Sleeping Angel

The son’s room got a new lick of paint. It is a calming, soothing color called Sleeping Angel. Paint color namers have to be the most creative bunch. I have never actually met a person who held that particular job, but I would be thrilled to do so. The names they come up with have to be from fertile imaginations. If ever one is stuck for ideas, heading out to the paint alley in your local hardware store is inspiration enough. 

Here is a random sampling of the paint colors:

Polar sky, Sleeping Angel, Balboa Mist, Gray Owl, Soft Fern, Saybrook Sage, Lavender Mist, Sunlit Coral

I mean, look at this combination of words and tell me that it does not want you to sit up and think of beautiful polar bears looking down at their little cubs and telling them stories of a time when their habitats extended so far out, they could venture to the edge where they were able to get glimpses of sunlit corals, sometimes see the patches of soft fern and hear the gray owls hooting into the night. The misty skies used to bring them whiffs of smells quite different from what their cubs were getting now. Their grandmothers spoke of the mists of lavender, redwood and balboa. Visiting whales told them of giant redwoods and seafoam over corals.


Painting is meditative work. The pain before and after the walls are painted notwithstanding, the art of painting itself is therapeutic. Imagining a small space transform into a warm inviting haven is a gift enough, but actually doing it, is even better. 

I had written about the mute painter who came to regularly paint our childhood home every couple of years. I had no idea of the virtues, or lack thereof,  of the distemper paint. I only knew it was superior to what was routinely done, since the father went through some extra effort for that type of paint. All I knew was that small stains washed off this type of paint. Given he lived in a school and had 3 children of his own, who were very happy to have their friends over, I suppose this was a brand of realism. 

The father would spend extra to go for a lick of distemper paint, and that pleased the passionate painter. The artist in him gave an approving nod, and he set about setting up his ladders and transforming the space with a twinkle in his eye. The love for this job shone through in the results. Every room seemed to have a dollop of his spirit after the painting was done. The rooms sparkled and twinkled with peace and joy. I would then spruce up the place with vases containing bunches of fresh pine, ferns, and wildflowers to settle the slightly overbearing smell of fresh distemper, while the mother would sneeze her way through the house (allergies). 

Decades later, the circle of life seemed to repeat itself. Sleeping Angel had transformed the room, while the paint smell kick started my allergies (made worse by smelling flowers I admit), and the drops of sunshine came in the form of fresh yellow tulips in a vase with pine and fern. I took a dose of antihistamines and drifted off to sleep in the little room. The paint was aptly named. 

I slept like an angel.

Read also:

Within our 4 walls

The Flying Zoos of Babylon

The Car Test of Colors

If ever you are in one of those situations where the world has to be saved and the only way to do it is to disconnect the red fuse wire after tying the yellow fuse wire, I strongly advise you against approaching the toddler son. He may be the leading authority on distinguishing between Squirrels and Crows. He can even do the difficult Crow vs Geese category, but he draws a sharp line at colors.

One morning, we were sitting there eating our breakfast when the son shouted that there were a few squirrels on the tree in the backyard.  They are a source of great entertainment, and were indeed welcome. The daughter listened to her brother tell us the gripping story about two squirrels.(I shall regale it on the blog one day). Always a proud mother, I said, “Wow. What color are the squirrels?”

He looked up at me and said, “Blue.”

The daughter and I exchanged looks and burst out laughing. So, I went on with it. I picked up a gleaming yellow banana and asked him what color the banana was.

The son was hurt. Everyone knows that, he seemed to say and then said, “Green.”

“No son. That is yellow. Yellow banana.” I said patiently.

“What color is the spoon?” I asked pointing to the white plastic spoon he had in his hands.

Bananas may be tricky monsters, but white plastic spoons – pssshaaww! “Black!” he said.

“NO! That is white. Yellow banana, white spoon.” I said

“NO. NO. That is black spoons.” he said. (We are working on his grammar)

The daughter felt I was giving him difficult questions and pointed to the cereal box that had a blue lid and asked him what color it was. This,he felt, was where his strength lay and said confidently,“That is cereals.”

“Cereals yes. But what color?”

The little fellow said unabashedly, “Red!”

One would have thought that his abysmal track record would at least have given him cause for thought, but no. Confidence poured out and he said that the blue cereals box lid was red. If anyone had doubts, they could go and eat green bananas and chase blue squirrels.Colors 

I cornered the husband later and asked him whether our poor son was color blind. “Over reacting as usual.” said the husband playing chess on his computer, but I could tell I had sown the seed of doubt in his mind.

A few hours later, the husband came beaming and thumped me on the back, “He isn’t color blind. You simply gave him the wrong test. See this? I call it the Car Test of Colours.”

The Car Test of Colours – Pssshaw and Pssshaww again. I rolled my eyes for added effect.

He called out to the fellow and flashed a red car in front of him and asked him, “What color is this?”


The son said, “That is Red 95 Lightning Cars.”

“Well… he knows that car is red. He watches that Disney Pixar Cars movie everyday.” I said unimpressed.

“True. But watch this. “ says the husband with the air of someone who has yet to play the trump card, and pulls out a blue Lightning Mc Queen. “What color is this?”


“This is Blue 95 Lightning Cars.” says the son.

He breezes through a black and white police car test with correct results, and looks at me as though challenging me to put him through more difficult tests.

Right then. I just need to let the educational authorities know that they have to devise special Cars movie based color tests when he goes to School. Sigh.

%d bloggers like this: