Connecting through creativity and art

art2Doing art projects and other creative activities with my kids is something that’s very important to me. As a child, I always disliked Art Class because I knew I wasn’t very good at art, but starting when my oldest son was 2, I wanted to make art a part of his life. I wanted to let it be something he could enjoy, whether or not he was good at it.

Over the last few years, art has been a way for us to connect, have fun, and learn.

Allowing children opportunities to create their own art is a wonderful way to help instill creativity and confidence. It can also provide sensory experiences, fine motor activities, and chances to learn about different styles of art.

To first get started with art activities, I spent some time walking around a craft store and selecting items that either seemed like the basics (paint, markers, and glue) or like they’d be really fun (googly eyes and pompoms). While I was there, I also picked up some 5d diamond painting kits for myself to break my hiatus and resume my painting hobby. I also got project ideas from the many blogs dedicated to toddler and preschool art.

Our activities have been very different based on my children’s ages. When my son was 2 and we were just starting, we did a lot of finger painting, sensory activities with things like rice and oatmeal, and water play with cups, bowls, and spoons.  As a preschooler, he experimented with painting with strange objects like ribbons and flowers, and we explored some famous artists. I loved painting of few artists and also decided to hung it at my home for him, so after seeing painting he can get more interest into painting. I decided to get a Pet paint by visiting the custom painting online. Now that he’s 6, we’ve been getting art books from the library for him to select project ideas from, and he’ll help pick out art supplies that he wants to use.

We both try our best to remember that it’s about having fun, not about having a perfect finished product.

When my second and third children were born, I found ways to get them involved in art at an earlier age. I found baby-friendly activities, such as filling a container with colorful tissue paper or a variety of fabric scraps with different textures, and placing paint and a paper inside a sealed plastic bag for them to smoosh around and make their first paintings — completely mess-free.art3

For us, art has been one way to connect. After my second child was born, it was also a way to have some much-needed one-on-one time with my oldest son while his baby brother was napping. For other families, there may be different but equally fulfilling ways of achieving this, if art isn’t interesting to you or it’s not something you can make time for right now. It’s important to explore and find your own ways of connection.

For the love of art, authenticity and our children’s dreams

“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” ~ Thomas Merton, American writer

pixabay - artistWhen my daughter was a toddler, an acquaintance asked me, “What would you like your daughter to be when she grows up?”

I paused. I understood the question, yet I was perplexed and slightly irritated. I responded, “You’re asking me what I would like her to be when she grows up? I’d like her to be happy and do whatever her heart desires.”

A few years later when it became apparent that my daughter’s talent and passion was with the art work, I was asked by a few well-intentioned family members if I was okay with her becoming an artist in the professional sense, pointing out the abiding stereotype of the hopeful, struggling, starving artist. When I replied that I would absolutely be okay with her choice, as I believe it’s essential for an individual to follow their innate talents and interests, I was met with a few raised eyebrows.

It’s not uncommon in our society for parents to persistently persuade or push their kids in the direction of a specific college degree or profession. Parents reason that those professions are more reputable or associated with higher incomes, or are in high demand — securing a job post-graduation.

Naturally, parents want their kids to succeed in life, struggle less and achieve more than they did themselves. We bear our own life experiences while navigating through parenthood: Our dreams, regrets, failures, achievements and successes are all engraved in us. Consciously or subconsciously, we project those experiences onto our kids. We ought to examine who we are and how it plays out in our parenting paradigm while recognizing and respecting who our kids are.

Being a pragmatic person, I realize that a career in the arts may not offer the perceived financial security or stability that other professions do. We need to manage reality and ensure our kids grow up to become adults who are well adjusted in this world and that includes being able to support themselves financially without struggles.

That said, being a mindful person, I recognize the importance of being an authentic person who possesses inner balance, contentment and peace. Hence, I think that an individual should feel free to elect a profession of their own choosing — a profession that speaks to who they are, nourishing their mind, heart and soul. We are all unique beings with different interests and aspirations, fulfilling different roles in our society — all of which make our world more colorful, diverse and interesting.

As I was gathering my thoughts on this topic, the controversial Old Navy toddler girl T-shirts surfaced at the end of December. I was troubled with the shirts reading “Young Aspiring Artist,” with the word “artist” crossed out in exchange for “astronaut” or “president.”

