As the day of departure from our minging bungalow (known affectionately throughout our acquaintance as the B.O.D. – bungalow of doom) drew near, I began to discuss with the landlord whether we really needed to spend £200 on cleaning the carpets to protect our deposit.
‘Good God no,’ he replied. ‘I wouldn’t even bother wiping the surfaces. We’re knocking it down the next week’.
‘Hmm’, I said, cogs whirring. ‘Well in that case, could we have a bit of fun with it? Do you mind if we trash it properly?’
We established that he didn’t. Don’t break any glass, and don’t trash the curtains; these were the only ground rules.
So with much delight I invited 10 families round for a comprehensive house trashing party. Bring paints, glue, wallpaper, water pistols, and some very low value clothing.
It was the talk of the classroom for a week or two. Finally the big day was upon us.
At first the children looked rather anxious about the whole thing! We may have drilled them a little too convincingly on the disastrousness of making mess and ruining their clothes!
‘Mummy, help, I have got paint on my hands! Get it off!’
‘Caroline, I have accidentally spilt a bit of paint on the carpet. I am sorry.’
‘Mummy, there is paint on my trousers!’
‘Am I allowed to paint on the wall?’
‘Am I allowed to draw with pens? Really? Am I? In real life? Mummy, really??’
No one could quite get their heads around the level of freedom and carnage suddenly permitted. Some of them looked positively fearful!
So the adults got stuck in. Greg threw the first paint bomb, it burst in a flurry of red paint and the girls squealed as paint went in their hair. We graffitied the walls. We painted our hands and made prints. We created splendid faces looking down from the ceiling. We painted amusing shapes on one another’s heads.
The children began to relax. Requests for their own paint bombs flooded in. Greg spent the next hour filling up balloons.
As the devastation got underway, everyone became more comfortable. After an hour, we had a lull and fuelled the kids with hot dogs. More parents began arriving to collect. The adults congregated outside and chatted idly among themselves, slightly losing track of both time and parental responsibilities. The remaining children seized the day. They found all manner of ingenious methods to get paint on every corner of the house, and indeed themselves. By the time we remembered them, they looked like this.
It was brilliant though. My kids were the envy of their class, 20 kids had enjoyed freedom beyond their wildest imaginings, and now all my friends live in fear that similar creativity might be applied in their own homes! Tee hee. The only down side is that we have to live in it for 3 more days before we officially move out!