I was grounded on a warm, sunny afternoon. My grandma grounded me for two days for a prank on my little brother that went awry.
I had been squirting and chasing him with a Super Soaker and he accidentally fell into the pool.
Blanket can swim but not too well. My cousin, Donte, who was visiting us that day, jumped in and fished him out before anything drastic happened.
When Grandma got word of what had happened, she grounded me for two days and took away all my fun privileges.
So that explains why I was home in my room alone on a hot summer day. My two brothers, Prince and Blanket were gone for the day with some of our cousins and a few nannies on a trip to a museum. Grandma was out with my aunt Rebbie.
Before she left, she gave instructions to a nanny that I was to stay in my room and clean it up, since it was only slightly messy.
I was hard at work picking up random items and putting them into their designated places. I hung up all my clothes, folded other clothes into dressers, reorganized my dolls and stuffed animals and ridding my floor of random junk.
As I stooped down to pick up a box of some of my special mementos, I tripped and fell over another box on the floor that I didn't see.
AfterI dusted myself off, groaning, I went to work picking up photos and trinkets and putting them back into the box. Something shiny caught my eye as I put a book into the box. It was a gold lamé photo album. I hadn't seen that album in years.
I guess I can take a just a little break, I thought. I picked up the album, sat down in a corner of the room and opened the album.
A familiar picture suddenly caught my eye. It was of my dad, fast asleep on the couch in the living room, his face covered in layers and layers of makeup.
I smiled faintly, remembering wholeheartedly that day. I was five and bored. Our nanny Grace was with us, taking care of Blanket, who was, at the time, only a baby. Prince and I were doodling on dozens of sheets of paper at the kitchen table while Grace was feeding Blanket his lunch. However, at that time, I grew tired of drawing and stopped drawing.
When no one was looking, I snatched up Grace's purse and ran into the living room, where Daddy was, lying on the couch, barefoot and fast asleep, taking a nap. He had just come from a long meeting and was completely exhausted. His mouth was slightly open and he snored lightly.
Without even thinking, I dug my hand into the purse and pulled out one of Grace's lipsticks and walked over to Daddy.
I opened the lipstick and went to work applying it all over his lips. Then I took out Grace's eye shadow and mascara and put that on all over his face, too.
Without making a sound, I generously applied a heavy dosage of makeup on my father's face. When I was sure I was done, I stepped back to admire my handiwork. He looked like one of those circus clowns I had seen once when I was little.
Daddy stirred a little but didn't wake up. He didn't even notice I was there.
I could suddenly hear Prince calling me. "Paris, where are you?" he asked.
"In here!" I said softly, pulling him into the living room.
"Look what I did to Daddy," I boasted proudly, pointing to his face.
Prince's lips formed an 'o'. "Ooooooooh! Paris, you're gonna get in trouble!" he exclaimed.
"No, I’m not!" I cried.
"Yes, you are! You took Grace's makeup and put it all over Daddy!"
"Well, I was only trying to make Daddy look more pretty!" I said.
"Boys aren't supposed to be pretty, Paris. They're handsome," Prince told me, rolling his eyes.
I scowled, folding my arms and gave my brother a cross look.
"Well, I don't care what you say, Prince Michael Jackson! I think it looks pretty!"
All the while we were arguing, Daddy still slept.
Our nanny must have heard us squabbling because she instantly came into the living room.
"What is all the racket? Why aren't you two playing in the kitchen where I can see you?" Grace questioned.
Prince simply pointed his finger towards Daddy.
Grace's mouth flew open, the same way Prince's went when he saw Daddy.
"What in the world..." She whispered. "Who did this?" she asked.
"I did," I admitted.
"I was tired of drawing...so I went to go draw on Daddy."
Suddenly, Grace started chuckling. Then she started laughing. She laughed so hard, tears came from her eyes.
Her laughter woke up Daddy. He opened his eyes to find Grace covering her face and my brother and I smiling.
"Mmmmmm.....what's so funny?" he asked sleepily.
Grace only laughed harder.
Daddy gave all of us puzzled looks.
