So, this week I’ve been trying to be more of a relaxed parent. I actually laughed a bit as I typed that, because is there any such thing? I guess everyone has their particular sticking points, be it Lego blocks everywhere or paint and sequins (ME ME ME). For instance, I did baby led weaning wuith Toddlette and never once blinked when she re-decorated with porridge or a roast dinner. But paint? And glitter?! HELL NO. I’ve always vaguely felt like Toddlette might be missing out on fun because of my total headjam about letting a wild two year old loose with craft supplies but always made myself feel better by reminding myself that she did lots of that sort of thing at nursery so it’s all okay, shhhhhhh.
But then the summer holidays arrived and all of our weekday activities were suddenly full of a million hundred kids. The park is teeming with seven year olds, Rhymetime has been hijacked by bored older siblings and the musuem kids room is full of, well, the aforementioned million hundred kids. How rude of them. When you add to this the fact that all the classes we usually go along to stop for the holidays, Toddlette and I have a lot more time on our hands that normal. And so after one really dreadful day spent trying to find something – anything – to do that wasn’t somewhere painfully busy, I found myself with a basket full of products from the painty-death-carnage aisle in the supermarket.
(I then went to a shop down the road and bought some plastic polythene builders sheets to cover my entire kitchen in, because whilst I might have thought I had relaxed, I also clearly had not. My kitchen looked like something from Dexter…)
Anyway, as you are about to see, I did relax just a touch as the painting games went on.
This was minute five - one from a nice series of pictures to take and send to Daddy to say hello.
And this was after forty minutes of painting, repainting and also after six million sheets of paper (we switched to the previous day’s newpaper when it became apparent that we weren’t going to be making a sweet picture for Daddy to keep in his office…) and two bottles of paint!
I think it’s appropriate to say she had fun! There are no photos of what happened after this one by the way – when she reached forward, cackling with toddler glee and painted my arm and hand in broad strokes. Then she did it again and then I gave up and let her paint our hands and arms and it was the most fun ever. The End.
Well not quite, as I can never leave a post without a nicely rounded concluding paragraph (too many years of academia). As much as this was a messy, fun, sensory experience for Toddlette, it was quite the learning experience for me too. Because, you see, either me nor the kitchen table exploded from being painted on. The floor did not melt as a single tiny droplet of green landed on it. And the sink, designed for washing things, coped admirably well when it was time to wash hands and arms and plates and brushes. Weird huh?
Maybe I’m not quite ready for a glitter and glue explosion in my house but I’ve definitely got over my initial issues!