Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Aleita stayed home sick from school yesterday. It was nothing too serious - - she woke up in the night snotty and coughing, and in the morning, she was wheezing quite a bit. She was visibly tired in the morning, and so I thought it best just to keep her home and make sure it didn’t turn into anything worse. She spent most of the day laying around and not doing very much – we played lots of games and she watched some movies.
At one point in the afternoon after she had finished a movie, I turned the DVD player off and changed the source on the television from the setting used for the DVD player back to the one where you can watch regular TV. Playing on regular TV at that moment was one of the afternoon soaps.

Before I even had a moment to react, the woman on the show said to her companion, “This whole thing has gone to hell in a handbasket.” He responded to her, “What did you just say?” and she said (again), “You heard me….this has gone to hell in a handbasket.”

I quickly switched the TV off, but apparently, not soon enough. Having been schooled about “hell” by her older sister, Aleita is familiar with the concept of the fiery down-below, so that word immediately caught her attention. Aleita said to me, “what does that mean?” I explained that it meant that things were really bad and they probably weren’t going to get any better anytime soon. I added, “It’s just something that grownups say sometimes.” I then changed the subject and asked her if she wanted to come help me with what I was working on. Aleita loves to be a helper, so she gladly agreed.

My project at that moment was stripping the wallpaper in the back entry hall. Fun stuff, I know. To a five-year old though, it was a grand venture. I gave her the scoring tool and she gladly made designs all over the wall with it while I worked on soaking the wall with DIF and stripping off the wallpaper that had apparently been applied with industrial-strength glue. After an hour with not very much progress, I sighed disgustedly and said, “UGGGHHH… This is a nightmare!”

She said, “What’s wrong?”

I told her that whoever had put the wallpaper up had done a very bad job, and it was going to take a very long time to take it all down. I also showed her where the wall had some damage that had been covered up by the wallpaper, but now I was going to have to figure out how to deal with it. I told her that it was just a lot worse than I thought it was going to be.

She looked at the holes in the wall and the wallpaper mess and then exclaimed, “this is going to hell in a hamper!”

Handbasket….hamper….so close….though stripping wallpaper is enough to make almost anyone agree that it is a project straight from hell. She was quite right about that.


papadale said...

Mary's Dad, Herb, when he wasn't watching the Cubs or complaining about how he would have taken better care of himself if he had only known he was going to live this long, was usually finding something that was inevitably going to end in up in Hell, and yes it was going to be in a handbasket. Hampers, by nature, are harder to carry, but they usually hold more than a handbasket, could end up being a real advantage for future travel.

Tonya said...

Good one, Aleita! Becky, I can totally sympathize with you. The person who wallpapered this house didn't know what they were doing either. My walls were a mess! We just patched them up but they really could have used new drywall altogether.