By Diane Ako
When you walk into my house, there is absolutely no question a child lives there. Other than the fact that most of the time, Olivia's toys are scattered throughout all the common areas and several rooms and bathrooms, we now have a big chalkboard painted on the wall at the entrance.
It's something I've seen on restaurants, offices, and stores, and have been meaning to do... for three years. I got the can of paint immediately after hatching this brilliant idea. It just took me some 1,000 days to crack it open. Ha!
It happened one weekend when my friend Kalei came to visit and then got bored sitting around. Kalei is Type A, needs constant motion, but hates the outdoors.
"Do you want to do some craft project? We can go down to Ben Franklin and find something to make," I suggested.
"Crafts? No!" she rejected.
"Do you want to walk or hike?" I offered.
"No!" she said.
"Do you want to go to the beach or pool?" I said because I was getting desperate.
"Diane. Do you even know me?" she asked.
Then I remembered about the chalkboard wall. "Do you want to help me paint my entrance way with chalkboard paint?" I asked.
Kalei got excited, and that became our afternoon project. Claus supervised and mixed up the paint while we cleaned, taped, sanded, and painted the wall. We thought perhaps he assigned himself the good job as supervisor. I'm grateful to Kalei because if it wasn't for her, I know that we never would have done this.
I felt kind of guilty because Olivia would want to paint with us, but I've learned as a mom that my energy and time is unpredictable, so I have to strike while the iron is hot.
Olivia was out with the babysitter, so I texted the sitter: "The foyer paint is wet. Don't tell Olivia we did this without her. Tell her the Paint Fairy came."
Two coats later, it was done, and it works like a charm. It was covered with chalk drawings within five minutes of me declaring it dry and peeling the tape off.
I thought our family could use it as a little message board (one that doesn't get covered up with clutter or blown away in the breeze) but I see it's found a primary home as an art surface. And that works, too!