Perhaps a better display on the T-shirts would have read “Young Aspiring _____” to leave the child free to fill in the blank.

Many people echoed my sentiments. Social media erupted in outrage with online users criticizing the retailer for oppressing and minimizing children’s creativity. Many wondered, “What message are we sending our young children?” and “Is being an artist not a suitable career path for our children?” In response to the backlash, Old Navy issued an apology and the T-shirts were discontinued and pulled off the shelf.

Re-reading Thomas Merton’s quote above, our role as parents is to guide our kids to find their way to the wall they gravitate toward, rather than direct them to the one we perceive would be the right one for them.

Maybe my daughter will not become an artist after all. Life is full of twists and turns. But what I do know is that I will walk alongside her on her path, lending her my support and advice…because it is on her path that she will find and climb her own ladder, the one leaning against the wall that is her calling.

Why I Hate Art

This AP Month Blog Event post was submitted by reader Elizabeth Wickoren, who blogs at Mothering from the Maelstrom.

Each year we try to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas and not just Christmas Day itself. Makes for a somewhat less frantic early December when you don’t feel like you have to cram a year’s worth of joy and Christmasy-ness into two days. We’ve been doing a lot of yummy Christmas baking the last few days, socking away a little bit of each batch in the freezer for our Twelfth Night party, but mostly just gobbling it down as fast as we make it. We’re also making time for lots of the things we really love, like board games, feeding the wildlife, thrift store shopping, movies, video games, theater and today, ART.

Art is one thing I feel like I really don’t do enough of with the kids. I am a big old scrooge when it comes to any art other than drawing, really. The thought of clay, paint and the like just makes me cringe. All that mess and chaos … ugh! Don’t get me wrong, I love to do art myself. I LOVE it, love love LOVE it. But I tend to be kind of lazy when it comes to breaking out the messy stuff for my brood. Or I thought it was laziness. Today I’m thinking it is more like a self-preservation instinct.

I was reading a Deep Space Sparkle article describing a lovely winter trees project involving shaving cream, and thinking, “I bet the kids would get a big kick out of shaving cream.” So, figuring it was the season for fun things, I got a couple of cans of shaving cream and cleared off the kitchen table.

Things started out innocently enough …

S4010001

They were swirling colors and dipping papers …

S4010002

Even the baby got to participate …

S4010003

Don’t worry, hers is whipped cream, not shaving cream.

If you want a fun blog post to inspire you to art projects of your own, stop reading now. Get some cans of shaving cream and have fun. If you want to hear our horror story, however, read on.

At this point things took a turn for the worst. Mitchell was really enjoying the shaving cream. Enjoying it so much that he started rubbing it all over his stomach. I sent him to go clean up a bit, and while I was getting him to clean up, the other two decided to follow suit and start spreading shaving cream all over their bodies. So I sent them to the bathroom.

While they were cleaning up, Mitchell decided to stir his shaving cream as fast as he could so all the colors mixed into a really putrid olive green. So much for lovely swirls. Then the little two came back from the bathroom, and Henry decided to make his a solid-greeny mush, too.

I started to get a bit irritated that they were ignoring the whole concept of making beautiful art and instead were just focusing on the smoosh factor. I tried not to let it get to me. Intellectually, I KNEW that boys will be boys and that they were having a great, fun, tactile experience even if they weren’t making art as I had planned. I praised Violet’s lovely swirls because they really were lovely, and the boys ended up asking me to help them have swirls, too, so we added more color to their green shaving cream. In the end, I was a bit frazzled, but everyone had fun and had some swirly art.

Now, we could end the story there, but as you may have noticed, this last section didn’t have pictures to go with it. My hands were full of shaving cream, and I was just too crabby to take any pictures of the green goo.

There also aren’t any pictures to go with this next section.

Once everyone had made several swirly art pictures and I was sufficiently out of patience, I started to get things cleaned up. While my back was turned, setting pictures out to dry … Violet started rubbing shaving cream on her tummy, and the boys started to dive into the shaving cream up to their elbows. Their laughter started getting that crazy sound to it. You know, when it starts to shift from joyful, delightful giggling to insane, overstimulated, maniacal laughter. Plops of shaving cream started landing on the floor, on the chairs, on clothes. Things were officially out of hand.

