Something Salinas This Way Comes...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unpublished Parenting--Part I

So my friend and fellow blogger, Julie, has a weekly feature for her blog titled, "Hot Mess of the Week".  If you have not read any of her stuff, or you're just interested in the Hot Mess of the Week, you can check out her blog here: . 

In the way of weekly feature copy-catting, I have decided to do a weekly piece of my own, titled, "Unpublished Parenting Advice".  Why is this relevant?  Not because I feel so greatly entitled to speak my peace, stand on a soapbox, or spread my all-mighty knowledge.  It's simply that, on a daily basis, I find myself saying in my head (I do a lot of saying things in my head, by the way), "Wow; I was so not prepared for this", or "I wish someone would have told me...". Thus, the fruition of my idea:  Once weekly,  I vow to post--in the form of an experience, a thought, or a simple conversation with my child gone woefully awry--a bit of parenting advice that I promise you, you will never. ever. find in a parenting book. 

So, as a christening for this weekly feature, I give to you my first piece of unpublished parenting advice; a note I made on Facebook in early October.  I think the lesson to be learned here is simple, and can be relayed in a tongue-twister of sorts: When painting pumpkins with little people, prepare for perpetuated profanities:

Fingerpainting Fun Fury

I break out the fingerpaints about every harvest moon. Why? Because within two minutes of opening the paints and setting them on the craft table, I realize my mistake, and it usually takes about 363 days to forget whatever fingerpaint-induced spiral of death ensues after the ambitous act.

Today I had the grand idea of painting miniature pumpkins. I got out the primary-colored paints and set them on the table, with Martha-Stewart induced visions dancing around in my head like the smell of warm baked cookies. I thought, 'This is going to be great!' I, like many of you will do or have done, envisioned happy, olive-skinned kids with toothy grins and cartoon-like giggles that would rival any magazine-shoot version of fingerpainting fun.

What I got was much, much different. It was sort of like the Tiim Burton version of the above fantasy. Please, peruse the following and the next time you think you want to do something like this and wonder what could go wrong, refresh your memory:

Hannah, continually dipping her finger in the blue paint and licking it off. Discovering, after the third paint-eating attempt, that the stuff tastes like poo. Getting irritated with the paint for making her messy and resolving said problem by stooping down and, rather resourcefully, using our six-toed Manx cat, O'Malley, as her towel. (I had placed several paper towels on the craft table. However, Chloe was using the paper towels as her canvas, and Hannah--out of habit--was using the paper towels to wipe her FACE. So, as you can see, things to consider...) Hannah continually goes to the bathroom door and proclaims, 'Hans! Hans! Haaaannns!' (which means 'hands', as in, 'Wash my hands now. Don't you see all this blue shit all over them?? Geezus, get with it Mom!). Me, dumb, continually shoveling Hannah into the bathroom in an attempt to appease her, only to discover that within five seconds of leaving the sink, she is back to attempting to paint our cat blue. As for Hannah's pumpkin? Well, Chloe decided to use her artistic abilities to paint it red. And then, being the sporty girl that she is, Hannah used the pumpkin as a ball. To roll. Across the living room throw rug. Yeah.

Let us now consider Chloe. Rather graceful in movement and very concentrated in her efforts to paint every. single. surface a bright, sunshiny yellow. No attempts to eat paint; however, I do believe she will be very adventurous with hair color as a teenager. And never ever take her jar of yellow paint, specifically if you are her twin sister. Because it will consequently be launched into the air and land in a happy yellow puddle of joy on your laptop, which you hapharzadly placed on top of the dishwasher

FOUR feet away from paint-central. Gah, how could I have been so absent-minded? As for her pumpkin, it turned out an adorable green-and-yellow polkda dotted creation. I just really wish I had not been so distracted by Hannah's pumpkin bowling tournament; otherwise I would have noticed that Chloe had graduated from the washable finger paints to the tempura paints and permanent markers the older kids were using. I think her other favorite color is red, because as I am typing this, she is a freshly-bathed, happy, sleeping, red-and-white-strped Dr. Seuss character.

I will now summarize the older three kids in a few short sentences. All of the children in my family are type A, controlling and rather competitive in nature. I'm cool with it so long as it does not involve weapons, or paint or markers. Today it was Kody's need to have perfectly outlined jack-o-lantern eyes vs. Kyleigh's need to draw perfectly straight lines on her pumpkin's grooves. Both of which involve the use of the ONE permanent black marker I could find in the entire freaking house. (Joshua could not care less about a black permanent marker due to the fact that his theme involved not much detail outside of lots and lots of blood. Thank God because I think I may have suffered a coronary if all three of them were fighting over the effing black marker) So I solve the black marker issue by dictatorially announcing that Kyleigh would be the first to use it, because I said so. My punishment by way of Kody was that when he finally got his hands on it, he took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to apply his artistry to the little orange circle of Hell. As I was cleaning the mess around him, I explained to him the very dire issue I was having with his time frame. He says to me that if he wanted his pumpking to resemble EVERYONE ELSE'S, he would oblige me. My retort was simple, 'If you want to get your every creative detail perfect, do it at school where there are no two-year olds.' Which was kind of perfect timing, because about .02 seconds after my reply, Hannah was just finishing the last few gulps of the paint-rinsing water.

Joshua, I have to say, was a rather mellow and astute painter. I am choosing to ignore the fact that his pumpkin has a huge, gaping, bleeding gash in its 'throat', complete with drips and splatter patterns. Yeah Martha, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.


  1. I am going to love this blog. Looking forward to your parenting advice!

  2. Looks like picture perfect pumpkins to me.