Painting up a storm


We are not short of painted ‘masterpieces’ that my toddler has created elsewhere but as yet he had not tried out his skills at home. Today was the day…

His paints are stored in the black hole that is our spare room wardrobe; home to baby toys that he’s grown out of, broken toys that need to be fixed and toys that are not yet suitable. Paints fell into the latter category, though I could no longer defend my reasoning for this. He was absolutely ready to use them, it was our house that wasn’t ready, the beige sofa cushions, cream blinds and taupe walls were quaking in fear.

Just before his nap my son darted into the room and whipped the wardrobe door open, knowing full well the interesting contents inside. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to grab the door before he saw the paints through the crack he’d got it open. Not wanting a full blown melt down before he went to sleep I promised that when he woke up we would get them out.

I am always astounded about what he remembers and the minute his eyes opened he wanted to get to work. The trouble is I wasn’t expecting him to be quite so quick off the mark, normally he is dozy for the first fifteen minutes after waking; not today.

This meant that I had nothing prepared and so praying that the paints were indeed washable I rummaged around for his apron and some paper, grabbed the wipes and sat him at his little table.

Of course being a boy it was all about getting messy, he wasn’t as interested with what went on the paper, it was all about painting his hands (he’d previously created a beautiful butterfly at the play centre using hand prints) and then smearing the paint all over the page. If this wasn’t fun enough he also worked out how to flick the brush, which I swiftly put an end to, it’s surprising how far the paint can travel when using this technique…

As I said I wasn’t really prepared for this activity and the paper I grabbed was not really suitable, therefore the copious amounts of liquid that was being spread around soon started soaking through the pages. With four sheets of paper being covered, his little table turning into a swimming pool and his hands looking like they belonged to a gremlin, play time was over. Fortunately I did have the wipes to hand and half a pack later his fingers were looking human again.

Due to the wetness of the paper I decided the best option was to peg the pictures on the washing line (not before the wind whipped two of the sheets out of my hands and I had to chase them round the garden). Safely pegged down and fluttering in the wind I wondered where his ‘works of art’ should end up. Framed on our walls or stored away not to be found again until his 21st? I think we’ll put them up to be admired, at least until his next attempt…



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