It's a daring proposition to take out the markers while Hannah is around. Of course they're "washable" markers, and she absolutely loves them, so sometimes I gear myself up for messiness and let her color with them. This is how it goes at our house:
"Okay Hannah, only touch this part of the marker. Not the end where the color comes out. This part. That's where you hold it."
She impatiently tries to grab the marker. "Hannah. Wait. wait. Wait. Do you understand?" I demonstrate correct marker-holding technique again.
She grabs it. A little gets on her hands. Okay, deep breath. It's okay. She's just a child. Kids get markers on their hands. Deep breath. During my deep breath sequence I watch Kenzie coloring with the markers. She does pretty good. I look back to Hannah. Somehow in this brief calming moment, marker is on the floor, marker is on Hannah's shirt and marker is up and down Hannah's arms.
"No Hannah! No!" I grab desperately for the marker, causing her to pull it into her body protectively. Her pants are now markered.
"We only draw on the paper! On the paper!" As I wrestle for the marker I end up with marker all over my hands. I succesfully cap the purple marker as Hannah reaches for red.
"Oh no. We're done with markers. Mommy can only handle about 5 min. of markers. No more. No more."
Now Hannah is crying hysterically and everything she touches turns purple. She reaches for me to wipe her nose on and smear her hands, but I carefully swoop her to the sink. I think I've avoided most of the mess. I know they have those special markers, but I have philosophical differences with markers that only allow you to color in approved areas. Plus, they're delayed. It's like those "energy saving" light bulbs. You flip on the switch and think you've got the wrong switch because it takes so long. Maybe they should market those Color Wonder markers as "Energy Saving." Then congress can pass a bill that doesn't allow the regular kind of markers to be manufactured anymore because they were just too messy. But I digress. . .
"Mess Tolerance" should be listed on the job application for motherhood. I hate cleaning; our laundry should feel pleased that I at least get around to it once every 10 days, and dishes? I hope you're reading this because I expect you to start picking up the slack and do yourselves most of the time.
So things like coloring with markers, doing crafts with children, or any activities that cause more than the usual mess (anything fun for children), I have a hard time with. The usual mess seems mountainous enough without adding glittery sparkles and marker handprints to it. I guess I need to stop being so lazy. I can sweep twice a day. Really. I can. And I love mopping. It's so good for my brain.
I think this Couples Challenge is a bit like playing with markers with Hannah. Part of me is all excited to provide some fun activity but the other part of me is yelling, "No! No! Why did I even try this?" And then I just get marker all over my hands anyway. (Okay that was a stretch. I'm sorry. I always used to tell my English students they needed to transition better, and I was going for the transition, but it just didn't quite work out that way. If I had a red pen and was correcting this blog I'd write, "Needs better transition" right in the margin there on the left)
If you're participating in our Couples Challenge, add your points to the comments. Remember 28 points possible (Sunday exercise points come from exercising your faith or patience at church that day). We got 25 points. I lost two for eating like a crazy woman and Mike lost one because he was so busy making sure I was a princess on my birthday that he didn't have time to exercise. How'd you do?