March 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
We had THE most fun today. After planting sunflower seeds by the climbing frame, and cress seeds in empty egg cartons, I brought out the shaving foam and paints. Ever since I saw this I’ve been longing to have a go. I told Messy Boy that I was going to do some painting and he was welcome to join me! Sensibly, we did this out on the bench in the garden 😀
First the shaving cream went onto a tray. Messy Boy declared this funny 🙂 He got to swirl it around a bit. (The last time he encountered shaving cream was at a messy play morning, and he hated it!!!)
Then we placed pieces of card onto the coloured marbled cream, and peeled them back to reveal true colourful beauty!
We did lots. And lots. And lots.
The tray of colourful cream itself was really pretty too!
I scraped most of the excess cream off, and hung them on the washing line to dry where they sparkled like jewels.
Messy Boy was enjoying the sensory experience of the shaving cream so much that I just let him get on with it! Surprisingly it didn’t turn into a brown gloop. Just light green!
He wanted to do a hand-print – he didn’t expect the paper to come back up with his hand though 😉
Of course I didn’t let him come inside to clean up. The sun was shining. I took a big bowl of water out for him, and a big paintbrush. He came back in with clean hands, a shaving-cream-and-paint-covered teeshirt, and a big smile on his face 🙂
March 26, 2012 § 2 Comments
March 23, 2012 § 2 Comments
Messy Baby is four months old today. Four months old!! Where have the last four months gone?!
Messy Baby. Where do I start. He is starting to develop a real individual personality. He giggled while awake for the first time yesterday – he’s been giggling in his sleep for a few weeks, as if practising.
He loves standing up, weight-bearing on those little legs. He can hold himself upright in a sitting position, and loves sitting if helped with a bit of balance. He is obsessed with his older brother! Loves baths, loves swimming, is now happy with going underwater and has almost perfected not breathing the water in 😉 Loves his playgym which we rescued from the attic at the weekend. Is almost rolling over – he can roll onto his tummy if he’s rooting desperately for a boob that’s no longer in bed!
He’s started clutching things deliberately, that’s this week’s development. Grasping objects and bringing them to his mouth to investigate. Reaching for things. He’s discovered his feet are fun to hold! Feet are so good in fact that the other night we went up to find him cuddling Messy Boy’s foot (who was fast asleep), although he was protesting loudly that it wasn’t mummy. Today I finally discovered something that he will chew on other than knuckles. All other teething toys and offerings have been spat out. A chunky wooden spoon however – yes please!!
March 23, 2012 § 3 Comments
Inspired by this, we set out to do some string printing yesterday. I decided to use the kitchen floor figuring it would be easier to mop afterwards! We had a LOT of fun 🙂
First I squeezed some paint onto plates, cut some lengths of string, and laid out the paper.
Next, Messy Boy put the string into the paint and mixed it around. (I’ve seen this done with cooked spaghetti too!) Then it was time to put the string onto the paper. I made the print while he did some hand prints!
Then it was time to reveal the picture…
And when we’d had enough of string printing I put a big piece of paper down for him to do his usual and get really messy ;o)
Of course he had to wash up after.
Clothes went straight into the washing machine afterwards!
March 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
Took the Messy Children swimming this morning. Messy Boy went swimming two weeks’ ago but before that it’d been about 6 months since he had a lesson. He got star of the week, I was SO proud. My little swimtot. He loves swimming. He has such confidence in the water!
Messy Baby however has been a rather different kettle of fish, so to speak, although Husband did confide to me that when Messy Boy was a baby and we started swimming lessons and he’d take him, Messy (then) Baby would scream blue murder and totally freak out in the pool.
So. First lesson. Messy Baby fell asleep JUST as the swimming teacher said ok babies, in you come! He was seriously unimpressed and screamed until we took him out. 5 minutes that lesson lasted.
Second lesson. I though ok, I’ll make sure he has a sleep before we go in! So he did, amazingly, and woke up in time to get into his swim things. However I didn’t factor in that he would very likely wake up hungry after a decently long sleep. He screamed and sobbed, this time we managed 10 minutes before giving up, not really wanting his first experiences with swimming to be associated with screaming.
Third lesson. Today! He got maybe a half an hour snooze beforehand. I woke him up 15 minutes before the lesson and snuck into the changing room to give him a quick feed. I think in all honestly I was very very lucky that he didn’t bring it up in the pool!! BUT it worked. He was a happy baby having slept a bit and eaten a bit. He LOVED it. I even got a couple of smiles from him. He did dives and swims and swooshes and dips and managed the entire lesson.
Star of the week, was Messy Baby!
I am a very proud mama today.
Messy painting resumes next week, and in the meantime think of me as I wrestle with business plans!
