Four years. I mean it, four years it’s been there, taunting me and I’ve not tweaked a corner, not fingered a single edge. Bits of decades old wallpaper have curled and frayed, exposing layers of other older wallpaper behind them, but I have not given in to temptation. Others have dared to poke a finger behind the yellowed paper, lifting and scraping, but the most I’ve done is pressed that same paper down, smoothing it out and leaving well enough alone.
And then it happened. The girls were sitting, happily ensconced in PB&J on fresh sourdough, the bread halves opened and the gooey peanut butter and jam fast becoming a mask on their Saturday morning faces. I had, up until that very moment been content to take the wipe I had in my hand and absentmindedly clean the nutty smudges on the table. I still don’t know how it began, but somehow one of my hands, I’m not sure if it was my right or my left, reached out and finally took hold of the 6 inch flap of wallpaper that fluttered each time we opened and closed the front door. It was brittle in my hand and I think I expected it to break, leaving the 5 feet of paper above it in place. That was not the case, not the case at all.
Before I knew it I was holding a swath of wallpaper longer than my arm, the room went silent and Briar said,
“Mama, what are you doing? Are you ruinin’ the wall?”
Suddenly I was 7 again and standing beside the tv that had just unceremoniously tumbled from its perch after I innocently tried to turn it. Oh. My. God.
“Umm, honey, mama isn’t ruining the wall. She’s fixing it. Yes, sweet jesus, I’m fixing it. Mom and Dad are going to fix the wall, make it better.”
“Oh, you aren’t ruinin’ the wall? Ok. You gonna fix it? Is daddy gonna paint it pink?”
“Rooo-nin. Roo-nin. Pay-purr,” Avery chortled.
“No, honey, not ruined. Better.”
I looked at the wall and then at the clock. Sean was not going to be happy. He has warned me time and again that this is not the next project in our never ending project docket, in fact this doesn’t even make the top five, or top ten, he’s told me. Don’t get any ideas. And I didn’t, I so didn’t, but this was going to look like a grade A, Amanda, I-thought-it-would-be-ok idea.
“Daddy’s gonna be mad. Very maaaaad.” Briar was saying with a heavily furrowed brow. I realized that I had been repeating those very words over and over again as the edges of the remaining paper curled as if involved in some sort of Rockette-style dance.
Pop. Pleep. Pucker. Whip.
No less than 6 strips of paper had sprung from the wall, this in a house with at least one room that damn near took a blow torch to get the wallpaper down. Shit.
“Mama, we don’t say shit.”
“Oh, honey, yes we do. Sometimes we really do.”
My shoulders were slumped and I realized I had no choice but to forge ahead and at least clear off the rest of the wallpaper, hopefully isolating it to the corner in which I’d begun. I filled a bowl with hot water and set about sponging all the paper to loosen it. I shook my head, still in a state of utter disbelief that I had been so foolish after so long. The truth is, I think Sean has been closing to peeling that same piece for a few weeks now, kind of like a scab. Sigh.
The girls delighted in watching me soak the walls and peel off the strips of paper. Briar checked in every so often.
“You fixing it?”
“Yup, I am. Can you say the paper was ugly?”
“Da paper wasn’t ugly.”
“No, honey, the paper was ugly.”
“Honey, the paper was ugly.” She waited for my reaction.
“Perfect! Now say, the paint will be sooo pretty“
“The pink paint will be sooo pretty.”
“Uh-huh, pink. If we gonna make it pretty it’s got to be pink. Yup, yup.”
“Pink. PINK!” Avery concurred.
“Ok, then. Pink.” I chuckled, the wall was looking better and if I want to teach the girls anything it’s that what’s done is done and you just have to move forward.
Think the picture will help soften the blow?
If Sean isn't softened by those 2 smiley faces… and their statements of how ugly the paper was… and how pretty the paint will be… well then, he's just not the man you've been telling us all about. Plus, not much can be done once it's done! haha
Plus, the paper was ugly… and the paint (pink or not) will be oh so pretty!
It had to be stripped sometime, right?
You did OK, friend.
I would have pulled a long time ago, I have no self restraint and stuff like that would just eat away at me. Can't wait to see picture of your pretty pink walls 😉
There is something about a hanging flap of wallpaper that is so tempting.
I did the same thing in our hallway, many years ago, and spent weeks scraping off the layers of decades-old paper. Eventually, we gave up and just painted over the stuff upstairs. Our marriage couldn't take any more wallpaper removal.
ohhhhhhh you are a bad bad girl that second picture is way way worse then what i thought it was going to be. OOOOO badddddd girl. wow hmmm so maybe if i beat my tile counters with a hammer i can get some granite?????
Hee. You make me giggle.
The last picture is the best. They are so very proud to be standing in front of that horrible wall. Hee.
I'm impressed with your contriteness. I would have just gotten mad first to compensate.
ps – The Poo has the same PJs as Avery.
"we don't say shit mama" – lol! I love it! "oh yes we do"
I'm sure you are already forgiven. 🙂
Dude, it's the hormones. Lay blame squarely at the feet of the hormones….
"Oh, honey, yes we do. Sometimes we really do." *snort*
oooh those cheeks!
that picture will definitly
soften the blow!
I have these wallpaper stripping impulses, too.
You restrained yourself for FOUR years? I think you deserve a medal for that one. I don't think I would have lasted four minutes.
That last picture ought to make it much better.
You are so pregnant 🙂
I can totally understand the wallpaper-stripping impulse! Especially if it was ugly. I think you did a good job – there's not even a patch left!
i do believe that the adorable photo should help ease the blow. i mean really look at those cuties.
Oh, Misguided Mommy, everything looks always looks so much worse in a 115 year old house.
And to all, the pictures so helped! Dads and daughters, hehehehe.
"Mama, we don't say shit."
"Oh, honey, yes we do. Sometimes we really do."
HA! Hoo, good stuff there. Good luck with your walls!
Oh Mah Gawd! I just found this. Don't know how I missed it. But, now, I have a question.
Can I please, pretty please, borrow Avery and Briar for when I do the same thing to the fugly bathroom downstairs? Although, truly, the girls would love it. It's pink. Reeeaaaalllly pink.