As the mother of three children under the age of 10, Kate Vastano is used to finding unexpected surprises around the house. But when she discovered that her 5-year-old daughter, Jules, had painted the wall with nail polish, it stopped her in her tracks.
She learned that Jules had been trying to paint their dog’s toenails, but when he refused to cooperate, Jules decided to hone her painting skills on the only other available canvas: a hallway wall. Kate’s immediate thought was to paint over it, but there was one little problem.
“I had no clue which shade of paint we used on that wall,” says Kate, who lives in Brentwood, Tennessee. “I thought we were really screwed this time.”
But she quickly channeled her frustration into creativity. She put a frame around it, complete with a museum-worthy description, and declared it “art.”
“It’s on a wall between my home office and upstairs bathroom, so I get to experience it multiple times a day,” she says with a laugh.
Not taking situations like this too seriously — and instead finding humorous ways to deal with them — has been essential to her as a parent, she explains.
“My husband, Bryan, and I realized shortly into our parenting journey that it’s not worth stressing out over everything. If we can laugh when things get nuts and find the humor, we can make it fun for everyone.”