Sunday, March 23, 2008

Adding Color to Our Lives

Children add color to our lives.

Before your house is overrun by small fry, the phrase sounds like a quaint way of emphasizing how their unpredictable behavior will have you giggling and celebrating their unique personalities. When you receive the first round of baby gifts, or you collect your first round of infant clothes and sheets, you think it has something to do with the increase in colored laundry.

When they have their first birthday, you conclude that it has to do with the large amount of brightly colored plastic they found under the Christmas paper, and discarded in favor of the boxes it came in. Birthday re-enforces this idea. Solid foods hint towards greater possibilities. Fortunately they are restricted to the kitchen and splatter effect of pureed carrots, peas and blueberries CAN be removed. Even craft time, what with the "just add waters" and washables available provides very little permanent tinting to your existence. Then comes Easter.

I wonder what other colorful traditions non-Christian children developed to traumatize their parents. Ours have Easter Eggs; a nightmare in violently shaded dyes. They are food safe (meaning non-toxic), but they are very hard to remove from skin and clothes. I would think hair too, but fortunately I don't have the experience to comment on that aspect.

In the (at most) ten minutes it took our daughter to color a dozen and a half easter eggs, I said "Don't drink it." ten times. She has no understanding of volume, resulting in eleven color overflows (yellow, purple and blue once, orange, red and green twice, Aqua three times). She took a sip of the denim blue, (purple lipstick) right at the beginning. I moved the non "fleshy" colors furthest away from her.

Regardless of the fact that parents outnumbered child, we removed her hand from at least five different cups of color, took one egg (shell and all, already dyed pink and still wet) out of her mouth, and let her "help" retrieve every egg, some of which got placed in more than one color. In ten minutes, she tried to cart off every single one of the nine mugs of dye as well. The furthest any color went was all over her shirt. Two year olds have incredible jerk motion "mine" reflex.

Her shirt is totaled. The kitchen rag is bright pink, the formerly white towel is multi-colored. My floor has a nice red spot and a smaller orange spot where the color will not remove from the linoleum. One of my hands is slightly blue, and one of her hands is much more orange than it should be. She definitely added color to our lives.

Next year maybe I'll adopt Henry Fords approach. I'll chose one color, and attach the cup to the table, so as to prevent drinking and lifting. Perhaps red...to match the linoleum.

1 comment:

wendy said...

Colorfull and the memories are priceless! Just wait till you decorate cut out cookies at Christmas with frosting and color sugar sprinkles all over everything. I smile just remembering!!!!!!!!