Kids and red powder paint – an anecdote

Kids and red powder paint


Back in the days when our kids were little we would go and visit our good friends in Bangor. They had kids of a similar age and lived in a pleasant cottage close to the monument. You went up a little lane into this delightful secluded garden full of flowers. We spent idyllic weeks in the place.

One bright sunny summer day when we were sitting around talking our two eldest boys, with a younger one in tow, decided to get up to mischief. I don’t quite know what was on their minds but they sure planned something out. I don’t think they even knew what. One thing led to another. I believe it was merely devilment.

While we were distracted one of them climbed through the open kitchen window and managed to get one of the big tins of tempera powder paint down from the top shelf of the cupboard. That was quite a feat.

They smuggled the tin outside into the garden.

Now the three of them had to decide what to do with a big tin of illicit powder paint.

Well the first part had been simple. Now they were flummoxed.

Somehow they got the lid off.

By the time we discovered them, after a period of quiet, they were sitting in a circle ladling big spoonfuls of dry paint on to each other’s heads. At the time they had longish hair and were wearing next to nothing as it was very warm. The powder found purchase. They had big cones of powder on top of their head. The game seemed to consist of who could create the biggest heap.

There was quite a scene. We were angry that they had done such a devious thing but we were also very worried that all this paint might get into their eyes and cause damage.

They were mortified as we started shouting at them. As their tears hit the dried paint on their body it left bright crimson streaks which only served to make us even more agitated and anxious. While my friend rushed in to get towels I led the kids over to the garden hose. I continued to berate them while I turned the hose on them which made them shriek and squeal. As soon as the water hit them the paint streaming down their bodies in great crimson rivers. I was desperately trying to keep it out of their eyes and continued explaining, in heated terms, just what idiots they had been, while grabbing them to stop them running away as they jumped around and attempted to evade the stream of water.

In the midst of this pandemonium I looked up to see a whole family peering down at us from the top of the monument. They looked utterly aghast. I realised that from their perspective there were three screaming kids who appeared to be pouring with blood being attacked by some raving adult. No wonder they looked so shocked.

I quickly hosed the children down and we dried them off. The family up the monument had disappeared.

We spent the rest of the day expecting a visit from the local constabulary. That never materialised.

Now you might have thought that the kids might have learnt their lesson but no such luck. It was apparent that applying cones of powder to their heads was all the fashion that summer. We later found them in a similar condition with cones of white snowcem on their heads.

This might have proved even worse for eyes and certainly required similar drastic treatment but this time, fortunately, the streams of white were not quite so dramatic and there was nobody up the monument to witness it.

After that the kids had either banished the desire out of their system or learnt their lesson. There were no further instances ….. that I know of.



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