Wednesday, May 18, 2011

an exercise in patience

Alternate titles:

How To Make Finger Paint in Your Very Own Kitchen


How To Drive Yourself Crazy (if You're Anything Like Me)


A Fun Activity That Kept My Kids Occupied for a Whole 8 Minutes

When I came across this recipe for home made finger paints I figured I might as well try it. I had all the ingredients. It seems safe (to eat especially, since I have a kid that likes to taste things). Probably tastes a lot like really bland pudding. I figured the kids would like to help me. Cate did. She had a blast stirring the dry ingredients to death and then licking the lid of the cornstarch. Why would she do such a thing? I really have no idea.

Next time I'll plan ahead a little better. Maybe make the paint all by myself in the middle of the night while everyone is sleeping. That way they won't be bugging me over and over and over again to see when it's done. That stuff has to cool before you add the color and stick your pudgy little fingers in it. My kids aren't so good at the waiting part. I'm not so good at the listening to kids ask if it's ready over and over and over again. Now I know better.

And as Oprah said a few days ago (quoting her bestie, Maya Angelou), "When you know better, you do better." I like Oprah. I miss her already. I don't know Maya but I think I like her too.

Back to the finger paint...

I learned a little about my kids during that whole mess. Danny wanted to know the rules (since we talk a lot about rules whenever we go to the running away from Mommy, no peeing in your pants, only touch with one finger). I told him to just stick his finger in the paint and then put it on the paper like a paintbrush. Then he needed to know which finger and should it be on his left hand or his right. So many choices.

Cate had no questions about rules. She just went to town with it. Paint everywhere. Slapping the paper with her palms full of paint. And because of that, finger painting just turned into an outside activity. My poor heart won't survive another inside session.

The bonus of doing it outside, I'll just strip them nekid and hose them off when they're done. Or even maybe let them paint their arms and legs with it when they get bored of the paper. That sounds like fun (for them, not me).

Maybe next time I'll let them use the red, orange and yellow.

And maybe next time it will keep them happy for more than 8 minutes.

And maybe it will stop raining some time in the next few weeks so we can actually play outside because this inside stuff is driving me bonkers.


CygnetMommy said...

I once saw on Jon and Kate +8 that they did finger painting outside with actual pudding. I guess the best part was that they could lick it off. They were also stripped and hosed down to clean up.

Cathy said...

That Kate is one smart cookie!

Emily and Jaime at Everyday Art said...

Ha! That seriously made me laugh out loud only because it sounds way too close to home. My oldest is all about instructions while my youngest is all about wildness (birth order thing perhaps? nah, they came out that way). It reminds me of the day that I had this "brilliant" idea to let them finger paint with ketchup and mustard (I know, I know, I'm a moron). It lasted for a whole 8 minutes and resulted in everyone crying and ketchup in everone's hair. went strait to the tub. ANYWAY, nice to have met you. :)

Arlene (CO Kid) said...

Oh, the memories! Pudding fingerpaint is fun and smells good. If it's chocolate, but it looks horrible when it dries and cracks all over the floor.