Thursday, August 4, 2011

Body Painting

Thursday, July 21st came very close to being the hottest day ever recorded in Toronto. The temperature rose to 37.9 degrees Celsius, which felt like 49 with the humidity. Our little window air conditioner could not keep up with this amount of heat, and our apartment remained at 30 degrees Celsius for most of the day. We brought the play kitchen from Noah's room out into the living room where the air conditioner is and played there for a while.

Although it was uncomfortable in the apartment, I knew it was worse outside. I gave the kids ice packs and cold cloths to cool them down. When it came time for our painting activity, I knew I could not have them wear a paint shirt over their clothes. They would swelter! I decided to just strip them down instead. The activity started out tame enough, and they painted their egg cartons (which we planned to later make into caterpillars).

It was Lucas who I first noticed smearing paint onto his legs. I told him he was only allowed to paint the paper, and he looked like he understood. But the next time my back was turned, he just couldn't help himself, and continued to rub his paint-drenched hands all over his legs. (But of course! How could I have overlooked this temptation?!) Aidas was having a great time collecting a load of paint in his hands, squeezing his hands together, and watching the paint ooze out. I tried in vain to stop the emerging trend at the table. Luckily, it was time to clean them up anyway, so I could have nipped it in the bud. But suddenly, I was convinced that this was a fantastic idea! Messy, but brilliant! I gave them a corner of the room to sit in and paint their bodies.

Noah didn't care for the body painting, and you can hear him doing his usual song and dance in the background of the video.

They thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to paint themselves (and in Aidas's case, his diaper too). It felt nice on my part, too, letting them just go with this rather than trying to restrain it. Trying to provide good child care requires such a delicate balance between rules and order on the one hand, and chaos and craziness on the other. They teach me every day how to better achieve the right balance.

You knew it was coming, right? Yes, they all had to go for a "crazy bath". Well, it was less crazy this time, since I now refrain from putting B. in if I can. He is a little frightened. I can't say I blame him! I had to keep the plug out of the bath and let the water run, so I could clean them off rather than having them sit in a pool of paint! And since it was unbearably hot in the apartment, I made sure it was nice, cool water.

So, we made it through the day of blistering heat, even if we did get a little delirious in the process!

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