A mum who thought she’d devised the perfect “parenting hack” to keep her kids entertained while she worked quickly discovered a flaw in her method.
Teaching assistant Donna Evans, 32, dressed her two children Hallie, seven, and Isaac, three, in their swimming costumes and popped them into an empty bath with some paper and water-based paints, so the mess was contained to one area – genius – or so she thought.
The West Midlands mum had tested the idea a number of times in the past, and it had worked a treat – until she had to pop out of the room to take a Zoom meeting.
But after 15 minutes Donna returned to find her kids covered head to toe, along with the walls, the bath and basically anything in reach, in green paint.
Turns out she’d accidentally left an entire bottle of the paint on the side and it didn’t take long for her eagle-eyed tots to get their hands on it.
After numerous showers and a thorough scrub of the bath, Donna and her plasterer husband, Kye Evans, 33, found the entire ordeal hilarious.
Donna laughed: “The children are usually quite well behaved. They’ve done things in the past like draw on the walls, but this is a new level.
“Hallie had even washed Isaac’s hair in paint! They were covered in it and their skin had a green tinge for a couple of days.
“I had to laugh though. They were only kids being kids.”
Although the pair have a four-year age gap they’re the best of friends, and it’s Hallie who involves Isaac in her mischief.
At the time, the savvy mum thought her idea was ingenious, but it didn’t take long for her children to outsmart her.
“I thought it was a really great hack, or solution – but clearly it isn’t,” she laughed.
“I had to take quite an important Zoom call, so I stepped out of the room and sat outside the bathroom door, leaving the kids to it.
“That way, I could keep one ear out for them and make sure they were OK.
“I didn’t realise it at the time, but I had stupidly left the paint on the side of the empty bath, with the shampoo and shower gel bottles.
“I could hear them laughing, but assumed it was just them playing and having fun.”
But by the time that Donna had finished with her call the damage had been done.
She admitted: “I had no idea where to start with the clean-up. They’d got paint absolutely everywhere.
“Of course, they thought it was hilarious and I ended up laughing with them. They looked so silly, beaming away with bright green skin.
“I had to fill the bath and rinse off the sides to get the paint away before I could even think about washing them.”
In the end, Hallie and Isaac both needed three showers each – and even after that, their skin had a green tinge for a few days.
“Eventually, it came off the bath too, with the help of some bleach and elbow grease. I’m surprised it didn’t stain. I watched a lot of Mrs Hinch, the cleaning influencer, videos for tips.”
Donna made sure to capture the priceless moment so that her husband, who wasn’t at home at the time, didn’t miss out.
She said: “He couldn’t quite believe how much carnage they’d manage to cause in 15 minutes.”
“Like everybody else, we are taking life day by day at the moment, and nobody knows for sure when the children are likely to go back to school.
“One thing is certain, though, I won’t be giving them paint again any time soon.”