We’ve been doing a lot of TV watching and not very much playing the past few days so Husband and I declared today a ‘no TV day’. Good for us.
I hadn’t realized just how much we relied on the tv during the course of a day. On school days I don’t allow television until after school, and since S is in the afternoon session that means tv from 2:45 until dinner is ready. Its quite a bit of screen time, too much even in our view, but as I cannot play with the kids and make dinner at the same time too often this is how things are. On weekends there isn’t the forced schedule of a school day so we can either get unintentionally sucked into an entire day of television, or just avoid it altogether.
I decided to get things off on the right foot today, so we painted right after breakfast. S generally loves painting, and since V’s birth we haven’t done much arts and crafts, as until recently V was unable to partake in the fun. Valentine’s Day is this week, and after two art sessions making valentines we still had more to make. Apparently two days of focused crafting in the course of a month is S’s limit, because she ran out of steam after the second valentine. Thanks to my constant cheering she managed to make the other three absolutely-necessary-valentines, a few handprints, and then asked to use other things in the art box. Fine, have fun.
This was Miss V’s second time with paints, and while she did a stellar job the first day, today she was more interested in painting her highchair tray (the end product was quite pretty, shame the paints were washable), and swirling the paint around the palette. I pushed her to paint a few large hearts, and attempted a card. She then started grabbing small paper hearts, smooshing them onto the palette, and then either crushing or ripping the paper hearts. While I tried to salvage the crushed and ripped hearts V started rubbing her multicolored hands in her hair: all done!
It was close to lunch time and as our dining table was covered in painted valentines, I decided to have a picnic on the floor of the living room. When lunch was over, S asked if she could go back to painting. Sure, why not? Its in the very next room, so I stayed at the picnic to languidly finish the leftovers. V loves when people are on the floor (her level) so she climbed all over me as I ate. S was quiet and happy painting on her own. The whole thing was very relaxing and lovely.
I checked on S – still painting! – and cleaned up the picnic. Then I went into the dining room to clean up the painting and clearly saw what S had been doing on her own. She had 20 pots of paint (10 brand new), 4 tubes of brand-new finger paints, and 2 bottles of glittery glue, and was squeezing them into the water cups (for cleaning paint brushes). Despite giving her a large stack of white paper on which to paint, she used only 2 sheets. The second sheet was sopping wet from S painting with a sponge brush dipped in dirty water. The yellow finger paint was squeezed into the pot of red paint. She hadn’t been painting so much as destroying art supplies.
I was furious. I took the water cups and dumped them in the sink. There was almost a cup of paint and glittery glue in each cup. Why?? Why would she do such a thing? What is the point?? I ranted and raved at her as I cleaned it all up. Such wanton waste and destruction of art supplies was inexcusable. I will not be buying her more paint to replace what she wasted. I will not be buying her any more paint, ever! What was she thinking???
Scared, S used a paintbrush to get most of the yellow finger paint out of the red pot, while I was in the kitchen washing out the water cups. She added it to the sopping creation, then showed me when I returned to the dining room. Wasn’t it pretty?
I forget exactly what her reasoning was for dumping paint into the water cups. I don’t think it made much sense, just one of those weird excuses little kids make when they don’t know why they did whatever it is they are getting yelled at for. At 3 (almost 4), S doesn’t yet know to admit she doesn’t know. She just tells nonsense tales, usually involving either Emma or imaginary people with gibberish names.
I was so done with being mom at that point. It was time for V’s nap and that is usually when I turn on the tv for S, on non-school days. Not an option today, so I told her to read while I got V to sleep. There was crying and dramatics: Its not nice to not let people watch tv! Watching tv is nice! Of course it is. Temper tantrums aren’t nice, either. That is why you aren’t watching tv today.
I left my darling husband to deal with S, and made my escape upstairs with the baby. He was trying to sleep off a dose of non-drowsy cold medicine so had been absent for most of the fun.
Removed from the scene, I continued the ranting and raving, only in my head this time. What was wrong with S?? Why would she do that??? Then it hit me: who leaves a 3 year-old alone with three boxes of paint? And glue?
Crap. I hate it when its my fault.
Is this day over yet???