Painting with Robert 2

July 25, 2015

Two weeks have passed since we painted ceilings in the stairwell and the living room.  Two weeks ago we also painted walls in the living room, but left the stairwell’s walls untouched. As I wrote in the post Painting with Robert that was a difficult day for all of us. We needed time to recover before the next painting session.

I believed that today we had recuperated enough to continue the painting. So we did. Robert brought the plastic sheets to cover stairs.  Jan brought the ladder.  I gathered brushes, edgers, rollers, and paint.  Robert didn’t protest. Not once.  He wasn’t taking anything to the garage without asking first.

Of course, he has his own way of asking.  He would show us an object and say, “Here, here, here?” We have learned to understand those words as, “Can I put this thing (which I have in my hand) away?” Sometimes, we said, “Yes, you can.” Robert took whatever object he had to the garage or furnace room.  Sometimes, we said, “No, we still need it.” and Robert left the thing in the place he took it from.  As Jan was painting the top part of the walls, we kept asking Robert to do many little things – bring this or that, put something away, or find something one of us misplaced. He always did. When Jan removed the ladder, it was Robert’s and mine turn to paint lower parts of the walls. At first, Robert had to be told to work.  He didn’t protest but after covering half of the wall with the paint he said, “Mama, mama” and returned the roller to me. I finished the wall, moved to the next one and called Robert to help again. He came again, painted part of the wall and again called, “Mama, mama.” I decided that Robert helped enough and decided to finish the job myself.  When, however, I was covering the last wall with the paint, Robert came and asked, “Robert, Robert.” He wanted to paint and I let him.

He finished the job by doing his favorite thing – putting everything away. He took all the plastic from the stairs.  He carried the paint to the garage.  He waited until I finish washing each tool and carry every item separately to the proper shelf in the garage. With each object out of sight, he became more and more happy and more and more proud of himself. As he should be.

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