Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why is your mouth blue???

So, this morning I tried to teach the boys how to color unsuccessfully. I read in our What to Expect: The Toddler Years book (or, as Travis and I call it, The Baby Manual) that this month they may be able to scribble a little bit so I wanted to try it out! Over the weekend, Travis and I bought some construction paper and these crayola toddler markers for the boys and I've been itching to play with them. Also, I'm getting ready to do a big deep cleaning of our kitchen and thought some cute artwork from the boys would make an excellent addition to a newly clean refrigerator door. Both sides of the family have artsy people so I thought, "It's in their blood! They'll love to draw and be great at it!" Ah, how naive.

My first mistake was probably putting them in the high chairs. I read on several websites that the best way to avoid technicolor walls at the beginning to always do coloring activities while strapped into high chairs. Sounds brilliant, right? Well, since Eli and Jude only go in their high chairs when they eat - plus it was almost meal time - I can see where there could have been a misunderstanding as to our activity.

My second mistake was looking away. After showing both boys how their markers made pretty colors on their own paper and saw they weren't quite getting it, I thought that I should probably model how to do it and color with them. I looked down at my page for just a moment and when I looked up Eli had blue lips, a blue tongue, blue teeth, and a few blue fingers. I took the marker out of his mouth and said "No eating, we use this on paper." but it went right back into his mouth. I glanced over at Jude and sure enough, he too was green in the lips, tongue and teeth. After a few attempts to get them to stop eating the markers and color with them, I gave up and took them away. This brought on lots of tears and anguished cries but they were fine when I gave them some oranges and waffles.

Luckily, because these markers are marketed for toddlers, they seem to be mostly water with a tiny hint of color. By the time I thought to take a picture of the aftermath, most of the pigment had come off of their faces and hands already. But, we probably won't try coloring again for a while.

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