Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not so bad after all

Today was a big day - I decided I would let my kids paint for the first time. That's a big deal because I paint and painting will always be a part of their lives. They have watched me do it (though not often enough these days) and I have caught Clara painting away with a (paint-less) brush on one of my canvases. 

It's also a big deal because - unlike most moms, I'm sure - I don't do crafts with my kids. I don't like messes and, despite being an artist myself, I just don't have the patience or desire to teach others (that probably doesn't bode well for homeschooling!).

But something came over me this week and I decided to go for it. Today was the day. But, being cheap and lazy, I didn't opt for buying kid-friendly paint, whatever that even is. Instead, I just whipped out my acrylics and brushes. 

I bought cheap wooden crosses from the craft store and painted them white while they napped. When they woke up, it was on.

We just dove in head first, which is kind of how we roll. Planning? What's planning? Although I did have a paper towel at the ready. 

Yes, that's paint on Luke's mouth. The brush entered his mouth twice that I know of. Thank goodness it was non-toxic acrylic and that I don't freak out about much. 

And that stylish paint shirt that Clara is wearing? Why, that's an old nursing tank of mine, of course.

Don't let these photos fool you - it was much more chaotic than it appears. Well, Clara was a pro. She is definitely at the age where she knows to be at least somewhat neat and careful. I absolutely love that. Luke, on the other hand...

I mistakenly thought I could hold him back while Clara painted first. Ya, not happening. He was a man possessed. He needed a brush and he needed it in the paint. He was not going to let anything - least of all me - stand in his way.

As I watched him grab dirty brushes and lunge at the paint, panic began to set in and What was I thinking? What was I thinking? was on repeat in my head.

But, amazingly, once I gave in and actually set him up with his own brush and cross, he calmed right down. 

And somehow I even managed to get all of these pictures (when your hands are holding the camera they are not free to make sure paint doesn't get on furniture!) and there were no messes at all. The dirty water cup didn't spill, my couch and chairs remained paint-free, and I never once chased a kid holding a wet paintbrush.

And the kids loved it. Loved it. Clara was so into it, it was adorable. And Luke too. They both dipped brushes in the paint and then onto their cross, over and over and over.

And the end result was pretty cute. I meant to give Clara only colors that matched her room, like pinks and greens (yes, I'm all about controlling creativity), but in the craziness of the afternoon that didn't happen. It's okay, those colors would've just ended up brown too.

Clara loves crosses, so I knew she'd love painting them. I talked about Jesus and Good Friday, but they were much more concerned about that slippery colored stuff that I was letting them play with. 

A bath immediately followed these photos, in which I removed the acrylic paint the only way I know how - by scraping it off with my finger nails. Another reason to use kid-friendly supplies, I suppose.

In the end, it went surprisingly well. I don't know if we'll get the paints out again any time soon, although I have a sneaking suspicion Clara will be asking for them. It's just that the pessimist in me worries it can't possibly go this smoothly every time. I think I used up all my good crafting luck in one afternoon.

Maybe we'll do it again while Luke's napping. Painting is in his blood, but he's got to be a little less nutso before we attempt to cultivate any talent.

Clara, though, showed me today that she has turned a corner and can really get into something like this. I guess my craft-less days are over. I guess I better start stocking up on pipe cleaners and paper plates. Elmer's Glue, here we come!


Faith said...

Oh, you and I are seriously "mommy kindred spirits." Except that I am NOT crafty myself. I have been avoiding crafts with my kids, even though my ideal eventually is that they have a craft area that they can enter and enjoy at any time. I just bought a little play doh, color wonder markers and color wonder finger paints (you know, the ones that only make color on the paper:)). This is a safe start for me, lol! I love seeing these pictures and how much they totally enjoy it! That alone would be enough to get me motivated to do it again:). I LOVE seeing my kids enjoy things like that. Thanks for the reminder that I gotta get on this:).

barbie said...

I love this!!! I don't do crafts with Alana either. Mainly because she is like luke...nutso!! I let her color once and that was almost more trouble than it was worth!! Hopefully by Clara's age she'll be careful and calm? The cross idea is really great. If I ever get brave I'll try it:)

Little JoAnn said...

Woooahhh....this is amazing. Yes, I think Clara is ready!!!

I am a craftless momma too. We have done kid friendly paint on paper plates but that's ALL.

I am so proud of you for conquering your fear. Ha!

They really had fun. And, I am sure they are going to be asking to paint MORE, MORE, MORE!!!!

Julie said...

I LOVE CRAFTS!! I do crafts with Bella and she just rips them to shreds! LOL!
Today we colored Easter Eggs and she totally LOVED it and actually didn't make a huge mess! It was a blast. I might go buy more so we can do it again with Daddy tomorrow!

I think we will do the cross painting next year during Holy Week! What a great idea!! I will probably only give her ONE it matches her room! LOL!

Sissy said...

Let me say that I teach art and paint terrifies most art teachers as well. I use tempera with the kids at school and having paint out with 25 kindergarteners is a lesson in organized chaos. Good job!

Melissa C said...

There's my babies! I miss them so! I would have attempted their "first craft" with them at your mom's but we didn't have enough room, I think! Online there are so many good ideas for craft projects for their ages, Karey! Go for it! Loved looking at the fun they had!

Melissa C

chimakuni said...

on Pinterest ... put baking soda onto a cookie sheet to cover the bottom of it - put vinegar into small cups (plastic) and add food coloring.

Give the artists brushes and let them dab the brush into the vinegar/food color and then onto the baking soda, which will give off a little explosion (minor, minor) and will show color.

Keeps little ones occupied for a long time!!!

Don't be afraid to let them get messy - grandma to one, mom to three boys - the time goes by wayyyyyy too quickly!