When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


The Progression of Play

So we found some craft sticks (that look like medical tongue depressors) in the basement...Parker immediately inspected the package, spotted the sample crafts that could be created, and proceeded to choose the most elaborate one.  After much begging, I agreed to make the dinosaur.  It was ridiculously difficult, but we made it.  Then, of course, it had to be painted.

My instructions were as follows:
Paint only the dinosaur with your paint brushes.

Followed by:
Yes, you may use your hands to paint the dinosaur.

*Sigh* Yes, you may paint your entire hand, but not any other part of your body.  (Those are tattoos on Parker's belly, in case you were wondering.)

I began to see this was a losing battle...
Okay, don't touch anything.  Go outside, take your clothes off, and you can paint whatever you want (on your body...do not paint the van, garage, stroller, etc.) while I wipe down the table.

Moments later I exited the house to find little, naked, greenish-brown monsters running around in my driveway.  It was reminiscent of a scene in that 80's movie, the Blue Lagoon.  A boy and girl were stranded on an island after a shipwreck or plane wreck or something.  Years later, when another ship was searching for them, the rescuers saw what they assumed to be savages/natives on the beach and continued on their way.  Sadly, they really were the missing children...They had just been playing in the mud and sand and acting crazy.   I had to laugh.

After lots of play, I instructed them to stick their hands in the air, march directly into the bathroom without touching anything, and climb into the tub.  This is the part where I lost my patience.  The door frames, the shower curtain and my shirt were all smeared with paint before they finally made it into the tub.  Grrr...Oh well.
That water never looked so dirty!

Despite the messes (or maybe because of them), it was an amazing morning.  Playing with these kids -  actually, just allowing them to play - is my guilty pleasure.  I always start out with a vision of how things will go (nice, neat, orderly).  The kids inevitably have a different idea.  Some days I fight them and force them to do things my way, and then no one has fun.  However, on days like this one, when (by the grace of God) I remember they are 2 and 4 and won't be for long, I can let them just be kids...and it's a blast!

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