I will admit, this was not my finest moment. I yelled a bit. Tossed out some choice phrases that had no business being said to children. Maybe “yelled a bit” is being too kind. I screamed. I really lost it. All I could think was that I had spent all this effort trying to do something fun and special with them, and they were almost literally throwing it in my face. Mitchell, especially, got the brunt of it because he is the oldest and “should know better” and his innovative little brain started all the mischief. Everyone except the baby got sent to bathrooms.

The baby was wondering what the HECK all the fuss was about. But another round of whipped cream stopped her wondering, and she got back to business.

As the baby was getting round #2 of whipped cream, shenanigans started breaking out in the various sinks. Thankfully, at that moment, Daddy walked in the door before I could strangle anyone. He bustled the little kids off to the bathtub for a thorough cleaning. Mitch was sitting in Grandma’s bathroom where I had exiled him, and I was left with a table to wipe up and a moment to catch my breath.

After a few deep breaths, I went in to talk to Mitchell. I apologized for screaming and told him I shouldn’t have said the things I said. Then we talked together about where things went wrong. I asked him if he were at school, would he have taken the art supplies and started rubbing them all over his body? He laughed and said, “No!”  I explained that I was angry that they had misused the art supplies like that for me. And he said, “But the shaving cream just feels so good!”

I started telling him how there is a time and a place for whole-body art. And the time and place is outside in the summer, where they can be hosed off afterwards and not wreck any hardwood floor finishes or anything. Then I had a light bulb go off. “The other place for whole-body art,” I said, “is in the bathtub. Where all the mess can be rinsed down the drain. Hop in.”

So Mitch continued his art exploration, and I went to bathe the baby.

M4034S-4211

Bathing the baby always cheers me up.  And Fergie (our dog) helped with the clean-up.

So, what is the moral of this story? The moral is, I need to approach art with no expectations except mess. Expecting any kind of aesthetically pleasing results is just setting myself up for disappointment and stress. I mean, the whole point of art, in my opinion, is to enjoy the process and not worry too much about the end result. I kind of lost that as I gazed at the Deep Space Sparkle pictures of magical, snowy trees and imagined that we, too, could make something so preciously cute. The kids didn’t lose sight of the purpose, though. Their entire aim was to enjoy the process, so kudos to them. And I apologize for raining on their parade.

Underestimating the amount of mess that can be made with two cans of shaving cream was a grave error in judgment on my part. Frankly, I think all art should be done in the bathtub in the future. It’s really the perfect location. Actually, we have an unfinished room in the basement, with a drain in the floor. Shall we tile that sucker up for a whole-body art studio?  A very tempting idea, actually …

And today, as I reflected on what I could have done differently, another factor popped into my mind. I had forgotten that the day before had been Mitchell’s birthday. We had promised him that a special ADHD diet didn’t mean he could NEVER have the food he liked again. We said on his birthday he could eat anything he wanted. And boy he did. We had McDonalds, pizza, donuts, the works!

The thing about Mitchell’s food sensitivities is that they generally don’t affect him until the next day. It’s not an immediate thing. So planning a messy art project the day after he stuffed his face with preservatives, gluten, dyes, milk and high fructose corn syrup was just asking for trouble. So–note to self–don’t try to do ANYTHING the day after Mitch has blown his diet except manage his symptoms.

So, while it wasn’t one of my finest moments, I think yesterday was not without merit. Everyone got bathed, swirly art DID get made and mama learned (and relearned) a few lessons.

Have No Fear

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

Children do not have this fear. I think it spills over to being a parent, too. I have learned by trial and error to not be afraid. I am not a perfect parent, nor will I ever be.

When my son paints, he does it so organically and naturally. I usually let him have his way with the water colors, crayons, and water mixing cups. It gets messy — real messy.

He knows what colors he wants to use and how to curve the crayon to meet his own needs. He bends and turns, creating his own masterpieces. I will admit, I often am not supervising him directly when he is painting.  He has a table in the art room/office. When I am writing, he is creating.  We are in the same room.  I set up his materials in the respect of leaving brushes out, often uncleaned. He figures it out. He’ll ask me when he needs some help or fresh water. Most of the time, he says, “I’ll do it all myself.” He is three.

