Aunt’s horror at destruction nephew caused in 30 seconds – and clean-up took 2 hours

Little three-year-old Denley from Middlesbrough gave his aunt Saffia, 21, the shock of her life when she walked into the kitchen to find him covered from head to toe in white emulsion

Denley caused quite a mess at his aunt’s house

An aunt who left her three-year-old nephew alone for just a few minutes was horrified to discover he’d covered himself, and her house, in white paint.

Saffia Pawlett, 21, from Middlesbrough, said she was speechless when she saw Denley had dropped two tubs – emulsion and gloss paint – on her kitchen floor.

After spending two hours cleaning her kitchen, she posted a photo of the mess on Facebook and asked for help on how to get the mixture out of the cheeky tot’s clothes.

She wrote: “So this happened… It’s all cleaned now thank God but is there any saving the clothes?

“Paints all over his new jeans and hoodie, mine and my husband’s clothes.

“I’ve had them sitting in a bucket of water since it happened, not daring to attempt anything. It’s emulsion and gloss.”

Saffia said Denley is a very independent boy who likes to do things for himself

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While some people tried to offer Saffia a bit of comfort and some advice, many people pointed out she probably wouldn’t be able to save the clothes.

One person said: “I would’ve just shut the door on it and gone to the pub!”

Saffia, who works as a care navigator in a GP surgery, explained that she sometimes looks after “threenager” Denley at the weekend to give her mum a break.

She said: “I was sitting in our front room with Denley on FaceTime to my mum as he was telling her about the owls we had seen that day and he asked if he could have an ice cream.

“He’s very independent and likes to get things himself so we’ve been focusing on teaching him to ask first rather than just getting.

“I said he was more than welcome to get one and they were in the bottom drawer of the freezer.”

However, Saffia had forgotten about the tubs of emulsion and gloss sitting in a box on top of the freezer.

Denley accidentally knocked the box over, which in turn spilled their contents everywhere, but despite the destruction Saffia didn’t hear a sound.

She added: “I thought it was odd he hadn’t returned asking me to open [the ice cream]. I jokingly said to my Mum ‘He’s quiet – that’s never a good sign’.

“But never in a million years did I expect that. When I first saw it I was stunned to silence, I truly had no words. I watched him for what felt like an hour (realistically it was about 10 seconds). I think I was frozen in shock!

Saffia posted on Facebook asking for advice on how to get Denley’s clothes clean

Saffia looks after her nephew to give his mum a break

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“But honestly I burst out laughing and really did find the funny side to things.”

Although it was clear the mess was an accident, Saffia joked Denley was definitely enjoying the destruction he’d caused.

However, describing her nephew as an “absolute sweetheart” she added he was keen to help her clean up after making so much mess.

Saffia said: “There was so much paint it was like he was recreating Bambi on ice.

“I rang my husband and told him he needed to come home, I didn’t have the words to explain what had happened, just that he needed to come home as soon as possible.

“That’s where the picture came from. He ran all the way home. Ryan took charge of cleaning Denley but needed to get him upstairs to the bathroom – we had just gotten new settees the weekend before so taking him through the front room was a big no!

“Poor Ryan had to strip down to his boxers and carry him out the back door, round the house through the front door.

“Ryan mentioned later that night he was very thankful I found the situation funny as he would’ve struggled to find the funny side!”

Although no one on Facebook was able to give Saffia a miracle solution for getting Denley’s clothes clean, she enjoyed the funny comments she received.

She added she had to send her in-laws to the shops to replenish her cleaning supplies when she tackled the kitchen.

Saffia said: “I was so fortunate that so many comments were filled with similar stories and that a lot of people found so much enjoyment in the photo.

I didn’t see any negative comments on the photo and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the admins of the group to thank for that! My lesson learned is never trust a child’s silence!”

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