Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Round Holes, Square Pegs

I had a vision. It included two little boys water coloring their coffee filters to turn into beautiful butterflies. Each brush would be dipped into a color, blotted on the filter, rinsed in the water, and another color would be chosen. Rinse and repeat, literally. In this vision, we were all smiling and happy, my little blossoming Picasso's creating masterpieces at the ripe age of two.

In reality, the only part of my vision that turned out to be true-to-life is the fact that they are, in fact, two years old. They were so excited to hold a paint brush and dip it in the paint over and over that almost no paint made it onto the coffee filter. My brand new watercolors looked like this...

... and I was left feeling frazzled and frustrated.

The worst part is that they were having a great time while I was too busy focusing on how they weren't doing it the 'right way' to have a great time with them. I missed out on an opportunity to build a happy memory because I was too focused on my own agenda. The thing is though, that there are going to be thousands of times in their lives when they don't do something exactly as I would. My job as a mom is to provide a safe and protected environment for them to make decisions, have fun and learn all about the world around them. Sure, there should be consequences for throwing paint or painting the table, but art time shouldn't be over for something stupid like mixing paint colors. Learning to push my silly expectations to the side will make me a better mom and make them more secure, happy and confident kids.

Have you ever had a 'watercolor moment' when you realized that you had to let go of an expectation in order to allow your kids to be who God created them to be?


Anonymous said...

Great post! Yes I have certainly had those moments. I remember working on an activity with Sammy.. he was LOVING it.. but it driving me crazy because he just did the same part over and over again and never moved on to the next step.. Instead I should have been glad he had such a blast doing the activity and let go of that he didn't want to do the next part and save that for another time. I often get caught up in the finished project part of it!

Unknown said...

I had the same thing with my almost two year old yesterday, I had the recycled brown paper bags taped to the table, the toilet roll ready for painting, finger paint and brushes.... And all he did was sucking all the paint from the brush. The more I asked him NOT TO EAT THE PAINT, the more he did.
I was so frustrated and upset at the end of our craft time. But in the end crafting with a toddler is not about the end product it is about having fun. (at least that is what I told myself later)