Paintin’ With Puddin’.

November 30, 2009

Thing 2 attends an art/music “workshop” on Wednesdays and this past week had an activity that he really, REALLY got into. Man did he ever love it. All of the kids that participated in Paintin’ With Puddin’ were totally, totally entranced.

Behold! Vanilla pudding with food coloring! And some spiky balls!

Something about the thick texture of the pudding was much more appealing than any kind of normal paint. Perhaps the subtle vanilla scent also helped – but Thing 2 wasn’t one of the kids who figured out that the “paint” was also delicious. He just totally, totally loved the texture of the pudding and moving it around the paper with the little ball. He used his fingers a bit, but the ball was the main “brush.”

Here’s his final product:



Adventures with clay.

November 23, 2009

Play Doh is all well and good, but I want the boys to get some experience with actual art supplies, so I introduced Thing 1 to clay last week. Well, I use the term “clay” loosely as this was $5 for a whole BUCKET. And I do mean bucket. Oh man, did he ever love the clay. The only “snag” I didn’t forsee was that for a bucket of 50 colors, he felt compelled to create something with each color. Around the beginning, this meant using the cookie cutters and making dolphins and roses (for which he needed my help as this clay was much stiffer to roll out than Play Doh)… and by the end, he was just taking strips of clay and making “bracelets.” It certainly kept him busy! And he even asked for it again the next day!

It’s clay! In a bucket!

The clay.

He was very proud of this and proclaimed “Look! I made yucky!” It took his parents to explain that he meant GNOCCHI. Right. Makes much more sense than “yucky.”

I made these. Googly eyes included in the bucket.

Rose. I am holding it very carefully because of the thorns. (Yes, he made thorns! It’s hard to capture these wee details when my only available tool is my iPhone.) In the background you can see the googly eyes, rolling pin, and cookie cutters that came in the bucket.

Snake. I don’t really like snakes – in fact, I’m terrified of them, but I LOVE this snake because…

It has a bellybutton! Thing 1 has a bellybutton obsession – they’re on all of his drawings, and apparently, all of his sculptures. Bellybutton is one of the words he knows in Slovak (which his mom speaks), which I think is part of what makes them so fascinating for him.

Watch. This is kind of what the last half-hour’s worth of projects looked like. Various watches. A few bracelets, which were just like the watch but without the face.

Thing 1 is going through a “House Period” in his drawings. Yesterday he drew my house, my friend “Nuna’s” house, my mom’s house, my brother’s house AND my imaginary sister’s house (being that I don’t have a sister, but he wanted to draw her house anyway, even though she doesn’t actually exist). Whew. The drawings are pretty awesome and kind of remind me of Paul Klee a little bit.

My friend “Nuna” and his “switching socks.”

My mom.


Go! Paint!

November 16, 2009

Here are some of the results from Thing 2’s experiments with the Go Paint markers. They’re a huge hit – he loves them, his parents love that he’s learning to write ON THE PAPER and his brother… covets them. We’ve explained that they’re “Learning Markers” and that Thing 1 doesn’t need to learn, he already knows how to color on the paper, which helps. There’s nothing that can be done about sibling rivalry or Thing 1’s urge to direct all parties as his assistants in art creation (even if it is not *his* art that is being created), but the actual markers are working really well and the rest of the process will continue to get the kinks worked out over time. As you can see, the process currently involves my demonstrating that the marker draws *on the paper* and Thing 2 picks up on his own pretty quickly.

In case you were wondering… yes. The markers *do* bleed through to the other side of the paper.

The two big downsides to the “Learning Marker” genre (this holds true of Crayola’s Color Wonder markers too): #1) You can’t mix colors. #2) The drawings smudge over time.  Here’s the same drawing a day later:

Wensleydale Wednesday.

October 21, 2009

Wensleydale Wednesday has a guest artist this week! This drawing (which did include the “e” between the l and the y, but it got cut off in the attempt to capture it with my iPhone) was done by Thing 1! And it was all his idea! He asked me if he could write my cat’s name. My “fat cat’s” name. Her reputation precedes her.

He then asked me if he could write her last name. I didn’t want the poor kid to burst a blood vessel trying to spell “Quadrilateral,” so I just told him that cats don’t need last names. There’s a lie. It’s ok, Wensleydale Archipelago Quadrilateral, I know you have a last name.

Exploring his feminine side.

September 29, 2009


As watermark suggests, image courtesy of gettyimages.

Today I had a bit of an uncomfortable moment when I had turned my back to keep Thing 2 out of something hazardous and turned around to find Thing 1 covered in lipstick. Oh, how unprepared I was. I asked him where he got it, and he said it was in his “suitcase.” (A crayon box.)

I assumed that he had taken the lipstick from his mom and was playing with it in that way that kids do. I also assumed that his mom probably wasn’t a fan of this. So, I took the lipstick and told him that we don’t play with it in the same way that we don’t play with mommy’s toothbrush – because it’s personal.

Little did I know that when I talked to DadBoss this afternoon, the lipstick actually does belong to Thing 1! I was suggesting that the parents maybe get him his own “lipstick” (read: tinted chapstick) but they went right ahead and started him on the heavy stuff! I apologized profusely that I had taken his lipstick and returned it to his “suitcase.”

Way to go, Thing 1! Even I do not yet own M.A.C. lipstick, you’re a step ahead of me!

Also: can we say great parents or GREATEST parents that Thing 1 has his own lipstick?

Potty Talk.

September 14, 2009


Photo by Flickr user SteveRhode

As with many four year olds, the potty is a topic of endless conversation with Thing 1. I know that most of the stories I’ve relayed from Boyland thus far have been poop-related, but these are both too priceless to keep to myself.

#1: Setting. We are in the bathroom, Thing 1 has just finished going poop.

“I’m done!”

“Good job! Put your pants back on and wash your hands.”

“You need to wipe my bum!”

“Well, I’ll help you, but you need to wipe your own bum.”

“No, if I do it, my hands will get poopy!”

“Well, Thing, what do you think will happen to my hands if I wipe your bum?”

“Your hands will get all poopy!”

“So, perhaps you can see why I don’t want to wipe your bum. I don’t want your poopy on my hands.”

“But you can wash them!”

#2: Talking about his recent introduction to the urinal. He is asking me many, many questions about the wall-toilet, and I am trying to explain to him that his father is a better source of information on that one being as girls don’t use the wall-toilet.

“Mommy’s never seen a wall-toilet.”

“That’s right. Mommies don’t have wall-toilets in their bathrooms because mommies are girls.”

“My mommy’s not a girl!”

“Really? I thought your mommy was a girl.”

“No, she used to be a girl.”

“Well, what is she now?”

“She used to be a girl, and now she’s a big boy!”

(No, I didn’t correct him as such. I’m too much of a hippie. I simply said “Wow, I really thought your mommy was a girl.”)