Saturday, March 24, 2012

Too Invested

Finn is fingerprinting, and he's doing it wrong.

He's mixing the colors, he's using too much, he's using all his fingers at once, everything is brown, there are piles of gloopy paint on the paper, which will never dry just like van gogh except without the crazy.

And so what? All of these elements are being judged by my adult standards of How Stuff is Supposed to be Done. It's not happening to me. It's not my prized work of art. He's not doing it on the walls. So what if he makes a mess and uses all the paint? Even though I have to clean it and him and buy new paint (or not), is that really such a big deal? Why is it so hard to let kids be kids?

Partially it's because kids can be such dickheads, and we spend our lives making sacrifices to accommodate them. They don't listen. When you tell them that if they keep putting their fingers into the other paint, they will make all the paint brown, they say, "I like brown things." When you tell them not to put all their fingers into the paint, they put their whole hands into the paint and say, "I'm washing my hands with paint."

When you try to sit silently and let them have at it without all your strictures and rules, they look at you and smile with dead eyes* as they do the thing they know you don't want them to do, just daring you to tell them to stop.

Man, you gotta wade through a lot of bullshit to get to the really good cuddling.

*babywhumpus has learned to smile without his eyes and it is one of the most terrifying and creepy Village of the Damned things I have ever seen. Here's to hoping he's not a sociopath!

No comments: