Before our son Max was born, I fixed up our spare room to be the nursery in fairly typical fatherly fashion.

And because he was our first child, we did a thorough job. The walls were painted, the ceiling was painted, a new light fixture was installed, a new area rug, a new crib and changing table were all put into what would become his room. It was adorable.

When we were expecting our daughter, Iris, I dragged the crib into what would be her room, and slumped off to catch up on sleep.

Two and a half years later, while we've moved the tomato seedlings and sewing machines out of her room, the walls were still a very boyish blue. Iris, being a 2-year-old girl, prefers pink. In fact, she prefers everything to be pink. Her favorite jacket is a pink jacket. Her favorite cupcake is a pink cupcake. Her favorite soap is pink soap. Her favorite unicorn is a pink unicorn. Her favorite Chapstick is pink Chapstick. And of course, her favorite lemonade is pink lemonade.

During one of our recent snow days, we decided to make amends. After a quick trip to Major's, and then another quick trip to Major's, we had our supplies. I don't have to tell you what color she wanted to paint her room. The kids had a blast painting with me, and overall, we had a good experience.

To top it off, I learned three lessons.

1. Kids love to paint. It will entertain them for quite a long time.

2. Kids are terrible at painting, and their 'help' is quite a large hindrance.

3. When Iris finds "pink bubble gum" on her hands that evening, don't let her chew it.

After a couple of days, the paint had been touched up, the truly unbelievable amount of pink paint had been scrubbed off the floor, and Max had earned a ball of tape about the size of a soccer ball. Then it was time to hang pictures back on the walls. We have a lovely iris painting (the flower, not the girl) by Lana Atkinson, and a couple of other cutesy, girly things to hang on the wall. We also have another picture.

At the bottom of the pile, Iris found Paul Newman.

I said, "Iris, do you really want that in your room?"

She said, "Daddy, ith that you?"

"Well, um . . . no, uh, I guess not."

"Whath hith name?"

"His name is Paul Newman."

"Thath's a nithe name."

"Yes, it is nice. Do you want this back in your room?"


"Okay. We'll hang him up."

I have no idea where we've gotten a photo of Paul Newman, glued onto a wood block to hang onto the wall. Probably my father-in-law, but the whens and whys have been lost to time. Paul was in that room long before Iris was.

As famous people go, Paul Newman seems like a neat guy. He was a good looking young man, a great looking old man, a director, a race car driver, and a philanthropist. In my opinion, you could do a lot worse than Paul Newman. And despite his troubled expression and all of that pink, he could do a lot worse than Iris too.