Decorating....again. I bet you’re sensing my state of ecstatic enthusiasm ?
This time it’s my Son’s bedroom. On the face of it this should be relatively straightforward, but with consideration of his autistic behaviours is a minefield because of the changes and upheaval.
Changes in his routine, changes in the colour of the walls and the carpet, changes in the furniture and to his room layout. Changes in his Dad’s normally mild mannered behaviour (well ok, scratch the last one).
Decorating = Expense + Hassle x Stress
Presenting your ASD child with a paint chart that has an inordinate amount of colours to pick from is putting them under increased pressure straight away. It overloads them with information and makes choice selection incredibly difficult.
There’s also a danger that they will home in on one colour that isn’t really suitable and no amount of persuasion will make them change their minds. I was dreading him choosing bright pink or battleship grey. As much as I want him to be happy, the thought of painting a ten year old boy’s room in “Fuchsia” just doesn’t sit comfortably with me.
Anyway, following some discussion. Well, ok, after about two weeks of tentative negotiations that Ban Ki-Moon would have been pleased with, he ‘chose’ a dark teal blue. Only he wanted the whole room painted in it. A further two weeks of persuasion.... and some begging, managed to convince him that one dark wall and three lighter would be better.
Repeat for Carpet, Furniture and Bedding and trying to ensure that the colours suited each other, I’m sure you can appreciate the difficulties. This is only compounded further by his tendency to change his mind at various points in the process.
So it was all agreed, and I must paint this weekend as the new carpet is scheduled for next Friday. (I’m not allowed to paint after the new carpet gets installed....let’s just say I have ‘previous’)
I was in the DIY store on Sunday and noted there was plenty paint and so didn’t bother picking any up. Instead I nipped in past work yesterday, and initially panicked as they didn’t seem to have any of the teal colour.
A bit of further investigation and I noticed one single tin right at the back of the shelf.
I leaned in with one arm, stretched right to the back and as I removed this last solitary tin of paint with some relief and satisfaction...... I dropped the bloody thing and it burst all over the floor. I am now standing in Homebase with one teal blue shoe and half a paint splattered trouser leg.
As I stared at my beloved expensive Chelsea boots I only bought last month and a paint blob ran down my other trouser leg, my other overriding concern was that I really needed this paint.
I headed for the customer toilet, leaving a trail of footprints that even the apprentice CSI officer wouldn’t have any trouble spotting, only to find there were no tissues or paper towel in the gents or the disabled toilet either.
Meanwhile, a helpful assistant confirmed there was no paint in stock and to try middle of next week.
I had to then drive another ten miles to the nearest B and Q in hope and desperation.
Luckily they had some. I did get some funny looks though; I must have seemed like the best dressed painter and decorator in town, what with my one blue shoe and splattered effect pinstripe trousers.
Maybe I should have opened up my shirt sleeves and pretended I was Laurence Llewelyn Bowen?