Zeke has had some children's paints for a while now. I hadn't opened the box yet because...well because I feared the mess and didn't want to deal with it.
But we borrowed I Ain't Gonna Paint No More from the library recently, and despite its horrific grammar, it was an adorable read that threw Zeke into an obsession with painting. It was suddenly something he must experience.
(Baby Danced the Polka has thrown us into a similar obsession with dancing...at naptime. I need to be more careful about what books I'm bringing home...)
Anyways long story short, he found his paints while I was organizing art supplies. And for some crazy reason I decided to just go ahead and get it over with.
Lesson 1: Be fun more often. We really enjoyed ourselves painting...because I allowed us to enjoy it. I know that on a different given day I would have made both of us miserable with this. Instead of worrying about the mess, I just sat and painted. It was nice. And in the end, it wasn't even a big mess.
Lesson 2: Trust in Zeke. I deliberated for a long time: Do I just give him one color? Wont he just mix them all and get crazy if given too many options? But since I wasn't allowing myself to be a scrooge I went again and gave him 6. I carefully placed a brush in each color and showed him how each brush matched and belonged to just that color, but I didn't actually expect him to get it.
He did. I dont give my kid enough credit.
Lesson 3: As soon as he can handle something that's not 100% washable, buy Zeke some quality paints. It's been a long time since I've used children's paints and I was a bit horrified. The colors had no depth, and the consistency was slimy and runny. Maybe not for everyday use, but I think nice acrylics or watercolors would be worth it. The cost wouldnt even be that much, honestly, when you consider that since nice paints are so easily mixable I'd only need red, yellow, blue, and white.
Oh and I though it was worth mentioning, while Z and I got our art on, Malachi taught himself to pull up and walk across the couch.
"What? This old trick? It aint no thing baby." (Mal also read that book with us.)
"Now if I could only reach that truck..."
He finally decided to risk it, reached, and promptly fell on his face. After rolling onto his back, however, he realized he could then reach it and decided that maybe it hadn't been such a bad move after all.