I try my hardest to be the best mum I can be.
To fill the girls days with endless opportunities. Outings, walks, playdates, pretend play and craft activities. All to let them express who they are, enhance their little imaginations and broaden their experiences.
But I struggle with Messy Play!!
As soon as the words ‘paint, playdoh, PVA glue or even felt-tip pens‘ get mentioned, I practically get the shakes!!
It fills me with dread!
But, being the good mummy I’m endeavouring to be, at the same time as the nerves I will make sure I sport a happy smile upon my face, just to show the kids that, of course we can be like any other normal family and enjoy a spot of messy play, just like their friends do with their mummy’s and daddy’s, and just like you see on Pinterest (which is obviously the norm)!
And I think I’m forcing that smile for my own good too!
I have a need to be that super-mummy who can just let things go.
I’d love to be able to let the paint stains on the furniture just wash over my head.
I await the day where I can simply ignore the bright fluorescent Play-doh splodge which has been squished into the new carpet.
And I long for the time I can just laugh off the primitive cave drawings on the wall behind the sofa.
I think this would make me a much more fun kind of mum.
I want to Rachel from ‘Friends’, not Monica who is “cool and fun at organised indoor projects”
But as much as I try, I can’t do it. I literally get the jitters!
For example, there was today…….
Having returned from hospital only last week with my little Ella, who is learning to stand and walk all over again after having her leg broken in a rather unfortunate accident, I’m trying my hardest to fill her time with fun and interesting things to do. I want to be the best ‘stay at home mum’ I can be whilst I’m signed off work for the next month to care and look after her.
So – this morning I grabbed the paints and a stash of paper with a view to spending some fun and quality time with both Ella and Holly.
I was organised.
I laid out the paint mat, popped all the brushes into pots of paint and spread out as much paper as I could find for them to start on their little masterpieces.
Each pot had its designated brush according to colour.
I’d also bought some extra paint tools last week, for some extra fun sponge painting and stamping too!
All went well for the first ten minutes, but then all hell broke loose.
Ella accidentally painted my arm whilst turning around, but then thought it would be funny to do it on purpose the next time. So she launched at me with a sponge roller laden with bright red paint. I asked her nicely to stop, but she didn’t. So I told her more forcefully not to do it again.
Well, the toys literally came out of the pram!
This is unfortunately is something she has picked up from her time in hospital as she couldn’t express her frustration in any other way than throwing things – I mean, she couldn’t exactly storm off in a huff with her legs hanging from the traction equipment could she!
So, with paint flying all over the dining room (currently their play room) and with Holly merrily pouring the paint directly onto the paper and spreading it out with the roller – the paint must have been half an inch thick – I decided enough was enough and called time on the painting activity!
I just couldn’t do it any longer!
So I went and fetched the washing up bowl full of warm soapy water and a cloth to wipe the girls down to get them changed again ready for a new activity.
This didn’t go as to plan also.
Ella and I ended up playing tug of war over the sopping wet dishcloth, and because I am highly aware of her fragility at the moment, I backed off. The grimy brown tinged paint water flicked all around the dining room and left a huge puddle on the wooden floor around us.
I had to call for reinforcements.
So Mr B came to my rescue and put Ella to bed (she often gets stroppy if she’s tired) and left me to clear up the mess.
So half an hour later, I’m sat here writing this with my head in my hands and my arts and crafts mojo well and truly crushed.
I’m Monica after all!!
So – I think this is something I need to get over. This is my Everest I need to climb and conquer!
Which I plan to do this very summer with the likes of mud pies, feet and hand print painting, bubble painting and foam fun!
Wish me luck!!
Are you like me and get all flustered with these type of activities?
Or do you have a fab secret for successful messy play time that you’d care to share with me??
I’d love to hear from you!