I think I’ve been daring myself. Literally saying to myself, how far can I push myself to that line that just reaches insanity before I’ve gone too far.
If I would have shown the person I was this time last year, what I would be encouraging a bunch of children to do, in a confined space, I would have scoffed and said, nope. not happening.
But I filled little squeeze bottles with 3/4 glue and 1/4 paint (of course it was all washable), and set them out for children to paint clay pots. I got the idea from this really fun site. The ridiculousness is overwhelming. Last May, I was ready to let Mini-ion #! paint at home for the first time. I covered him in an oversized t-shirt. I scattered the kitchen floor with old construction drawings and I set us both up to fail.
And just this week, I let the mini-ions (and their playgroup friends) have at it. It was beautiful and fun and lovely. I’m so glad I did it. I set up some precautions to keep my stress level down. They painted over cookie sheets. They had small squeeze bottles so there wasn’t too much paint. We were quick with baby wipes and paper towels, but it was fun.
This was certainly one of my favorite provocations and one I had been looking forward to. The way it was set up, they could walk away from it whenever they wanted, and if they wanted to go back to it, they could. They were done, when they were done and that was ok. You’ll see more of the finished product when I write about our next activity.
I prepared the parents for mess, and wouldn’t you know, the only one that really spread paint around was Mini-ion #2. She rubbed her hands in the paint to feel the texture, then went looking for me and spread the paint all over tables and chairs. But, it was all washable, so no permanent harm done.
I don’t know if it was the provocation, or just a sense of really feeling comfortable, but there was silence, for 5-10 minutes during the playgroup. Silence that said everyone was engrossed in their work. It was the first time it was extended that long and it was pretty reassuring.
I think as moms, we take a lot of pictures to show the growth of our children, sprouting up month after month, year after year. But where are the pictures of our growth? This is one of mine.