I am often amazed at his creations. I like to think he is a natural, but all children are natural artists.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

I am trying to think of ways art and creativity can translate into parenting.  I believe Attachment Parenting has been a natural process for my family. We had the tools, and the art was created. We have used the Eight Principles in our life and have selected the “colors” which are our favorites.  You do not have to practice all eight Principles to get certified as an AP parent.  There is no certification. Some parents only use a couple principles, some use all eight of them.

My husband and I are practicing gentle discipline. At times, it is frustrating. At times, I wonder how fear would be more effective. But we guide and teach and teach and guide. Sometimes we are left with bite marks and exhausted sighs, but we know we are creating our own masterpiece. Our son is a blank canvas and the colors we choose will have an effect on him. We choose each color from the parent palette carefully.

So, I leave you with an art show of some of my son’s artwork.

Painting 1

Principle 1: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

 

Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.

Painting 2

Principle 2: Feed with Love and Respect

 

Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant’s nutritional and emotional needs. “Bottle Nursing” adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

Painting 3

Principle 3: Respond with Sensitivity

 

Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe; they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

Painting 4

Principle 4: Use Nurturing Touch

 

Touch meets a baby’s needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.

Painting 5

Principle 5: Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally

 

Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day — from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

Painting 6

Principle 6: Provide Consistent and Loving Care

 

Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.

SONY DSC

Principle 7: Practice Positive Discipline

 

Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone’s dignity intact.

I drew this when I was a kid. My mom saved all my art.  Principle 8: Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

I drew this when I was a kid. My mom saved all my art.
Principle 8: Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

 

It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don’t be afraid to say “no.” Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

* Descriptions of each Principle under each painting are from www.attachmentparenting.org.

 

Toddler Chaos Clean-up

I’ve swept up the Art Room. This room is my writing room and has also become my son’s chaos room. He paints here, plays here, and learns here. It is a womb of flashcards, water color trays, brushes, paper, stuffed animals, clothes,  crayons, play kitchen items, toy trains, race cars, and other toddler toys. There has been plenty of times when I had to use power washing dublin to clean my carpets full of paint and dirt from the backyard. Carpets shouldn’t stay damp for too long. Carpets and rugs are lovely, comfy and comfy . Used and maintained correctly, they’re ready to last several years, and become an origin of wonderful pride and happiness. But when not taken care of, unattractive damage could cause numerous problems. The key to any carpet treatment — vacuum-cleaning — must be consistent and complete. Some research has shown an honest vacuum-cleaning can eliminate up to 80% of soil inside a textured plush carpeting. supported use and placement, carpets must be cleaned by professionals carpet cleaning Ann Arbor annually , and spot cleaned as required within the meantime. Drymaster Carpet Cleaning has been operating in the Newcastle since 1990 and has the experience, equipment and procedures to service your premises.There are many varied methods of steam cleaning your carpets. The most common form of steam cleaning is a 1 stage process, where a cleaner will bring to your home a portable machine, similar to the machine that you can rent from the local supermarket or hardware store. This steam cleaning machine is filled with water and detergent and your carpet is cleaned without any pre spray or agitation. This method cleans your carpet without a rinse process and unfortunately leaves detergent residue in your carpet which will promote rapid re soiling. This steam cleaning method is over 20 years old and is not the preferred method by most carpet cleaners today, but unfortunately is still being used by a lot of budget type cleaning companies. Carpet cleaning experts in Newcastle also offers our customers the carpet Dry Cleaning method. Carpets are indeed one of the most important things that we can find in our homes. These can make or break the look the whole room. This is why most people always make it a point to have carpets in their homes so that their homes will look as elegant and as nice as they should be. This is true only under one condition. carpet cleaning usually look their best especially when they are still clean and new. A newly bought or installed carpet would always pull the look of the simplest room there is. Most carpet owners do make it a point to maintain the cleanliness of their carpets. We all know how carpets attract dirt so much. Even if we try to take care and keep our carpets clean, there will always be a stain that will begin to pop out of it. Once a carpet looks very dirty, this can now destroy the look of the whole room. This can now leave the room very untidy and not well cleaned. This is the primary reason why you should always maintain the cleanliness of your carpets all the time. Whether you do this on your own or you hire carpet removal service to do so, you need to make sure that your carpets look as new as they should. One equipment that has really made carpet cleaning such an easier but effective cleaning job is a vacuum cleaner. These are tools or equipment which are used to suck out dirt which are trapped within the fibers of the carpet. This is very effective when you want to remove the solid particles, allergens and the dust which have stayed in the carpet. Although cleaning the carpet thoroughly, removing the stains do need extensive cleaning procedures in order to remove them in the best way possible.

