So tonight I settled down for a tedious evening painting the staircase. A tedious evening of painting which followed a tedious morning of painting. Oh, it was going to be so tedious.
The Eldest Latte heard the paint can open outside her bedroom, grabbed her Rainbow Fairy book and her pillow, and came out onto the landing in her pyjamas to read me a story.
But I never heard the story. Instead, my normally taciturn and independent eight year old daughter ("What did you do at school today poppet?" "Nothing") sat down and told me more about her life than she has done in months. As I brushed up and down the spindles I got to know about her friendship dilemmas, the boys in her class who were noisy and made her teachers cross, and who had stuck up for her in the playground. I found out how subtle are some of the problems faced by a child growing up disabled; and how much she needs me to help with them even though she never normally admits this.
In return I told her what I thought were boring old stories about my grandma which made her laugh so much she put her hands over her mouth.
I had a lot of fun.
And I made a sneaky mental note not to ever paint the part of the staircase outside her room during the day, but to make sure I always save it for when she was supposed to be asleep in bed.