the house today to head over to Chris’s uncle’s house for Boxing Day family festivities, an accident finally occurred. With Pookster in my arms and her fat, stuffed diaper bag on my back, I was squeezing between the second car and multiple cans of paint and supplies when suddenly I felt the diaper bag knock something heavy and… BAM! A can of paint fell over, the lid fell off, and white paint oozed out all over the garage floor and into the driveway.

“Shit! Shit! SHIT!” I yelled, as I saw the white paint flow down the slight incline. Chris peered over from where he was by the car and had a frustrated look on his face. I went to tell his parents and asked if they had any paint thinner, and we all had to spring into action, and quickly. We sopped up as much paint as possible with throwaway rags, random paper bags and paper towels lying around, and plastic bags. We took out a bottle of turpentine to remove the paint residue as best as possible. We used the hose to spray and loosen the paint. We had to use the turpentine on our own hands to remove the paint we got on ourselves. All the while as we’re scrambling to ensure nothing gets permanently damaged, Kaia is sitting in her car seat in the car with a door open, singing endless different songs and babbling away as though everything was merry and bright.

Chris, Pookster, and I left to go to Chris’s uncle’s first, while Chris’s parents and his brother took the second car to go, but stopped by a hardware store to see if they had more turpentine. They told a worker there what happened, and they advised to not let the paint dry and to address the matter as soon as possible. So in the end, Chris’s dad stayed behind to clean and hose down the excess paint, and just Chris’s mom and brother came to the family gathering. I felt pretty terrible knowing that I had not only delayed getting to the family gathering for us, but also created extra work and stress for everyone, and potentially the worst thing was making Chris’s dad feel compelled to stay behind and clean the remaining residue. But after it was all done, we just talked about how lucky we were that a) Kaia and I didn’t fall and get covered in paint, and b) the car closest to the paint didn’t get damaged or have any paint on it.

And really, the moral of this paint story is…. declutter, declutter, declutter. Ugh.

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