Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grandparents' Day

Grandparents' Day was September 9.  I actually remembered it this year, for the first time ever.  As part of an effort to get my life more "in order", I'm working on being a better friend by being more mindful of holidays, birthdays, anniversaries ... I'll be honest though, in the day to day grind of motherhood, it's hard to extend my "thinking of others" mantra beyond the three small ones under my charge.  But I'll try.

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Post-nap pigtails.


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I love to hear him comfort her: "It okay Yaya, it okay."

So yes, I did remember Grandparents' Day.  And I actually planned out a craft a few weeks in advance.  I came across this handprint art on Etsy.  It's actually for Father's Day but works just as well for grandparents.  Maybe even better.  I just don't think the Handsome Coastie would have been as thrilled to receive it.

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Photo Credit

I even started on the project with plenty of time to finish and put them in the mail.  Jack and I completed his handprints - the "green ones" as he'll say to anyone who will listen - during naptime.  I thought I was being smart, waiting until the other two littles were "otherwise occupied" but looking back it may have been better to let Jude see Jack do it first.  Because when it was Jude's turn my timid, middle-child would have nothing to do with it.  I tried to demonstrate how mommy would paint his hand and then he'd lay it down flat and make a print, but he just squealed "NOOOOO!" and curled back as far as he could.  So I set it all aside until I had some back-up, namely Daddy.  And then I forgot. 

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Before.
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After.
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Guilty.
Fast-forward to last Thursday when I realized Grandparents' Day was Sunday and my attempt at thoughtfulness was already tardy.  Jon was out of town until Saturday morning so that meant I was on my own.  Just me, 3 kids, and some wet paint.  Just typing that out makes me shudder.

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This is a Jack creation.  That is all I know.
I gave Jude the pep talk and he seemed alright with it.  He got a little freaked when I slathered orange paint on his hands but he thoroughly enjoyed smashing his palm onto the branches.  Of course, he wanted to put his prints exactly where Jack's were, which meant lots of color in some places and big, bare patches in others.  But by this point I was over the creativity aspect and just trying to reach completion. 

We got Jude's "leaves" done without further mishap and just a tad orange paint in his hair, which is still there today actually.  Moving on to Julia.  And the sudden realization that I hadn't really thought this through.  How was I going to keep an 11-month-old's palm flat, while painting it, but without her getting paint anywhere else, or rolling off the table.  And then get that little paddy to make a print on paper, without smearing it everywhere else, or toppling into the entire painting (because Girlfriend's got some serious balance issues).  And all while two curious older brothers crowded in to watch. 

I ended up using my body to keep her balanced, one hand to hold her wrist, and the other to bring the paper (and a big, flat book it was laying on) up to her hand to make a print.  (I figured this was much easier than attempting to dangle a baby and hand over the paper.)  In other words, no free hands to take pictures.  It wasn't until we were 2/3s finished when I realized I was doing all right-hand prints and completely neglected the left.  Then again, it was probably better that way.  And the boys only fell into the wet paint once ... each.  Again, serious balance issues around here.

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Of course, then it needed laminated so that the Grands can hold onto their special art for all eternity.  And then we needed large envelopes to mail them (a day late mind you).  So that meant a trip to Target, just me and the kids.  And we just can't go to Target without strolling down the toy aisles so that Jack can point out all the things that he wants for his birthday.  And while were here and stuck babysitting in Aisle 20 might as well enjoy some popcorn...  Because that's how we roll on weeks when Daddy's gone.  Just another way to get out of the house on the cheap.  Well, theoretically.  It's hard to get out of Target cheaply.  But if you really wanted to you could just buy popcorn and point out toys "for your birthday list."  I digress.

We got the paintings enveloped and the envelopes addressed and set them by the door to mail the next morning.  Which meant a trip to the post office, again just me and the Littles.  But despite a detour for some much-needed morning Joe we ended up pulling into the Post Office 20 minutes before they opened.  And then waiting in line with a bunch of people who didn't have any kids with them and, judging from their looks, probably didn't have any kids at home either.  I have no idea why they constructed this particular post office with long, long halls begging to be run and tall, tall ceilings that magnify every little noise and shoe squeak.  Let's just say, nobody attempted to butt in front of the lady with three kids.  And everyone made sure I was able to get in and out as quickly as possible.  There are advantages to these awkward situations ...

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Applause!
So, in the end.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  As usual, things always look so much different in my head.  I mean, it sounded so easy. But I find that 3 kids can easily tangle with the translation.  And yet, as they say, it's the thought that counts.  And for once I can proclaim, "Grandparents, we were thinking of you."  It's only taken 4 years, but rest assured we're already thinking of you for next year.  And what fun little project we can do.  Because we're probably going to need to start on it in a few months anyway. 

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