Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Blueberry T's and Tye Dyed Floors

This is your mission, should you choose to accept it:

One of our agents is in need of backup daycare assistance while carrying out her mission. Your job will be to entertain and care for, two three year olds females and provide adequate, stimulating activities for the course of an entire day. You are to play the part of "Super Mom." A difficult role to pull off but, this is an important one. Don't blow it.

This message will be covered in grape jelly and butter in five seconds.

Well, guess what....I chose to accept it. Madison always eagerly anticipated the arrival of one of her favourite friends, oh, let's call her Bailey....since I never use real names on the blog. Madison could hardly sit still. She kept asking me what time it was. Well actually she kept saying "Mom, one sleep is gone....is it time for Bailey to come over?" Her equivalent to "hey lady, you got the time?"

The exciting, long anticipated moment had arrived. Bailey is finally here. She comes fully equiped with bathing suit, a picnic lunch, benadryl and epi-pen. (She is allergic to peanuts.)

After a hesitant and upsetting good-bye, for the mother only, they are off like a shot. So many toys to play with....so much time.

The day goes smoothly. Too smoothly. Well, except for the fact that Bailey is terrified of Blue, our Labrador Retriever. Also, she was afraid of the frequent visits in the back yard from the squirrels. They are used to being fed their meals of peanuts at various times throughout the day. It was lunchtime and they were hungry. She believed these viscious little rodents were attempting to kill her with peanuts I guess. I patiently explained why they were visiting and that she need not worry, there were no peanuts in the yard at present. I taught her how to scare them away by tossing a toy in their direction. Luckily she didn't take any of them out. I had just started relaxing my anxiety riddled brain. "Mom" would soon be here. The other kids would soon be home from school, and I, Supermom and hostess, would no longer find the need to follow my little twosome around making sure that they had activities aplenty to stimulate and entertain.

Hmmm. We hadn't done a craft yet. I had planned on doing one, and decided that tye dye t-shirts would be the craft au jour. I was after all "supermom." Surely I could handle that.

We headed to the kitchen, t-shirts and Rit dye in hand. I had sent them out to the flower/rock garden to bring some nice rocks that we could tie into the shirts to make them more interesting. This was also to aid them in feeling like they were assisting me in the wonderous creation of these little masterpieces. After all, there was no way I was letting them anywhere near the boiling hot dye mixture.

"Sandra" Bailey says while tugging at my shirt.
"Bailey...remember it's Sandi, not Sandra." I said this for about the 10th time that day.
"[giggle, giggle, giggle] No. Sandra," She repeats again while attempting to stretch my shirt to my knees."
"I hate that name! Remember honey, it's Sandi" I say while turning back to my duties.
"Sandra, Sandra, Sandra, Sandra....I don't want to get rocks."
"That's ok then. Go ahead and sit down with the elastics and wait for Madision to come back with some rocks."

I'm so glad that I picked an activity that I knew they would so thouroughly enjoy.

We managed to make it though the activity without incident. The final rinse had just finished and the grand unveiling was about to occur. I quickly removed the elastics while trying to keep the attention of my two little playmates. I was excited. This would be spectacular. I could just imagine them proudly modelling their new creations to friends and family alike. "I made this shirt with Sandra!" I mean "Sandi."

"Tada!" I holler with a wide smile spreading across my face.

Silence follows. Madison turns to play with a toy she has brought into the room. Bailey stares. Finally she looks up and me and states,

"I won't wear that. It's wet."
I reply "I know sweetie, but it will dry soon and then you'll be able to wear it."
"But it looks like blueberries fell on it." I know this is her way of telling me "hey woman, you expect me to wear a shirt that looks like I've just spilled my dessert all over it? You crazy or somethin'?"

Well, luckily for me a retort is not required. The school bus arrives home with a fresh group of friends to play with. Three older kids of varying ages arrive noisily with news of their day.

"Oooooh! Tye dye! Can I do one?" my oldest daughter requests.
Still stunned by the less than enthusiastic response from my little guest, I reply, "Sure. Extra t-shirts are downstairs. Pick one in your size."

Again we go through the steps of creating a tye dyed shirt. This time I am more careless. Still stinging from the blow I had received earlier and therefore not concentrating on the activity at hand and the individual I was performing it with. I splash a spot on my face with the still hot dye. This brings me around enough to realize what horrible thing I have just done. I have agreed to make tye dye t-shirts with my oldest daughter, oh, let's call her Elsie.

Let me explain a little bit about Elsie. She's a combination of Mr Bean meets Frank Spencer from Some Mothers do 'Ave 'Em. A little heavier on the Frank Spencer side perhaps. And I can't believe that I've just asked her to pick up the two pails of dye and place them on the floor.

I hold my breath. I didn't want to, upon coming to my senses, startle her in any way. I also didn't want to destroy her feelings of self worth by letting her know I thought she'd bungle this up. I felt every movement the pail took in the thumping heartbeats in my chest, occationally interupted by palpitations. First one bucket makes it down. I decide the only thing I could do was to let her continue. The second bucket slowly makes it down. What took only a matter of second to complete felt like an eternity to my now damp and sweaty body.

Relief floods over me as we unravel our work to see what genious we have created, together. I may be Supermom after all. My daughter is enjoying this. A large toothy smile is now spreading across her face as she is perched on a chair beside me as we rinse out the excess dye.

"Tada!" I say, only this time to an appreciative audience. I am wonderful. I am the best there is. I am Supermom! At least with the older children.

Now in a previous blog entry I quoted a verse. I didn't stop to remember this verse before starting this activity, when perhaps I should have. I will post it once again for those of you who are new readers:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

To bad I didn't remember this verse first!

Elsie's beautiful glowing face, with beaming smile glances over at me as steps down backwards off of the chair she has been standing on. She steps onto the edge of one of the dye filled buckets she so carefully placed on the floor not 5 minutes earlier, knocking the entire bucket over spilling deep violet Rit dye all over the kitchen floor. I watch in horror as it spreads like a colourful wave of doom and destruction under the stove, splashing the cupboards, stove, and walls in it's wake.

Elsie looks up at me. That beautiful beaming smile fading. Standing in a pool of purple dye when she says, "My foot is purple! Do you see that! My leg is purple too! Wow, cool!"

I now am the proud owner of purple dyed (called violet on the box) towels. I couldn't possibly use paper towels to clean such an immense amount of fluid.

You know, it's all worth it though in the long run. My daughter is excited about her new shirt. She was disappointed when it wasn't yet dried this morning and she couldn't wear it. Even Madison seems happy to be wearing her new shirt. I wonder if Bailey minds wearing her blueberry shirt?

What did I learn from this activity you may ask? Three things:

1.)Perhaps a more age appropriate craft can be planned for the next visit of our little friend.

2.)When we renovate our kitchen this winter....no tye dying in the kitchen!

3.)Vim thick bleach is wonderful! And in the ever popular phrase of that oh so annoying American entertainment diva Martha Stewart, "And that's a good thing!"

The very end. Thank God!

1 comment:

Adventurer said...

Oh lady.

So are your towels now tie-died too? :D