Tuesday, December 22, 2009

knowing one's audience

I don't know why I did it.  It must have been an unusual moment of sunny optimism.  It really seemed like a good idea at the time. 

It wasn't my idea to start with.  My friend Linds did it first, and my friend Heidi followed suit.  It seemed so creative, so free-to-be-you-and-me, so innocent. The sort of activity that results in delightful and splendidly messy kiddie pics to post on facebook. 

So, this morning, I set out the gigantic paper on the floor and taped it down.  I stripped my giggling fool of a child bare naked.  And then I did it.  I got out the fingerpaints.  Oh yes I did. 

Well, who's the fool now?!

In my defense, I think it bears repeating that my friends and their children successfully undertook and completed this activity.  What I seemed to have forgotten in this moment of optimism, is that their children are largely civilized, and mine, though 9/10's perfectly charming, is also 1/10 barbarian.

First the paper was painted.  This lasted about 10 seconds.  I got some cute pictures.  Then his body got painted.  Whoohoo.  More cute pictures. 

Then my floors were painted.   Not so much with the cute pictures.  My walls have hand marks streaked from the crime scene (living room) clear through to the bathroom.  It looks like somebody green died a horrible, unspeakable death in my house.  Or like L. and I have entered a phase of very, erm, "contemporary" taste in artwork.  (We have not). 

There was a rotten yelling bit, followed by more defiant wall "art,"  followed by more yelling, some crying and a longgggg bath.

I'm not sure whether to curse my friends for having civilized children and cute facebook pictures, or myself for completely forgetting my audience. 

I'll have to think about it while I'm cleaning up the crime scene.


  1. Oh Tash, the facebook pictures are like picture in a cookbook! When you're flipping through a cookbook, do you see the flour everywhere, the burnt rice (again! dammit!), the mad dash to the grocery store with two wee ones in tow because you forgot that you ran out of paprika approximately eight months ago and it is absolutely crucial to the recipe? Nope. You see the final product, most likely arranged by someone who arranges food for a living.

    You just saw the cute pics of painting toddlers on facebook. You didn't see the dire warning/threats they were given before we started; you didn't hear me telling them about the lava pit surrounding their island (tablecloth on the floor); you didn't hear me tell them that only I could move freely on the lava, and that they would need to stay on the island until they were done, at which point I would carry them to the bathtub; you didn't see me give them bathtub paints to paint the bathtub walls, thereby providing an outlet for wall-painting; and did I mention you didn't hear the threats?

    Totally not an audience issue, nor is it a case of civilized children vs wild sprites. It's simply that I didn't post pics of the aftermath, or videos of me telling them what lava could do to them. As a plus, I doubt they'll ever ask me to take them to Hawaii, or anywhere else with volcanoes! Look at that, saving money too.

    I'll post some pics from yesterday's mid-day entertainment, which involved A and J playing very quietly for quite some time in the bathroom. They were performing experiments with hand soap, lotion, themselves, and the mirrors and walls. The only reason they were discovered was because A got soap in her eyes and needed adult assistance.

    Yeah, green paint everywhere sucks. Like you need something else to clean. But it *is* funny. Maybe not today, but tomorrow. Or next week. And playing with paint is really good for development, so pat yourself on the back. You're a great mama :)

  2. So funny! Go crime scene! You could always join him Tashy ;-)

  3. My sister & I used to make bathroom concoctions too!

  4. This posting has been helpful. If... IF I ever get the courage to undertake this sort of thing I will take a 'Dexter' approach to the event. Give yourself a holiday prezzie and hire someone to clean the walls. xox