Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I REMEMBER - Paint on Ian's Head

...the time I took my oldest son to Home Depot on a father-son bonding trip to pick up building supplies. He was about 5 years old and loved to ride in the cart full of supplies. We had loaded the card with bricks and paint. For the life of me I cannot remember what the heck I was trying to build with bricks and paint, but that is what was in the cart...with Ian sitting on top.

So, we come out of the store and the little kid [Ian] says to the big kid [me]...."push it fast down the ramp for a ride, Dad" Why not? What could possibly go wrong? Off we go cruising down the ramp into the parking lot at less than supersonic speed, but still a bit too fast for the circumstances (that is how the highway patrol guy always describes it).

We leave the ramp at breakneck speed and head uncontrollably (no, you can't steer a shopping cart when you both are riding it and hanging on for dear life) toward a big pothole in the lot. "Of course it is always big fun, until somebody gets hurt" in my Mom's most disapproving voice was ringing in my ears, as we approached the pothole. Of course I was 41 and a responsible adult(?), so we were safe.

Yes, we hit the pothole and in very slow (painful-to-watch and yes, the parking lot was full of people watching this insane action) motion, and we began to tip over. I jumped off and grabbed the side of the tipping cart. Usually, holding up a tipping cart was a relatively easy thing to correct, but today, I had decided to fill the cart with heavy bricks [and paint]. It tipped over and try as I might, I could not hold it up with one hand. It crashed over and Ian and the bricks fell into the parking lot...Ian was ok and the bricks were ok. But, in a parallel universe that magically merged with this one, the paint flipped up and over and hit the bricks in a way that didn't even dent the can, but popped the lid off and dumped the paint over Ian's head.

Ian started to cry and I tried to wipe the paint off of him as best I could with a little rain water in a puddle next to the cart. It was a losing battle, so we loaded up the car and headed home. On the way, I coached him very carefully on what to do when we arrived home. He was very brave and very calm. We would pull into the driveway and quietly go to the side yard, get the hose out and wash him off before we went into the house...and under no circumstances would we let his mom know until we had it fixed. We agreed. Agreements with a five year old often don't hold up so well. We parked the car and I headed into the side yard to turn the hose on. Ian, instead of following me [as we had agreed], instead ran screaming up the walk into the front door yelling "Mom, Mom.....Dad dumped paint on my head."

It was a long cold day after that. Much funnier now. Ian now has his own son, Zak and I can only wish him a similar experience...many of them...and would like to hear how his private agreements with my grandson go.

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