Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grab Your Camera

You will go downstairs to find your whole living room floor spattered with green paint. In times like these, the best thing you can do for yourself and for your children is to just get the camera. 

You can also teach your children about the artist Jackson Pollock, and add a new verb to your family lexicon: pollocked, as in "The bathroom mirror has been pollocked with toothpaste".

 The next day, I create an environment where my children can play with this new verb, showing them how to "sprinkle" paint with an old toothbrush, then cutting them loose to make a mess of their own design.
 Each painting has its own signature, and reveals the age and personality of each creator.
My son's face has been pollocked by nature, but Margot's has a bit more colour after her artistic explorations. Violet's use of a cotton swab dipped in paint mysteriously results in her bellybutton being full of paint. The messy fun ends with a warm bath, and a reminder that in order to preserve our art, we should splatter paint on paper rather than the floor (towel, sink, etc.). 

Words to take away from this post? Grab your camera. It's saved me from missing out on the fun and spontaneity of childhood many times (when I might have yelled and reprimanded) by encouraging me to document my children's doings and thinking about the clean-up later. These are the moments that will make me smile when they are all grown up and flown from the nest.


  1. And your children will remember and laugh with you as they retell the story....I speak from experience!

  2. It's very true. My children don't do these things anymore. Enjoy the messes and the happy faces so proud of their work. I laughed out loud at the line about V's belly button. HA!

  3. You are so right....your children will LOVE these pictures later on...we still have the ones from when my brother "decorated" the bathroom with my mother's lipstick, and the time he made "stars" with the permanant marker all over his room...he was a bit of a devil! But now we laugh and have the pictures to prove it! I LOVE your last photo....those big blue eyes and tiny blue specs of paint....wonderous!

  4. LOVE these and yes I do believe they will love them too...HOW FUN! You are such a cool mama!

  5. One of my daughters was notorious for redecorating her bedroom. (I wish I'd taken photos, but I do have lovely images burned into my memory bank.) We lived in military housing in the early years so her masterpieces often cost us dearly. She took a break for a few years but as an adult she is a tremendously talented, artistic, young woman.
    I still have a drawer full of treasured artistic endeavors from my grandchildren when they were really small. Very similar to the photos you are displaying today.

  6. I have a photo of little toddler Eldest's creative inspiration. It is of our black, long-furred cat COVERED in flour, looking rather disgruntled. Think of the sensory experience it must have been - for both of them.

    I LOVE that you ran with it. And taught them a new verb. And grabbed the camera.

    You rock, mama!

  7. What a cool mama you are!!! They look like they have a blast, and they will cherish and remember if for years to come. You rock!

    1. 100% agreed! At first it looked like something that would make me freak out, but what's the point in that,really?! I'm going to do my best to remember this a couple years from now :)

  8. Because in the grand scheme of things, it's just paint and what joy to a child's heart to cut loose!!

  9. I'm imagining your children looking at these photos when they are grown and parents themselves and thinking how wonderful you were as a mother to little ones and how blessed they were. ;-) Somewhere I have a photo of my (now 16 year old) son when he was about 4 and he was covered from head to toe in mud - absolutely covered. And there was nothing for me to do but laugh...and take that photo. ;-)


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