Painting, baking and all that mummy stuff.

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my quiltinaday project! It was a lot of fun to make, and the recipient absolutely loves it! The tight deadline as I stitched down the binding was a bit much though!  So after my valiant effort, and my two little boys being very patient, today is all about being creative at a toddler’s level!

Baking is high on the “mutually-enjoyable-quality-time” activities in our house. (Much more fun than, say, repairing the train track for the 546th time because 1yo ChubbaBubba walked on it and sent 3yo Bear into floods of tears…). Admittedly, we tend to stick to our “old faithfuls”, because, in my mind, toddler+preschooler+mixmaster+hot oven is enough of a combination to juggle without adding “read-the-recipe-300-times-because-I’ve-never-done-it-before” to the mix. And of our four or five rotating recipe, there is one that is popular in our house that sticks out, in my mind, at least, as being one of the very few that scream “childhood”. 

Our version of honey crackles is modified oh-so-slightly – I crush the corn flakes so that it is easier to use the smaller paper cases. Ideal for tiny little 3 & 1 year olds, who like a special little sweet treat, but mean onld mummy won’t let them have too much. Bad, very very bad, for mummies who think that the small size means that two (or three, or four) are ok, because in total it’s the same as a full-sized one. Ok, so maybe I’m pushing my luck on that one! I’ve got to justify my overindulgence one way or another…

So, with the honey crackles crisping nicely in the oven, we had a quick pit stop for morning tea (them) and washing up (me), as the smell of the goldening (is that even a word?) honeyed flakes filled our nostrils. Soon enough, it was time to take the tray out and survey our handywork. Only problem was, small boys thought they needed to taste test. Now. RIGHT NOW.

Eeek. Panic sets in (me). Tears threaten (them). What to do? Diversionary tactics are needed. The adreneline kicks in and the survival instinct takes over.

“Who wants to do some painting?” It works. The crocodile tears vanish in an instant. “Me! Mummy, me, please! White paint today, I fink?” (Bear) “Ah ah dah duh” (Chubba Bubba) “Sounds good.” (me again).

With a door between the children and I, I rummage through the craft box, and come up trumps. Two small canvases, gifted to the boys for their birthdays. We retrace our steps to the toy room, and sitting on the timber floor, we surround ourselves with puddles of paint, trapped on layers of scrap paper. “Don’t forget the white, mummy” (Bear). “*squish, slide, wiggle*” (Chubba Bubba). “Sweetheart, please don’t paint your leg” (me, to Chubba Bubba). We sing silly little songs about the mixing colours. “Red and yellow make orrr-anggge, blue & yellow make greeeeen…” I know, my singing sucks, even in the cyber world. It was fun though. And the little canvases look so awesome, I’m thinking this might be the start of a longer-term project.

Bear’s masterpiece:

And little Chubba Bubba’s:

As I cleaned the paint off Chubba Bubba’s legs, I heard a chirpy little voice at my elbow. “We put them up on the wall now Mummy?” And why not indeed, my small boy. These little canvases are only 4″ across, so I plan to string some ribbon across one wall of the toy room, garland style, and attach the paintings. I am also planning a major assault on the local $2 for a bunch more of these to add to our garland, as well as a few to do just in Christmas colours for our loungeroom. Maybe one every year? Who’d have guessed there’d be so much potential in giving two small boys two small canvases?!

So after a lovely morning, both tiny boys are tuckered out and curled up in their beds. I have just opened a new pack of canvas sheets and am planning a materpiece of my own. Ok, so masterpiece is an overstatement. But if I can enjoy the process of painting with the same innocent abandon, I’ll consider it a success. Once again, they have reminded me that the doing is as good, if not better, than the “done-and-tick-it-off-the-list”. So I’m painting like no-one’s seeing the end result. Which might involve singing like no-one’s listening. And quite possibly a little hip-waggle-bust-a-move like no-one’s watching. Because life is more enjoyable when we do what makes us happy, not what others want to see. Wonderful Wednesday, you’ve been so good to me. Keep it up, k? Let’s do this!

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