Third Birthday: Foiled Again: Adventures in Artificially Darkening a Room

Photo of a skylight covered in black plastic.

Our windows became a toxic mess. This garbage bag skylight cover had to be replaced with aluminum foil.

We are preparing for a glow-in-the-dark third birthday party set for tomorrow. The party is during the day due to the varying bedtimes of attendees.

We had planned to cover our windows with aluminum foil, but at the last minute Mom suggested we could use our contractor-grade black 42-gallon garbage bags. Genius, I thought. Cut down the seam, the bags are much larger than foil sheets. We’ll be done in no time.

So we spent two hours sealing two picture windows, a door with windows and a skylight. Fantastic! We achieved blackout.

But then the afternoon sun arrived. Hmm, what’s that burning smell? Oh, look, the garbage bags are searing hot. Mmm, my lungs are full of toxic fumes from overheated plastic. Yummy.

Photo of our dining room window covered with aluminum foil, bordered by our curtains.

Our dining room windows usually provide a nice view of our backyard greenery. Should I draw the curtains closed for the party? They could provide an interesting shimmer as toddlers run around with flashlights.

So last night I returned to Plan A, slowly pasting strips of foil across the windows with packing tape. If I don’t post an article on Friday it’s because our home exploded like a giant batch of Jiffy Pop popcorn.

I don’t know what my neighbors will think about my foil-covered windows, but I wish I had a handwritten lawn sign reading, "Say No to Alien Mind Control Lasers."

[Update: We avoided becoming a public spectacle by taping our streetside curtains to the wall and covering any light leaks with blankets. This was aided by the fact that we have thermal curtains which already block out most light.]

Today we’re finishing up the windows and then hopefully building a cardboard fort.

Yeah, this is a short post. What more can you say about foiling your windows?

Here are a few recent links for your reading pleasure…

  1. A woman risked her life repeatedly to save children during the Holocaust, smuggling Jewish youths to safety with Catholic families, preserving their real names in buried jars. Schoolkids in Kansas made the story into a play, Life in a Jar.
  2. Fifteen ways Fred Rogers was the best neighbor [link via Head, Shoulders, Knees and all that].
  3. Video of the HiLo Chair for kids 6 months to 6 years [also see: manufacturer's site].
  4. Last month’s baby product recalls via Z Recommends.
  5. The Roller Buggy is half skateboard, half baby stroller.
  6. Greg at DaddyTypes was interviewed for Parents Magazine’s Father’s Day podcast.
  7. Tip for bloggers: write from your baby’s perspective (Baby Rylan has been authoring a Week-in-Review for some time now).


One Response to “Third Birthday: Foiled Again: Adventures in Artificially Darkening a Room”

  1. Tanya says:

    Now you tell me about the HiLo chair…after I just bought this Hipposmile (

    I don’t get a chance to comment often, but you have a great site here.

    June 7th, 2007 at 7:09 am

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