Parenting Outtakes

Earlier this year, my family went through many of the same quarantine struggles that many Americans did. Anxiety, reduced income, and stir craziness were among many things that ran through our heads and home as the pandemic unfolded. My husband is a Type 1 diabetic, so things were maybe a little more stressful in my household than in other young families’ households because of some increased risk factors.

This all weighed on my mental health quite a bit. I was pregnant with my third child and worried about my husband’s health and the health of my coming newborn. I wanted to find a way to get my mind off of everything that was going on in the world and bring some fun into our family life.

I don’t even remember how I got the original idea, but one day I was looking at RV/Camper renovations on YouTube and Pinterest and suddenly felt inspired. I knew we NEEDED to get a camper! I told my husband about my idea to renovate an old camper that we could find a great deal on, and about how I believed it would be the perfect way to have some socially-distanced fun now and for years to come.

He was a little apprehensive, but it only took a few YouTube videos to get him excited about the idea, too. Immediately, we started scouring the web for old, used camper listings.

Finally, about a week after my baby was born, we found the perfect camper on Facebook Marketplace. My mind was swirling with all sorts of creative ideas. I was so excited thinking about all the family adventures we could take this camper on. I loved envisioning how these would be memories that my kids would hold for a lifetime.

I wanted the camper to be cute, cozy, but most of all functional for a family with three small children.

One of the easiest ways to update a camper is to do some painting. My husband was in charge of painting the interior of the trailer, and I was in charge of painting the cabinet doors.

One Saturday morning, I took out the big can of high-adhesive primer that we bought for this project. I primed one side of the cabinet doors and allowed it to dry. I went inside to tend to my newborn and switch duties with my husband to allow him to go work on painting the interior of the camper.

Somewhere in the shuffle, my middle child (dubbed “the crazy one”) snuck outside to see what everyone was up to out there.

Well, there is nothing this child loves more than a can of paint.

He saw my open can of primer (such a rookie mistake on my end) and started searching for something to use as a brush. He settled on a rubber mallet and a large screwdriver. He dipped these items into the can of primer AND WENT TO TOWN ON MY CABINET DOORS!



Once I realized that the front door was open, I went out to see if my middle child had run outside to help dad in the camper. What I stumbled upon was my beautiful cabinet doors covered in giant gobs of primer!

I was so upset and immediately stressed out. This was a high-adhesive primer, and I knew it would dry quickly and be more difficult to smooth out. I had to work fast to re-prime the doors, and in some areas we had to do some heavy sanding to fix this fiasco.

Once we had the situation mostly under control, I had to exhale a loud sigh and chuckle to myself. I don’t know what I was thinking by undertaking a huge camper renovation when my third child was only a couple weeks old!

I had to remind myself my whole reason for doing this. I wanted to create warm, happy family memories in a time that was otherwise filled with stress and anxiety.

This camper didn’t need to be featured in a Better Homes & Garden catalog. It just needed to be ready to take our family of 5 on some incredible adventures. In the end, I’m glad my three-year-old son got to leave his mark. It’s a story to tell for quite some time!


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