Wednesday, July 21, 2010

only kid blues

Would you look at this child's art space?! Officially jealous. And trying to remember that a year from now I will not only have children old enough to do projects without pouring the paint on their heads, but also a couple of days a week when they're both in school to organize such a thing. Gotta give myself a little slack and try to keep my story in perspective.

That said, we've done a couple of fun things lately--Did this art project a few days ago. We only had a few minutes to fill and so just did the muffin tin, not the pie plates and other larger items. I painted the paint on the back of the tins (she told me where to put which color) and then I had her draw in the paint with Q-tips. She made some pretty nifty designs but some of them were lost when we did the print.

We also did this art project with coffee filters, markers, and the rain. I loved it and so did Frances. It was particularly fun because it was multi part (meaning we colored the filters, then waited days for it to rain, then left it out and watched the colors run, then had to wait for them to dry)--it sort of kept the fun going. Will post a picture of the result soon.

Note that I did the above things with Frances alone.... while Clark was napping, or playing with his trucks.

While I'm here I might as well bitch a bit, because I do that so well. SO MANY of the art activities in the blogs linked above would be SO MUCH FUN if I only had one kid. Really. Much of my life, in fact, would contain less stress. I sometimes imagine my days would be filled with patience and connection and love and sunshine. I know it's ridiculous. And I know why I had more than one kid--it was on purpose, and because I'm likely to fall into some of the traps of the parent of an only child. (None of my friends with only children are likely to do this, of course.) I fear I would attach too firmly, unhealthily. I suspect I would put even more pressure on myself for the child's success in whatever area. I am an only child; I know the burden. 

So I've got a little of the wish-I-had-only-one-kid blues. My friend D (who ironically desperately wants more more more but her husband won't have anything to do with that idea) is spending the summer with her 4 year old son, going to farms and playgrounds and swimming pools, having a great time. I'm refereeing screaming toy ownership and trying to keep people from dashing out in front of cars in parking lots.

Oh yeah, and to enter a drawing for a kids craft book giveaway, I'm linking to the post on Paint Cut Paste about using bubble wrap to do ocean themed prints, which is pretty cool. We've done bubble prints before, but not used them as ocean or any other specific thing. This is the same blog that did the coffee filter flowers above. It's a GREAT source for art projects, my new favorite. That one and The Artful Parent (where the post about the fabulous kid art space came from) are where I get most of my kid art ideas these days. 

There are a lot of blogs out there with great ideas about things to do with your kids, and I love reading them. They give me great ideas, but they also produce a good bit of I-should-be-doing-more-with-my-kids guilt. Then it occurred to me that--I'm pretty sure--every single one of these blog moms has only one kid. Or they have one kid with whom to do the projects, and one baby--at least 4 years apart. Why didn't anyone tell me about having them close together? 

Okay, enough of that. It's what I've got, and it's got its plusses too. And everyone says the plusses grow in number as the kids get older. I'm holding onto that idea with something akin to hope. 


jen at said...

thanks for sharing these links, cali. i also really enjoy reading about your thoughts on having more than one kid. you're right - i do have just one child, and i completely realize the space that allows for things like art and blogging. i watch how hard it is to have more than one kid in pretty much all of my friends' families - and i sometimes have the guilt of i'm only going to have one child. (grass is always greener, right?) don't beat yourself up about what you aren't doing with your children -- i think all moms are superheroes, and i'm in total and complete AWE of the moms who have more than one child - like YOU! it's absolutely amazing that you're doing sooo much cool stuff (as evidenced by this blog!) AND finding time and headspace to blog about it. you go girl!!!

Amy R said...

Cali-From my experience, I think the ages of your kids have a lot to do with how you feel. M&S are 23 months apart and this is the first summer where I've started to feel more like the mom you mentioned (the one going to farms/playgrounds/swimming pools) than how you currently feel refereeing toy ownership. This feeling was a long time coming and if you asked me last summer if I thought I'd ever be able to get through a summer without wanting to run away, I would have laughed in your face. :-) This summer has been totally different now that M is old enough to do/understand things (like Frances is now). Last year, I never would even thought about doing theme weeks because I wouldn't have gotten the same level of participation as I do this year. The baby/toddler stage is beyond draining for the mother..the constant vigilance, the screaming, the inability to communicate fully and the frustration.

Hang in really does get better the older they get. It has it's challenges too, but the plusses grow every year.