Ten minutes before I swept, it looked like a bomb of paper based material exploded. Add crayons, spoons, plastic play food, children’s books, stickers, paper, paint, M & M’s, and one toddler. Chaos.

My son painting in the Art Room. You can see the toddler debris on the floor.

The pile I’m looking at could be swept into a dustpan quickly. And then it would be gone.

But I have to sort out the debris. What is recyclable — at least the paper and plastic.

I’m tempted though to do one clean sweep then I could attempt to floor mop the wood floors. This is my favorite room in the house. It has twelve foot ceilings and pine wood floors with amazing detail that I got thanks to the work of the professional from Epoxy Flooring Bellevue. It has a south facing window which centers the room — one large window nine feet high by three feet. Visit website for more details about DIAMOND COATING EPOXY FLOORING OTTAWA.

A rare treat this past Saturday — a snowstorm with big chunky snowflakes. You can see the window to my art room in this photo.

This room is never organized completely, only at best, neatened up. My husband has recently installed a shelf system in the closet to organize my on-going writing and art projects. Confession: I am a pack rat and have kept every paper based memory and scrap of paper.  I have all my art projects from elementary school (thanks to my mom).  I have the first note a boy gave me in sixth grade asking me out. Check yes, no, maybe.

I have kept every letter and card I received as an enthusiastic pen pal writer in the 80’s, including letters from my pen pal from Japan and Costa Rica.

Check out that postmark — 1987, complete with a bubble gum scratch & sniff sticker
Pen pal letter from Japan

 ***

My feet stick to the wood floor.  Invisible toddler tape perhaps. As Ben calls it, sticky gooey. Everyone is asleep as I pull it together to do the impossible — clean this room. My goal is to see the floor. I start with baby steps picking up loose paper. I recycle what I can. I take a deep breath and recycle the toddler art I don’t want to keep. Should I keep them all? For Pete’s sake — I have over ninety-nine. Throw them out.  He will paint more. Trust.

My son’s art gallery in the Art Room

I pick up the books my son loves to dump from the toddler height bookshelf. The rest is a blur. A complicated system in my head of mathematical and analytic order takes over. I put things where I think they may belong. Piles. Lots of piles. They are off the floor for now.

What remains is still covering the floor: a pool of colored collage.

A blue plastic spoon with three vertical grooves lays angled across a scribbled toddler art paper. A crumbled napkin dyed with faded water color paints rests on top. A fluorescent pink index card with pen and ink scribbles hangs to the far right of the pile. The outfielder of the pile — catching loose grounders — about an inch away is a brown dog bone sticker the length of a penny.

A receipt for a failed fertility treatment from August 8, 2008 sits on top of the crayon stew. $244 reminding me of our desperation to be with child. Forever ago.

How did Ben find this bill? I know — he opened the file cabinet. The poor thing is shoulder height to Ben — completely accessible to his exploratory curiosity. (Yes, file cabinets have feelings; they like order — toddlers must make them nervous).

A black teaspoon lays across another fluorescent pink index card.  A cardboard white cake mix box next to an empty ink cartridge. Crayons: thick canary yellow, yellow green, navy blue  — all visible. Too much. I’m overwhelmed.  I’m just going to sort out the paper, crusted in sticky toddler chaos boogers — subtract from the pile.

A black sock bundled. A page from Ben’s favorite book, Wacky Wednesday torn out. I can’t throw this away; it’s the eleven wild wacky things park scene. Ben loves to point them out. The page with the purple limo with the old lady in purple, pushing the yellow buggy on top of the limo.

A wild eyed yellow giraffe sticks his head out of a pothole.

Wacky Wednesday book

The pile is lessened: progress.

A copper penny: head’s up, 2002.

