Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Thing #33: Do you like painting and getting caught in the rain?

Sending things in the mail is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Sad as it may sound to openly admit this, I look forward to the mailperson's (some days we have a lady, some days we have a man) daily visit. What will s/he leave in our mailbox? Usually, just bills, flyers and coupon packs I let LP1 open. But every now and then, we get something personal. And I LOVE it. Whether it is an invitation, a thank you card or a birthday card, it never fails to make my day to see something real in our mailbox. Sometimes I like to return that feeling for someone else.

Today's New Thing is only half-done. I decided we were going to make something for someone, put it in an envelope we decorated and send it in the mail. We did this once before, for Nan and Grandad, but this time is different. First of all, we are doing it for someone's birthday and secondly, I didn't do the mail-the-letter part with the LP. I suspect that our little letter will get there late but I don't think the recipient will mind.

So today we worked on part one, the making of the picture. As LP1 wanted to paint today, our picture is a painting. I started by covering LP2's hand in green paint and making a print on a piece of construction paper. As there was still green paint all over his hand, I let him smash the paper repeatedly to remove some of it. We'll call it "abstract art". I could probably get some serious cash for it in a pretentious gallery somewhere. Next up was LP1. I painted her hand and she giggled the entire time. She made a print and then quickly seized a paintbrush to get down to the business of painting.

Paint goes on the paper! Paint goes on the paper! Well...and also on the table, the floor, and all over her arms, torso and legs. Fortunately everything is washable, including LP1.

LP1 was intent on making a good picture. She sang to herself and debated over colours. LP2 watched intently. I gave him a paintbrush to see what would happen. It went directly into his mouth. Unless he is planning to become one of those painters that paint with their mouths, I do not think he is ready for painting. Given that he also puts crayons in his mouth, I'm also pretty sure he is not yet ready for colouring, either. He does enjoy watching his sister, though.

When she was finally finished, we set the masterpiece aside to dry. And then I kind of forgot about it for the rest of the day. Either tomorrow or Saturday I will ask her to tell me what is going on in the picture and write a narrative on the page. We will get an envelope, decorate it, address it and then go together to mail it.

A sneak peak of their masterpiece. I have no idea what is going on in this picture but when LP1 tells me, I'll act like I do and that it is so obvious. That way she won't think I'm dumb.

As it is once again Thursday, it is Swimming Lessons Day. We did our usual feed-kids-get-everyone-dressed frantic rush around the house. Daddy had said earlier that we really should take the LP in the ninky nonk to the pool. It is so close to our house but we're always running a bit behind and end up driving, even though we feel quite sheepish about it. We made sure we had time today. As we were leaving, the skies were darkening and thunder was rumbling. I wasn't sure this was a good idea.

"If we get wet, we get wet," Daddy said. "We'll already be wet when we leave the pool. A little more water isn't going to hurt anyone." I was skeptical but I agreed. As we were walking to the pool, an ice cream truck came down our street. The driver very slooowly pulled up beside us and kept pace with us as we were walking. It was sort of creepy - it felt as if we were being stalked by an ice cream truck. A few summers ago, every time Auntie K and I went for a run together, an ice cream truck would show up. It felt like a sign from the universe to eat more ice cream. Tonight, however, it felt odd. Like that scene from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" where the children-snatcher lures all the children by pretending to be an ice cream truck. Great. Now in addition to "clowns", "Santa Clauses at the mall" and "carnies", I have to add "ice cream trucks" on my list of "Things I Am Deeply Suspicious And/Or Fearful Of". The LP were waving at the truck but fortunately, they had no idea it was an ice cream truck or we would have had bigger problems than not looking at the ice cream truck beside us. Eventually the driver tired of this game and took off. 

We arrived at the pool with ten minutes to spare. As per usual, we each took a child into the changeroom  and were going to meet on the deck. As LP2 and I were heading out to the deck area, everyone currently in the pool came in. There was a power failure in the pool area and our class had been cancelled. Too bad. I was really looking forward to getting into too-cold water that I'm sure 3600 children have urinated in. We met Daddy and LP1 back in the main area and prepared to go home. As we got to the main doors, we discovered that it was pouring out. Thunder was booming and every now and then lightening would split the sky. Daddy just looked at me. "You can say it," he laughed. "You were right!"

I didn't say anything. The rain was starting to lessen and you know what? He was right. Who cared if we got wet? We weren't going very far. Once the LP were secured in the ninky nonk, we headed out into the rain. They thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a completely different experience for them. They kept looking up and around, marveling in the falling rain. As we walked home, the rain stopped. LP1 demanded first that Daddy and then myself jump in the puddles. We obliged, much to their amusement. By the time we got home, we were all wet (although not soaked) and we were all laughing.

We gave the LP a warm bubble bath, much to their delight. As I watched them splash I realized that sometimes I underestimate them. I thought they would fuss and cry if they were caught in the rain. Instead, they treated it as a great adventure. I think I need to adopt that way of thinking. After all, it is only water.

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