The table was on the back porch from dinner the night before so it was easy enough to move through the side yard up to the front of the house. It was nice morning, warming up fast, but still a little cool in the shade that was moving towards the porch. I grabbed each of their chairs from the dinning room table from this morning’s breakfast and arranged them around the table. Gathered the paper, the paint, and a bowl of warm water with soap before sitting the boys down and telling them what we had in store. We were going to finger paint today, outside, in front of the house and they could be as messy as they wanted to be. Little did I know how messy that was. I took off their shirts before placing a plate in front of each of the boys with three healthy portions of paint.
Primo dug right into the paint with both hands, this wasn’t his first rodeo. Segundo and the Charge were a little slower to join in but soon enough hand fulls of paint was meeting paper and they were happy as could be. I ran back into the house to refill my coffee. I thought of the cleanup to come and knew I needed some reinforcements in the form of caffeine goodness. When I returned from the 45 seconds or so that it took me to fill the coffee cup the scene had escalated quickly. Primo had what looked like a smiley face on his chest, Segundo had drops in his hair like glitter from club kid in 1980’s New York. The Charge had painted his cloth diaper in what looked like a Grateful Dead tie dye job. They were painting up their arms and all over their bellies and having so much fun.
It seems silly in retrospect but I didn’t see that coming. I knew they would get messy and have paint everywhere but I didn’t foresee the body painting that was going on. Like I said it seems silly now because of course they were going to do that, their shirts were off. You can’t have a canvas like that to look down on and not explore the space artistically. I grabbed sheets of paper and pressed them against their bellies to get imprints and gave them each fresh paper to paint. They painted and flung colors for about 30 minutes and then I moved all the paper to the railings of the porch to dry. Then the real work begun, clean up.
I brought the Whale pool over from the side yard and brought the hose around. Grabbed some towels, and the first kid to start the show. I dumped the bowl of warm water in the pool and used the first bit of water from the hose that was warm from the day before. Stripping down Segundo I got him in the pool and then grabbed Primo to join his brother. I was able to get a good deal sprayed off with the hose but the kids screamed and turned away from the icy cold stream of water. The warm soapy water was better and we scrubbed ears and armpits, spots in the hair and even a glob of paint that some how made it into the crack of Primo’s bottom. We warmed up with towels and talked about what we would use the painted paper for. It was messy but worth it, I knew what I was getting into even if I didn’t understand the path they would take to get there. We will cut up the painted paper and make thank you cards for the kids to give out to who ever they want.