I was out somewhere with one of my children recently and on the return trip home they commented on how they had felt we were the most ‘normal’ family there! I raised my eyebrows, ‘normal’ is not a word I would necessarily use to describe my lot and the words ‘normal’ and ‘Shanks’ would never usually appear in the same sentence, I was amused, to put it mildly.
The ‘Shanks’ Tribe, Mad or just totally Scatty?
Why so amused? I was remembering recent events that had prompted me to comment “Only the Shanks Tribe could possibly achieve this!”.
It was 8.30pm one evening and Jamie announced that she had 6 hours cleaning to do at a client’s house who was returning from holiday the next day and she wasn’t feeling very well. As they always do, The Maid in Kenilworth Team rallied and all offered to help her and therefore accomplish the task in just over an hour. Good move, thought I as 3 cars, I vacuum, several buckets, numerous cleaning sprays and other miscellaneous cleaning items were duly packed into cars and the convoy left a little before 9pm.
A slightly strange time to be cleaning a house but the clients request had been purely that the task be completed as close to her return from holiday as possible, it don’t get much closer than this! I thought no more of it and continued with my day.
By the time they returned I was tucked up in bed and didn’t hear the sequence of unfortunate events until the following day. It went something like this.
The convoy pulled up at the house and the car loads of cleaning equipment went in along with the crew. They’d been happily working away for about half an hour when there was a knock on the door, it was Pippa (aged 14) who answered it. Two policemen were stood there as Pippa, who was feeling somewhat shocked, called for Jamie. They questioned the girls and, having seen the myriad of cleaning equipment and hearing both vacuums going like mad, they had (in true Sherlock Holmes fashion) deduced that the gang of girls were actually cleaning, not burgling the house as the vigilant neighbour had suspected.
A few questions and much laughter later the police retired to attend to more pressing matters and the crew were able to complete the task. Jamie told me the story the next day and had me in fits of laughter, only the Shanks girls could accomplish being investigated for breaking and cleaning!
……and there’s more!
This story had already put me into a giggly frame of mind so it was no wonder that I lost it completely when Kacie rang to ask some advice on my return to home a few minutes later. She had a slight problem and needed a solution, the problem went something like this.
One of her clients (who again, was away on holiday) has asked her to paint her front door white whilst she was away. Kacie had happily trotted off, bought white paint and brushes and had spent 4 hours (she’s and artist and perfectionist) painting said door. The trouble was closing it now she’d painted it, when closed, it touched the frame all the way round and, quite rightly, she didn’t want to spoil her handy work.
Now, I admit I shouldn’t have laughed quite as much as I did, but having had numerous windows painted permanently shut by my late husband, I was only too familiar with the pitfalls of gloss paint and the subsequent closing of windows and doors. What should she do, she asked? Leave it open I answered, unless you want to seal the door permanently shut.
It was the front door, she informed me, she couldn’t leave it open. Oh dear, I responded. I hung up on her promising to Google a potential solution, already knowing only too well that the only answer was to leave it open, especially as she’d painted it late in the afternoon on a very damp day. Not a good idea!
So, here we were, 6.00pm on a rainy day with me standing at the offending door and seeing just how tight the fit into the frame was. Nothing could be done apart from leave it open I informed Kacie sadly, still trying not to giggle. She would have to stay at the house all night with the door open and her keeping guard.
I offered to watch the house while she went home to collect supplies for the night, food, drinks, blankets, projects to do etc…. and she eventually returned an hour later with a car full of essentials.
I asked her what she’d learnt from the experience?
“Paint a door with gloss paint on a sunny day at 6am in the morning”, she replied.
“Anything else?”, I asked hopefully?
“You can’t close a door after you’ve painted it” was the response.
“Anything else?:, I enquired even more eagerly.
“No”, came the reply, flatly.
I offered up the answer that maybe in future, if she was going to undertake a task with which she was unfamiliar, she should maybe do some research first? Also, it might be an idea to read the instructions on the tin BEFORE starting, which would have told her most of the information she needed to let her know not to proceed!
In the space of 21 hours my girls had succeeded in creating chaos, not many families can do this. But then, there is only one ‘Mad Shanks Residence’!.