April 23, 2004

Keeping my calm

As you can imagine with three under the age of five there are times my patience is tried, today we had one of those moments. I must admit for all our reading we do - I do not care for arts and crafts and mess, so sadly my kids don't get to do it that often. Recently they have really wanted to paint - today I agreed _sigh_ and soon discovered why I've been so slow to. I convinced them to do water paints - which was not so bad - I threw out dropcloth down and put the easel on it and then let them paint for awhile - it was easy to clean up. My mistake was in agreeing to allow fingerpainting and with BLUE no less. It was going okay until they started sticking entire hands in the container at a time and squishing and spilling. I started to lose it and sent them to the bathroom to clean up - Rhiannon dripped blue paint on the carpet along the way. The easel was covered in blue paint and so was the dropcloth.

As I was cleaning the spots in the carpet and checking on the kids in the bathroom I hear very unhappy cries from the schoolroom. Sirah managed to crawl through the paint and somehow got it all over her face! I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or scream, I think I wanted to do all of them. Instead I grabbed my camera and took a picture, then carried her into the bathroom so her siblings could witness what their mess caused and cleaned her off. I proceeded to clean as best I could the rest, sending the kids to their rooms while I could regroup.

A little time passed and I realized I just needed them to go outside and run off some of the energy I apologized to them for losing my patience and expressed my frustration at the situation. I praised their artwork and creativity and sent them out to play. I suppose this is one of those moments I will look back on and smile (like my parents must now years after my brother and I decided to make it snow in our living room using Comet) and I'm glad that overall I kept my calm.

In the end we have some blue paint stains on a carpet that no doubt will see a million more stains with three children and an Australian Shepherd. We have content kids who have made some artwork and loved every minute of it, one ruined outfit of the babies (unfortunately one of my favorites)and some cute pictures. And we built a memory that will stand out for years to come.


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