Sunday, February 15, 2009

"We don't eat paint. Yucky." and other things I never thought I'd say

We had a fun-filled, spring-like weekend around here. Jacob ran in the Mercedes Kids' Marathon on Saturday morning. It is a really fun event. The program is run by the local elementary schools in conjunction with the Mercedes Marathon. The kids train by running a total of 26.2 miles -- they run most of them in gym class over the course of the fall and winter, and then complete the final mile at the Kids' Marathon, which is held the day before the full Mercedes Marathon.

David ran with Jacob (this is the last year he gets to run with a parent -- once he is a big second grader, he will run on his own). Here they are speeding by:

And after the race:

And with their goldfish-eating cheering section:

Saturday was also Valentine's Day, of course. It is really hard to think of Valentine's Day gifts for David -- there are only so many monogrammed locket cuff links that one man can wear. So this year, we decided to be practical and get David what he really needs: one six pack of beer per child who lives in the house. The good stuff, of course -- only the best for my Valentine. Here are Jacob and Elizabeth dancing to the musical greeting card that accompanied the beer:

We also did some art projects. You know, this is definitely one area of parenting that I romanticized before having kids -- "we'll do arts & crafts around the kitchen table, it'll be great!" -- but the reality is that I am just not an arts & crafts mom, and I will look for any excuse to avoid breaking out the paint. It reminds me of a story my law school roommate Jenny (miss you, babe!) used to tell about a friend of hers who remembers complaining to her mother: "Katie's mother does crafts with her. How come you don't do crafts with me?" And this girl's mother replied "Don't worry, Mommy does shopping, which you will appreciate much more someday." That mother and I would be friends. Reason #1,567 why I love preschool -- the kids can spend hours each week creating masterpieces in a variety of media -- puff paint, clay, pipe cleaners, pom pom balls-- and I do not have to clean it up. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy many of the domestic arts with my children; we bake together regularly, for example, and they unfold the laundry that I fold. But craft projects are just not my thing. I have three kids and I have tried MANY times to become a craft-loving mom. I even subscribe to Family Fun magazine, which gives you more things to do with egg cartons and Floam than MacGyver can do with duct tape and paper clips. It's just not happening. It's me, not the crafts.

But Elizabeth asked me if she could paint on Saturday, and I said, "sure, you can draw!" But she saw right through that and said "no! I want to PAINT." My instinct in this situation is always "hell, no!" but every once in a while I do try to stop that Pavlovian reaction and say yes. So I said yes, got out the paint, filled up the cups of water, and sat Caroline and Elizabeth at the table in the basement:

Caroline's teachers tell me that she LOVES to paint. They have never said anything about her eating paint, so I wasn't really prepared for what was to come.

Innocent beginnings:

She was painting with PLAIN WATER -- it was a craft-hating mom's dream come true! But eventually she found the paint.

Aaaaand ate some paint:

I always figure that kids will take one bite of something like dirt (we ate that yesterday too) or paint, realize it is not particularly tasty, and then stop. But no, Caroline kept going back to that paint the way that I keep going back to that bowl of queso at La Paz. Once I realized that she was not going to stop on her own, I intervened. I did not photograph the scene in which I took the paintbrush away from her and took her upstairs to wash out her mouth -- because really, you all know what a temper tantrum looks like.

I hope that everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day!


Carolina Belle said...

How cute was Jacob at his race? What a darling idea. It looks like you had a great Valentine's Day - I love your present to David. I am so with you on the paint, too. I like TIDY crafts like the foam stickies from Michael's. Too bad my kids don't feel the same way.

Caden and Carter's Mom said...

My 2 yo will eat paint, Play-Doh, dirt, crayons... you name it... then turn away the dinner I serve him as if it is poison! Aaarrrggghhh!

We do not do many crafts either... my 4 yo hates getting messy. My little one will enjoy projects... as soon as he learns not to eat the supplies!

Great job on the race, Jacob!