OK, so we failed to complete our May project, even though we had thirty-one whole days to get it together. Different story here in June, mostly because I had all the materials on-hand. That’s always key, since planning is not my strongest suit.
Here’s where I cleverly try to entice him with the wonder of the hidden message:
Scoff if you will, but I know exactly how to lure in my little sapling. For a minute, I thought it had worked. (Also, I used the word “design” in my explanation rather than writing or coloring. That’s another key.)
“I’m writing invitations to my party!”
Hey-o! Didn’t see that one coming. Clearly, he’s enjoying his time in make-believe land! Or, perhaps, I am, if I think I can get away with the household birthday party for very much longer. We shall see.
After about five minutes of art time, he became fascinated with mixing colors in the water:
“I’m making fire, Mama.”
Y’all, you wouldn’t believe how I tried to guide him back to the activity at hand. Then, right as I felt myself get completely exasperated, and came this close to dumping out the water and shutting the whole thing down (oh yes, I am precisely that childish), I remembered that this was supposed to be a fun activity. Art isn’t supposed to be a chore! So I let him mix away.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t try to teach him about mixing colors. Over and over. “Hey, why don’t you see what happens when you mix blue and yellow. How about red and blue?” Yeah, he totally didn’t care; he just wanted to keep dumping out the water and trying another concoction. Actually, it was the same combo, over and over, and he couldn’t quite get that it was going to turn out the same. It was killing me. I tried to sneak in a good word about not wasting water, and then I tuned out a little, which seemed like the best thing to do. And – what do you know? – we had a really good time together, which made it a 100% successful venture.