Thursday, needing a good activity to kill some time before lunch, I decided the girls should finger-paint together. They’d done a tiny bit of fingerpainting once before and loved it, and this time I went all out—preparing a seat for Greta at the table, spreading out a huge sheet of paper, pouring paints into Tupperware lids. The girls loved it. Greta just liked grabbing handfuls of paint and squeezing the paint in her fingers. Lucia did some actual fingerpainting, but she, too, was more interested in getting as much paint on her hands as possible.
It quickly became about as messy as I’d expected it to be, but then I realized I had no exit strategy—a paint-covered table, paint-covered chairs, paint-covered girls, their paint-covered clothes, and just me, trying to figure out how on earth to get us back to zero and get lunch made before, oh, six o’clock.
I ended up wiping them down as best I could with a cloth and then taking them upstairs for a bath. There is still paint on the chairs. It was way more mess than it seems like forty minutes should have produced, but they had fun.
Lucia wanted to fingerpaint again yesterday, of course, and this time I distracted Greta with some Cheerios in her high chair while Lucia coated trays, bowls, and her forearms with paint. Both girls were happy. All Lucia said for about forty-five minutes of total fingerpaint immersion was, “More paint. Mama, I need more paint.”
When Greta got antsy, I settled her at the table with some markers and paper. While I was at the sink with Lucia, rinsing off her arms and hands, with my back turned for all of three minutes, Greta sucked all the ink out of a purple marker, leaving the tip entirely white. “My favorite maaaarker,” Lucia wailed. “Purple is my faaaavooorrriiiitee maaaaarker.” Never a dull moment.
This blog began in 2006, when I quit my job and sold all my furniture to move to Barcelona with Andrew, skipping town blissfully and dramatically; then we skipped town again, to California, and then, finally, back to Brooklyn. Now I'm in a rambling old house in the suburbs, with two babies and a husband and the suspicion that we won’t be skipping town again anytime soon—at least not the kind of skipping town that involves packing boxes and moving trucks.