"Mr. Jackson, I must say, you're looking quite beautiful these days. Don't you two agree?" Grace asked my brother and me.
Prince and I nodded.
"Oh....well....thanks," Daddy said, scratching his head, looking more perplexed than ever. "Uh, how long was I asleep?"
"Enough for your daughter to finish her best piece of art yet," Grace replied.
Daddy smiled. "Really?" he asked excitedly. He walked over and picked me up. "Where can I see it?"
Prince laughed. "It's on you, Daddy!" he cried out jubilantly.
Daddy frowned. "Huh?"
Grace giggled. "Go and look in the mirror, Mr. Jackson," she told him. "You'll see what we're talking about."
So Daddy and I went into the bathroom to look in the mirror.
"Oh, my God!" Daddy exclaimed.
Uh, oh...he's mad....
"Paris, did you do this?" he asked, examining every part of his face. I had pretty much doused his entire face with lipstick, blush, mascara and eyeshadow.
I nodded sadly.
To my surprise, Daddy only started laughing. "Not bad," he replied. “Not bad at all. But you could've used a bit more."
"Huh?" I asked confusedly. "You're not mad at me?"
"No, not really. I'm used to wearing makeup. I wear it all the time in my music videos. Whose makeup did you take?"
"Grace's," I admitted.
"Well, that wasn't very nice of you to do, Paris. It didn't belong to you. Haven't I always told you and your brother that if you want to borrow something, you should ask? And if they say no, that there's a reason for it?"
"Yes," I replied.
"I'm not really mad that you put the makeup on me. I'm just disappointed you took Grace's things without asking her. That's stealing, Paris."
I sighed sadly. "I know...I didn't mean to."
Before I knew it, tears started to come down.
"Hey, hey...don't cry. It's okay....don't cry, Paris...shhhh.....there's a way we can make this right, okay? I want you to go tell Grace you're sorry and that you'll never take her things without asking her again. Then I can replace her makeup. But you know...I hate to do this...I really do, but I'm going to have to put you on punishment. I just want you to go to your room for ten minutes first to think about what you did. When those minutes are up, you can come back down and we'll talk to Grace. Okay?"
"Yes, Daddy," I replied, wiping the tears from my eyes. "I understand."
Daddy set me back down on the floor. "Good. Okay, now go to your room. I'll call you back down in ten minutes."
I then trudged back upstairs to my room and lay on the bed with all my stuffed animals. I didn't really like being sent to my room but was grateful it was only that. My dad never yelled at me or punished me horribly like a lot of other people punish their kids. He didn't even like sending me to my room.
I suddenly felt my eyes begin to droop and before I knew it, I was asleep.
Suddenly, I could hear voices that broke me out of my reminiscent daydream. They were the voices of Blanket, Prince and the rest of my cousins. They had returned from their museum trip.
"Yo, Paris! You still here?" Prince yelled throughout the hall.
"I'm in my room!" I called out.
My older brother opened the door and stepped in. "You almost done in here or what?" he asked. "We're in the rec room and we want to tell you about our trip! What'cha doing?"
"Just looking at some old photos. You remember this picture?" I asked him, handing him the photo of Daddy and his clown-like face.
Prince chuckled. "Yeah, I do. Man, you made Daddy look like a clown, Paris!"
He handed the picture back to me. "Gosh, those were some good times."
I grinned. "You said it," I said in agreement.
"I thought Grace was gonna kill you when she saw what you did to Daddy!"
I laughed. "Me, too."
"You know, Paris, I don't know if you've ever thought of this, but I think part of why you get punished so much is because in a way, you're just like Daddy. Grandma says you and Blanket kinda inherited his prankish spirit. That kinda got him in trouble when he was younger, too. You ever think about that?"
"Sometimes," I said. "Why?"
"Well, never lose it. No matter how much trouble it gets you into. It's who you are and it's a little, small part of Daddy...so...just...never lose it, you know?"
I nodded somberly. I then rested my hand on his shoulder. "Not on your life, Prince," I replied. "Not on your life."