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Mom's 'Parenting Hack' For Minimizing Mess Hilariously Backfires—And Leaves Her Kids' Skin Stained Green

Mom's 'Parenting Hack' For Minimizing Mess Hilariously Backfires—And Leaves Her Kids' Skin Stained Green
Donna and her children (PA Real Life/Collect)

Forget little green men coming from Mars – a West Midlands mom has relived the moment when she found two playing in her suburban bathtub after letting her children loose with a tub of paint.

Teaching assistant Donna Evans, 32, thought she had discovered the perfect “parenting hack" to minimize the mess when her children, Hallie, seven, and Isaac, three, painted together – by popping them in the bath while they played.

On several occasions her plan had worked perfectly, but when, last month, she stepped out of the bathroom for 15 minutes to take an important Zoom call for work, she returned to find her children, the tub, the walls and everything within reach coated in green paint.

Luckily, despite needing multiple showers to clean her children – who retained a green tinge for several days – and some time to spruce up the bathroom, Donna, of Cannock, England, and her plasterer husband, Kye Evans, 33, saw the funny side and are happily sharing pictures of the mess.

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."

Hallie and Issac before their painting got out of hand (PA Real Life/Collect)

The best of friends, the brother and sister love playing together – although as Hallie gets older, she has started to steer Isaac towards mischief.

Donna added:

“Now Hallie is a little older, she encourages Isaac, and they have grown slightly more mischievous."

She certainly outwitted her savvy mom, who prides herself on coming up with tips and tricks to make parenting easier – such as painting in the bath, to prevent spillages and avoid staining her carpets.

Hallie and Issac covered in paint (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I thought it was a really great hack, or solution – but clearly it isn't," she laughed.

With both children at home while UK schools remain closed because of the pandemic, giving the duo water-based paints, brushes and paper, dressing them in swimwear to avoid messing up their clothes and plonking them in the bath had, Donna thought, been one of her most ingenious ideas.

But, the moment her back was turned, she was proved very wrong.

Issac covered in paint (PA Real Life/Collect)

“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," she said.

“That way, I could keep one ear out for them and make sure they were okay."

“I didn't realize 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."

Hallie and Issac covered in paint (PA Real Life/Collect)

During the 15 minutes that they were left alone, cheeky Hallie and Isaac had completely covered themselves and the bathroom in green paint – set off by bright blue hand prints.

Donna continued:

"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."

Donna and her family (PA Real Life/Collect)

She added:

“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," said Donna. “I watched a lot of Mrs. Hinch, the cleaning influencer, videos for tips."

Hallie and Issac (PA Real Life/Collect)

Not wanting Kye, who was out at the time, to miss the fun, Donna took plenty of pictures and video to show him when he got home.

“He couldn't quite believe how much carnage they'd manage to cause in 15 minutes," she said. “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."