I’m not really too much of a neat freak. Anyone who’s been to my house can testify that there is clutter on top of clutter on the coffee table, painting shit & packing supplies all over the dining room table, and toys emerging from every furniture orifice. But the one thing that really gets under my skin is a messy-mess. Play-Doh, the way it leaves trails of little colored turds all over the house. Pudding, the way it never makes it into my son’s mouth and falls into wet puddles on his clothes and the floor. I know that I can clean him off when he’s done, but it’s excruciating for me to have to watch the mess unfold right before my obsessive-complusive eyes.
Yet for some stupid ass reason, I decided (OF MY ACCORD) to squirt some of my paint on a pallette, slide some canvas under Chooch’s nose, and let him go to town. It was funny, because he gingerly dunked his fingers in the yellow and then he kind of just stood there, watching me suspiciously, as if he was waiting for me to freak out that he had sullied himself with the Devil’s art supplies.
But I breathed in real good (Blue’s Clues taught us to stop, breathe and think. It works well for Chooch, but mostly I still want to slaughter a hamlet, collect the eyelids of the citizens for pinata stuffers, and steal their crops for one last kick in the nuts) and reassured him that it was not a trick, that I really wanted him to paint.
And paint he did, for a good hour. And while I feverishly ripped off great lengths of paper towels and stopped him every ten minutes to wipe him down, I was pretty proud of myself for letting him go at it without getting too tightly wound. (And I’m pretty tightly wound to begin with.) And I wasn’t even too stage-mom about it!
As he would smear the paint into patterns, he’d walk me through his process.
“This is a road. And this is Kara, and she’s standing with Janna’s parents.” I would like to make a note that my friend Kara hasn’t lived in Pittsburgh for about a year and a half, and though Chooch barely sees her he still includes her in his stories and art. Even after she broke his heart by getting married last summer! I’m not sure if she should be touched or terrified, to be honest. He’s also obsessed with peeing in Kara’s potty, so now I’m worried that he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer with a penchant for leaving his mark in the toilets of his victims.
“I can’t believe she’s not bitching at me for making a mess.”
He seemed to really consider where he wanted to place each color, which impressed me. He’s much more methodical about it than I am. I’m just kind of spastic. He’s going to be so much better than me at everything. (I hope, anyway. Mama wants a beach house.)