The house is progressing. My Dad came over and has been a great help. When he put on the white primer coat and made the old, icky colors go away I was about ready to leave the walls white. It was like a new morning had come into the house, filling the rooms with light. The old colors really did suck all the light out of the air.
Then he put on the base color: Dutch Boy Glorius Glow. The light from the primer had been a winter's day with snow reflecting a cold blue sky. The light from the top coat was from the heart of summer; it made the oak floor glow. Mark and I had done the right thing by making sure the paint chips harmonized with the short wood planks. I can only conclude that whoever painted the house before us was colorblind or enjoyed being depressed in the dreary Willamette Valley days of January and February, which are filled with moody and poetic drizzle and fog. The only thing that glows during these months are the moss and lichen on the trees (and that's only between the wan daylight hours of 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM).
So far the walls on one and a half bedrooms are complete. There's some minor undercoating that needs to happen in the square hall, and in part of the dining nook. No trim has been painted yet. Mark has been saying things like, "Boy, this sure is yellow -- but I like it. It's cheery," so I think he's hoping the darker trim colors will help to ground things out a little. I suppose that we could get a reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's sunflowers...
On the Arthur front: He can't walk, but he can climb. The other day, Arthur climbed up on top of the landladies' picnic table -- the collapsable one with the swivle top. Yesterday he found a ladder propped up against the deadly wisteria and scrambled up it (I was right there spotting him). And he's a little mad at us for not giving him a paintbrush so he can paint the house.
Mark continues to find (and buy) toys for Arther that are disturbing. He got a sprinkler a few days ago: it's plastic and in the shape of a Disney eyed puppy with floppy ears. Water comes out of the puppy's colar in about seven streams. When the water goes through it, it rocks its head from right to left. At first, it's cute; but after a while, the relentless and sometimes frantic rocking of the head seems like a metaphor for hyperactivity. The water rushing through the puppy represents raw, psychological and physiological force, but it can only be used to knod convulsviely; the puppy cannot not stand still. It's enough to make me want to get it some ritalin. Arthur loves it and will point at it until we turn it on and he can get soaked.
The most recent acquisition is some sort of 1996 musical blocks toy. It's a rectangular plastic box. A memory cartridge fits in the back slot. There arer five additional slots for five small cubes. The cubes are different colors and have different geometric shapes on them. If you arrange the cubes from left to right blue, green, yellow, organge, red, it will play a tune based on Motzart's Night Music. Different geometric shapes on the cube faces signify different voices. I think this would be cool if Arthur knew the sequence of A) colors and B) the tune. He doesn't; the result sounds like an experiment in rap music and percussion as he bangs one or more of the cubes onto toy. Even though it's not the Leapfrog Anti-Diva singing on it, I think I'll have to walk away when Arthur starts playing with it.