Friday, January 27, 2012

Filling The Hours

Despite our newfound appreciation for snow, there has been, as many of you may have noticed, very little of that falling from the sky, and so we've had to find other ways of entertaining ourselves.

Mostly, we have baked.  This is mainly due to my winter cravings for sweets, but Willow really likes measuring and stirring.  Really.  She gets more pleasure out of the act of baking than the end product (though that doesn't stop her from asking for tastes as each ingredient is added).  I have no photos for you, as I am pretty busy and usually covered with flour, but within the last two weeks we have made oatmeal cookies, old-fashioned gingerbread, and as of this morning, Jamaican banana bread.  Our flour is being depleted at an alarming rate.

And yesterday, we added a new activity to our repertoire.  For her birthday, Willow was given an easel that I have, frankly, been too scared to use for its true purpose.  We've mostly stuck to crayons.  But yesterday I thought we'd give it try.

Man, I thought I'd prepared.  I put a drop-cloth down.  I stripped her down, and dressed her in one of my old t-shirts.  I got her towel all ready so I could just pop her in the tub.  And I gave very, very clear instructions about the necessity of staying on the drop cloth and keeping the brushes touching the paper only, and really, she listened very well.

There was just oh, so much paint.  We got these nifty little tubs with built-in paint scrapers, which would have worked great if Willow had been willing to make the miniscule effort required--but she wasn't.  And why should she?  As far as she is concerned, the best thing about painting is getting as much on the brush as possible.

And so there was paint on the easel, paint on the drop-cloth, paint on her hips and arms and paint on her feet.  Feet that, as soon as she decided she was done painting and ready to take a bath, stepped off the drop-cloth and pitter-pattered across the house to the bathroom.

I confess, I was a bad mother.  I left my child in the bathtub and sprinted back and forth around the house, wiping up paint, cleaning up brushes, hanging artwork to dry, putting everything away, hoping frantically that a) Willow would remember that she is not allowed to stand up, splash excessively, or drown while she is in the tub, and b) that the cat would stay far, far away.   I did go check on Willow every minute or so.  All's well.

And when she saw the easel and asked to paint again this morning, I suggested we bake banana bread instead.  Because although we somehow managed to use three batter bowls, hundreds of spoons, a bread pan, and a muffin tin, the clean-up was still waaaaay more manageable.


Auntie Dawn said...

Oh, brave soul, letting a toddler paint, on a easel, no less!! I am much in awe of this! You're a wonderful Mommy, Nikki!!! Love you guys.

Laura said...

In the beginning, we used to let P paint at the Childrens Museum only. Let them clean it up. But she wanted to paint every day and that got expensive, so we started at home. I just put small amounts of paint in a palette. When she whines about that, I tell her to shut up and focus on her art. I'd say for a solid 2 years she painted and played with play doh every single day. Talk about a pain in the ass. I wish she weren't so artsy. She turns 8 this week and my house is still covered in glue and glitter, pom poms paint. I'm hoping the boy sticks to Star Wars figures.

Laura said...

Pom poms AND paint, obviously. I don't think there's such a thing as pom pom paint, but if there were, P would be ALL over it.