A crayon crumb collage, fit for 80’s wax paper iron art projects, on the back of a glossy 8 x 10. I scoop it up and use it as a dustpan, moved enough by the bright colors to take a photo. Too lazy to find my camera, I toss the debris in the garbage.

Flipping the photo over, I see my fourth grade class from 2008. I was so hungry to be a mom in that photo: infertile. I put the photo on top of the printer paper atop my scanner.

The pile still there on the floor.

Next, fetch the plastic Ziploc bag for the crayons: thick purple broken tip still sharp; navy blue — the triangle grip; a plastic crinkle cut French fry (I hate these tiny outliers too tiny for toy bins). I’ve been throwing them away one by one, even though they fit neatly into the red McDonald’s fry holder, which I hate and soon it will get the cut. I’ll recycle it though.

The plastic corn ear goes into the keep pile. Place white play cake mix with it. My son thinks he is Chef Ramsey. All play kitchen items are keepers.

My therapist’s card (currently going to grief therapy) — I need to call her and make an appointment. This goes on top of my desk.

Blue M & M — throw it away. Maybe eat it.

A scribbled passage for a book I am working on — into the closet.

Yellow green, verde Amarillo, verte-jaune goes into the bag. An orange colored pencil soon behind it.

Turquoise thick Sharpie — no cap, dry as the desert.

Recycle?

Red crayon, red colored pencil. Cheap Rose Art red crayon, orange stub, green stub, thick blue, thin black, thick brown, thick blue — the other half. Royal blue plastic spoon — pile with black teaspoon.

More crayons: purple, navy blue, thick orange, thick red — sticky vegetable potato chip crumbs rolled around it like a Yule log.

Joan Miro eraser

Joan Miro 97 eraser from the Denver Art Museum — bought single, bought solo — a lifetime ago.

A persuasive journal prompt, a rogue teaching resource unearthed and liberated by my son from it’s tidy box.

Art Blast washable water colors packaging — not a good idea unsupervised. At least I can recycle the packaging: cardboard.

My son, Ben painting his masterpieces

Another persuasive writing prompt card.

I think a piece of dried poop was on the white index card.

A pastel purple index card.

I smell poop. Affirmative on the poop crumb.

Wow, I keep everything (not the poop); I should have just swept all this stuff up.

A brown twig.

My friend’s self-published poetry book makes the cut, only because it is inscribed and has “Congrats on the baby” on the inside cover — a reminder of graduate school and my miracle pregnancy.

I’m tired and sleepy. The rest of the pile is going into the dustpan, which actually is just non-recyclable garbage.

I walk by the window, curtains open and turn off the light sneaking a peek at the beauty of this room — the chaos of this room and marvel at the chaos tidied up (for now).

Stained glass fleur de lis my husband made sitting in Art Room window

What are the things you hold onto and what are the things you throw away? How do you keep your child’s playroom tidy?

 


 

 
 
 
 

Discipline as Play

Like many families with small children we have come to possess rather a lot of sidewalk chalk. You buy some for the kids and a grandparent buys some for the kids and then a friend thinks your kids would like chalk, and pretty soon you have tons. And the chalk is so huge it just lasts forever and ever and ever.

Using her foot as a paintbrush
Hannah ‘painting’ with her foot on the garage door

Sidewalk chalk has a way of getting everywhere. My own child’s ‘finger friends‘ love to use chalk on the side of the house, in particular. And that stuff doesn’t wash away, since the overhang prevents water from ever coming into contact with it. So the side of my house has been decorated for like 2 years because in spite of my plans to clean it I just never get around to it.

Hannah and her art
Hannah posing with her art work

Recently, the finger friends struck again. I was in the back yard and I noticed some letters on the side of our house. They said ‘HAN’, and then whoever was writing it ran out of room. So I asked my daughter HANnah about it, and she blamed her one-year-old brother. I pointed out that it was her name. She said, “Oh yes, it was the finger friends. They’re so sneaky!” I was frustrated, because I have spent the last 2 years discussing the appropriate use of sidewalk chalk. I decided that Hannah should wash it off. In fact, she should wash off every decoration she’d added to our house, ever. Because I didn’t want to, and maybe that would make her think first next time. Hmph.
Continue reading “Discipline as Play”

Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.

© 2008-2022 Attachment Parenting International All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright