Potato Masher and a Whisk

I sat down to paint with Stephanie yesterday.  Stephanie always wants to paint.  I actually really like painting with her, but when I am watching both children, I cannot devote the attention on the painting as I need to to ensure that paint does not end up on the table, carpet, dog, or wherever else she fancies it; while at the same time making sure that Brendan is not imperiling himself…too badly at least.**  But this time, Stephanie and I were alone, so I agreed to it.

**One of Brendan’s favorite things to do now is to drag whatever will give him added height so he can look at things from a new, taller vantage point.  Usually this involves dragging our little footstool to all of the windows and staring.  But sometimes it means trying to stand on his rolling dinosaur, or climbing the bookshelf, or some other less safe activity.**

No less than 2 seconds after I said yes, she had gone to my closet to get a paint shirt (one of my old t-shirts), gathered all of the paints and several stacks of paper.  She was set.  We were painting for about 5 minutes when she paused for a second, got up, and headed to the kitchen.  She announced without hesitation, and in the serious way she talks about most of her business, “I need the potato masher and a whisk.”

Here is where my internal battle begins.  It doesn’t last long, but my first thought was: “You know I’m just going to have to wash that shit later, right?”**  That thought was quickly replaced by the more reasonable: “That seems a little nutty, let’s just stick to brushes.”  What Stephanie got from me, however, was: “Okay, what do you have in mind?”

**I swear more in my head than I do in real life.**

It is nearly every day that Stephanie surprises me with some interesting idea of something to play, some new way to use a common household item, or something else completely off the wall.  I wonder if at the age of four she even has a filter, or if the ideas pop in and she’s like “Okay, let’s try it!”  I’m way more of the let’s try it mindset than the “that’s too messy, silly, dangerous” mindset, but it’s not always my first instinct.  I hope she’s able to keep that innovative instinct and that I don’t do anything to discourage it.


One response to this post.

  1. She’s got me to discourage it. I’m always “but that’ll (insert discouragement here),” you know?

    She totally does have a filter, btw. Watch her when she wants something she thinks we’ll (I’ll) say no to . . . you can see her face flush with the idea, then she pauses, calms herself, and presents her idea. Like “I want one more M&M and then THAT’S IT,” because she thinks it makes her sound more reasonable. Sometimes she goes direct, too, which I have to say is my favorite. “Mama, I have an idea and I think you’re not going to like it.” I’m so softened at her directness and forethought that whatever she wants is halfway to slam dunk before I even hear it.


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