Monday, August 8, 2011

I Let My Kids Play With Glitter, And I’m Not Ashamed

I'm not exactly a morning person, but my kids are.  In fact, they like mornings so much that they wake up at six in the morning no matter how late they (or I) were up the previous evening.  And they like to hit the ground running.  Our mornings usually go something like this:

Preschooler:  Mommy, play with me! 

Me:  Wait until I've had my coffee. 

Preschooler: *blink* *blink*

Preschooler:  Mommy, play with me! 

Me: Errrmmm.....ok.  What should we do? 

Preschooler: I don't know? 

Me: Okaaaaay... how about we play with your farm animals?  You can be the horsey! 

Preschooler:  I don't want to be the horsey. 

Me: Oh. 

Preschooler: I want to be the horsey!  And you can be the horsey's mom! 

Me: Sounds good. 

Five minutes of neighing and frolicking ensues...

Preschooler:  Now what?

At this point, I usually point her in the direction of her toys: 

You’re on your own, kid!

Playtime with Toddler is only slightly better.  For example: 

Me: Look honey, blocks!  Let's make a tower!   

Toddler stacks blocks while I count "1... 2... 3..."

Toddler knocks down the tower, laughing maniacally. 

Me: It fell down!  Let's try again! 

Repeat twenty-seven times...

I'm not particularly bothered by any of this.  I try to find a decent balance between showing an interest in what my kids are doing and engaging with them, without actually having to be a play-mate.  That's what they have a sister for.

Plus, I have an ace up my sleeve.

Crayons.  Markers.  Glitter.  YES, GLITTER.

Because so long as I start her off, Preschooler will go on creating art for at least twenty minutes. That’s twenty minutes I can fritter away doing dishes, taking a shower, or vacuuming.  Not that I actually do those things.

It’s hard to resist the siren’s song.

Plus, trying to accomplish any task during those precious few minutes becomes markedly more difficult when I have a toddler clinging to my pants leg.  Because although Toddler likes art, she only lasts about five minutes before she loses interest and/or eats the crayons.  Same thing, really.

In enters the glitter.  Preschooler draws a picture on any various type of medium.  Construction paper.  Notebook paper.  Paper bags.  The dining room table.

When Preschooler is finished coloring her picture, I help her squeeze glue onto the appropriate places in her composition.  Then she sprinkles glitter on the whole creation.  And on the table.  And on the carpeting.  I shake the excess glitter onto a second sheet of paper, and use that paper to funnel the  remaining glitter back into its canister.

We put the masterpiece up on a high counter out Toddler’s reach, so she can’t attempt to use it as a napkin and/or hat.

Preschooler contentedly skips off to play with her sister, who is only too glad to follow Preschooler around while Preschooler bosses her.  Who am I to judge?

And I’m left to clean up the sticky table and sparkly carpeting. The twinkle of glitter nicely offsets the macaroni-and-cheese stains on my dining room floor.  And my refrigerator door can now do double-duty as Cher's Vegas dressing-room door.

It's a win-win situation.


Fox in the City said...

Ah yes, sounds like a day at my house. I must admit, there are many a weekday that I am pleased to head out the door to work. What can I say . . . it is usually much easier to get a coffee and drink it while it is still hot at work.

jacqui said...

I know so many who don't allow playdoh or glitter or other messy but super-fun stuff. I'm glad you let yours go ahead and make a mess creating little masterpieces!

SarcasmInAction said...

they're only kids once, so let em be messy I say! You're MAKING MEMORIES momma!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Fox in the city - When I was working full time, I too felt somewhat lucky about being able to go to work, especially after a trying weekend. Now that I stay home, I'm almost dreading going back to work. I've gotten too used to being with them all the time, and I'd miss them. But, Preschooler will finally live up to her namesake and start preschool for the first time this fall, and it won't be long before Toddler does too. I think I'll probably feel different once they're both in school.

@Jacqui - I allow play-doh too, but that's tougher because Toddler still tries to eat it. I don't really care if Toddler gets her hands and face all messy with markers, that washes off. But she'd probably eat an entire carton of play-doh if I wasn't watching her carefully.

@Sarcasm in Action - at least I'm letting them make memories this way, seeing as I'm not so good at the whole play-time thing.

Marianna Annadanna said...

I love glitter!! Some people hates that it ends up everywhere, but I actually love finding it in my hair after 5 or 6 days. Fun!

This is hilarious. Using it as a napkin or a hat. hahaha!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Marianna - I recall LOVING glitter as a kid, but rarely getting to use it. Maybe that's why I'm so lenient with glitter these days.

Marisa said...

I have to girls, they're older now, but when they were younger I used to encourage my friends and family to buy stock in the glitter company, since my girls and I when through it so fast. I still love getting the glitter and stuff out with the 17 year old.

Janie Jones said...

Macaroni stains and glitter are two prime reasons why the Jones household has never had carpet under the dining room table.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Marisa - It's cool to think my kids may be into glitter well into their teenage years!

@Janie - sigh. we rent, and EVERY apartment we've lived in has carpet in the dining room. It's like they WANT me to ruin it.

chemgirl said...

glitter is greatness and kids deserve to play in glitter and glue to their hearts content while they can...

I think you're super awesome for being the kind of mom who allows their kids to play with glitter without worrying about the mess.. I knew mums when I was a nanny that wouldn't allow certain things to be played with .. like monster mud (cornstarch and water with green food coloring) because they didn't want their kids to be messy!

Sandra said...

I have glitter in my house, and it's not even for the kids...oh don't look at me weird like that! It's a great for scrapbooking...not that I've scrapbooked lately. It would cut into my twitter time.
I'm exhausted just reading this post though. I forget that little kids move a lot.

mom2kiddos said...

I'm still afraid to venture into glitter. You're a brave mama!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@chemgirl - if my kids are filthy by the end of the day, I consider it a good thing. At least they played.

@Sandra - I SO wish I had scrapbooking talent. Glitter is fun!

@mom2kiddos - take the plunge! *evil cackle*

Betty Fokker said...

You know how I blog? "Look kids! Sesame Street is on!"

Carri said...

You're brave. I would never let glitter into my house!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Betty - God bless Elmo. There, I've said it.

@Carri - brave or stupid?