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This post could alternately be titled as “Bad Things Happen When Children Are Too Quiet”

What do you get when you combine puffy paint and small children?

A mess.

Last Saturday Casey, the kids and I went to my youngest sister’s basketball game.

(Side note: Sydney is in 7th grade and is playing on the junior varsity AND varsity teams! How exciting is that? She even scored a three pointer during the varsity game! Back to the story at hand.)

Our kidlets sat for a while (like 6 minutes) and then Casey and I alternated in taking them to the concession stand, restroom, hallway, etc. Basically anywhere that was unlocked and not off-limits within the school.

Their favorite spot was the lobby, where the students’ lockers are housed. They ran around and around the first set, chasing each other and laughing. Casey and I stood together and watched them, having one of those moments where you’re just totally in love with your kids and their utter adorableness.

We stood there visiting as the kids continued their laps, extending themselves from the first to the second locker banks and finally on to the third. It was pretty much a date, right there in the school lobby. Take them when you can get them, I guess.

The date came to an end when Peter came up to us and said he got dirty. Dirty? How would he get dirty in here?

That’s when I noticed that Charlotte’s boot had something blue on it.

Blue? There is nothing blue in this area. What is that?

Casey and I got closer to the kids to respectively examine their blue dirt.

Oh crap.


Where did they find paint?

I walked behind the third bank of lockers and stopped short.

Puffy painted shirts were drying on the floor. Cheerleaders’ puffy painted shirts. Cheerleaders’ puffy painted shirts with little footprints on them. And carpet. Carpet with red and blue paint.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The kids had run around the corner, coming from opposite directions, and ran right into the shirts. Definitely an accident on their part, but why do accidents never involve buckets of soapy water?

Casey took the kids to the bathroom to start cleaning up their shoes while I paced and tried to figure out what to do to clean up the mess. 

I found a random roll of paper towels and headed to the bathroom to get some water so I could start cleaning up the carpet.

I poked my head into the men’s room to see how the cleaning was progressing. The shoes were coming clean, but Peter had another accident…this time in his pants.


We decided that Casey would take Peter home to change his pants, and would bring back carpet cleaner and a scrub brush.

In the meantime I took Charlotte back into the gym to sit with my parents and siblings while I started cleaning the carpet. They asked what was going on and I told them the story. They thought it was funny.

Yep. Funny. That’s exactly what I was thinking as I worried about getting beat up by high school cheerleaders.

After scrubbing out what I could, I joined my family in the gym and wrote notes to the three cheerleaders who had been impacted by the incident.

The apologies...

I wrote out three $10 checks (accidents are also rarely inexpensive – bummer) and stuck them in the envelopes, then waited for Casey to return with the supplies.

He soon arrived and I got to work. I was glad to have done the “pre-treating” because the paint came out really well with the Resolve cleaner and a bit of scrubbing.

I placed each card by an affected shirt and headed back into the gym for the rest of the game.

Evidence A Exhibit B Exhibit C

After the game, we hung out for a few minutes congratulating our basketball star and letting the kids run in the gym.

As we left the building my phone rang. I didn’t know the number and my heart dropped into my stomach as I thought again about angry cheerleaders.

I answered hesitantly.

It was one of the cheerleaders.

She said she got my note.

She said she and the two other girls tore up the checks.

She said that was way too much money and it was an accident and I didn’t have to worry about it.

I almost started to cry.

Cheerleaders at private Christian schools are awesome!

I told her she was a sweetie and apologized again.

My heart returned to its normal position and we headed off for our next adventure.

Even though we’d already had enough adventure for a few days.