Toddlers are teaching me on a daily basis about recognizing what it is I can control and what I can’t, and just being okay with it …
Sunday I got my period (95 day cycle! But it happened!). Today I think was my heavy day, so I wanted to be nice to myself. This meant taking the kids to an indoor play ground even though it’s sunny out, because everything is padded and the kids will run themselves ragged without much intervention from me.
Their nap wasn’t as amazing as I was hoping for, since I needed to nap while they did, so I wanted another … low maintenance activity. Not low maintenance in terms of clean up, I guess, but the less I needed to be actively involved, the better. Read: I want to sit on my ass all day today.
So… finger painting? I thought I’d set it up outside, put some smocks on them, and that would last about 20min and be easy peasy. I mean obviously messy but easy.
All was going well. Then I decided the painting was over and we were going to clean up and play outside. i took off their smocks to wipe their hands, and they ran back to the painting. I said, “no no guys! The painting is over! We’re all done painting!”
But then I realized there was no way I could contain the situation with the paint sitting out there on the table and two toddlers, so I had to take off their clothes. Then I was like, okay, fine …
Then they started playing and sitting in the tub water that had originally been intended for washing hands, and they weren’t wearing swim diapers. So I took off their diapers, too, and they were totally naked and painty.
So that is what they ended up doing for over an hour. Apple periodically laughing and saying “NAKED TUSHY!” and Banana rubbing paint into her belly button.
I got about a million and one photos of their tushies.
And then, to minimize damage, I wiped one child off and put him inside into the high chair with a snack, then the other child and then into the high chair with a snack, then cleaned up all the painty stuff while they were busy.
This ended up being a 1.5 hour activity and most of the time I was sitting down. If I had been smart I would have just made them naked to begin with, maybe even without diapers from the start, they seemed to enjoy it and who cares if they pee on the grass (they’d both already pooped so I wasn’t too worried about that).
So there you have it. You can only control so much. And it is really fine.