March 6, 2012 § 2 Comments
We’ve done a fair bit of painting over the last couple of weeks. It’s something we used to do a LOT of. It tapered off during my last pregnancy and since Messy Baby arrived it’s taken a lot of psyching myself up to get the paints out again – but oh boy is it worth it, for the sheer enjoyment it gives Messy Boy! (And me, if I’m honest!)
First up was regular painting – I had a few small canvases lying around destined for Messy Boy’s bedroom walls which I’d never got around to painting as I couldn’t decide what to do on them. We did sponge painting and finger painting, then he decided hand painting was a good next step and painted both hands and most of the way up his arms in blue. He looked like he was thinking of auditioning to be a Woad. And then we did train painting. Messy Boy liked this idea. He did lots and lots of train tracks in the paint using the train’s wheels, and then ran with the idea, taking it to the next level – and painted the train. He was a bit upset when we said the train would have to go through the chugwash but as that meant he got to wash up it was ok!
I think washing up must be one of the reasons why he loves painting. It’s at this point usually that I dump all the brushes and trays in the sink, move any breakable crockery and sharp pointy things out of the way, add some plastic bowls and wooden spoons and take Messy Baby into the other room to feed him while Messy Boy washes up. I figure he’s going to make a mess whether I’m there or not, and the only real difference is my stress levels! We then get the mop and bucket out once Messy Baby is fed and Messy Boy’s hands are blue with cold because he prefers cold water to wash up in.
And to finish off I get to take photographs of his splashing, and once the floor is mopped he gets to practise jumping off the stool!
A couple of days later we did foot painting! We have a piece of wipe-clean cloth taped to the floor for our big painting sessions, and we tape big pieces of lining paper to it to paint on. We got the paints out and I asked Messy Boy what shapes I should squeeze out with the paint. Then we stripped him down to pants and teeshirt, plonked Messy Baby in his bouncy chair to watch, squirted out a blue cloud and a red and yellow flower and then the real fun began! I held Messy Boy by his armpits as he swung his feet around in the paint. He did bunny hops across the paper. He stomped, stamped, squidged his toes in the paint, saw how when you mix colours they create new ones – his favourite is mixing red and yellow, he loves orange!
I don’t know what it is about getting his feet all covered in paint that he loves. When Messy Boy was a baby, just starting to crawl, we moved house to a place that needed a serious amount of fixing up and as a result he was never allowed to go barefoot either in the house or the garden. When we first bought a sandpit he took a lot of persuasion to wiggle his toes in the sand, because it was a brand new sensory experience. When the garden finally got cleaned up enough for him to go barefoot on the tiles and the grass, they were further sensory experiences for him. He’s not especially keen on mud, though. And seaweed is an absolute no-no. So why he loves the feel of paint is a mystery!
Once we’ve finished our painting and it’s taped to the wall to dry it’s time to clean up. There’s a bowl of water ready, a cloth, and a towel. Messy Boy managed to clean his feet but what I hadn’t realised was that he’d at some point managed to get paint all the way up both his legs… At least by the time we put his trousers back on it was dry! He helped clean the mat up as well (by helped I mean he slopped water all over it as I was trying to wipe up the paint).
The painting bit is the best bit for me, it really is. The preparation, while it can be a bit time consuming and requires concentration to make sure you’ve remembered everything, is utterly necessary though. It means you can enjoy making a mess knowing the cleaning and clearing up afterwards isn’t going to be too stressful!!
Painting is one big sensory experience from start to finish. And it takes up a good portion of an afternoon!
March 6, 2012 § 3 Comments
I’m Messy Mama. I’ve got two kids, boys. They fascinate me. Messy Boy is three years old and likes to tell everybody this. Messy Baby is three months old and would probably also tell everybody if he had the language skills. As it is he burbles and coos and tells you great and unimaginable secrets in a language that only he, Messy Boy and God understand.
The “messy” part refers not just to the state of our house, but to probably one of the biggest things that becoming a parent has taught me: how to deliberately not be “in control”. By this I don’t mean that things are just out of control in our house and lives – far from it! I believe children were born with instincts for a reason, and my learning to trust those instincts has been an amazing journey.
Life can be messy, it doesn’t play by our rules. It’s how we roll with it that makes a difference.
My husband says life is like riding a mountain bike through the hills. Sometimes it’s a hard upward slog, sometimes there are plateaus to enjoy. There are valleys and there are high places, there are hills, rivers, lakes, trees – beauty everywhere you look. Sometimes the sun is there, sometimes it’s cloudy, sometimes it’s raining. Sometimes it’s hot. Cold. And there are downhill times where if you have confidence enough you can ride down at breakneck speed for an exhilarating rush!
Join us on this adventure into a happily messy place. I’m hoping to release some exciting news soon, so watch this space!