Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More birthday(s) and a different look at fingerpaint

At the post office yesterday, we picked up a box from Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bob for Lavella's and my birthday. I have to say -- I love it when the birthday gifts are spread out like this. It's more fun to open things at a slower pace, and it's nice to be able to really enjoy each gift, rather than sifting through a pile.

When Lavella pulled out the little Ralph Lauren dress, she yelled "Oh my! A dress!!"

Thank you Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bob! Lavella loves her new clothes and tiny stuffed puppy (which she's been carrying around all day, but I somehow didn't get a picture of!), and I look forward to using my gift to get some books on my wishlist. Hugs and kisses to you both!!

Speaking of birthdays, on Sunday, the children and I ended up accidentally attending the birthday of one of our neighbors.

We went out for a walk before dinner, and two of our neighbor families were out having a cook-out together (complete with a swinging grill -- I wish I'd gotten a picture of this regional way of cooking.)

When we returned from our walk, they urged us to stay and eat, and I found myself at a loss for the proper conduct in such a situation. If we were all speaking the same language, I would have argued, put up a little fuss "oh, are you sure? Can I bring anything down from my kitchen? ???" but instead, the only answer I had was..."OK!"

So. There we were, sitting at a table of Germans speaking German, almost all of it going straight over my head. One neighbor speaks fluent English, so she translated somewhat, but mostly I just tried to eat as unobtrusively as I could. It felt like dining in a fishbowl.

After dinner, it was mentioned casually that it had been the one little girl's 4th birthday a few days ago...and out came a huge cake!

My children were very impressed.

It was a little strange (to me) though; no one sang anything, and the candles were lit and blown out 3 or 4 times, pictures were taken with different children next to the cake...there didn't seem to be a direct order to things. Perhaps that's just how they do it.

In spite of my discomfort, however, my children had a wonderful time playing and eating and running around with everyone, so I was able to enjoy it for them. It did really make the evening fly, and when I put them to bed, they were asleep almost before I turned their light out.

Entirely unrelated, but I was organizing and cleaning today, and ended up purging my make-up bag. I was just about to chuck the old eye shadows and lipstick palettes, but then I realized that they looked just like finger paints.

The boys spent a very enjoyable hour or so of their quiet time this afternoon digging out every last bit of color.

In case anyone's wondering though, it takes a heck of a lot of dish-soap to get make-up out of little hands and table.

I thought it was interesting that to the boys, the whole joy of finger painting is in the tactile sensation. If I had been painting, I would have wanted to have a separation of the colors, and a distinction between parts of my picture. Andrew and Elijah, on the other hand, were completely taken by the way the pigments felt under their fingers, the way the creme to powder formula blended to a glittery finish, to the contrast between slick lipstick and powder shadows.

Life through the eyes of the young. It's what keeps my world fresh.

1 comment:

a.susie said...

I LOVE the one of Lavella displaying the card and "reading" it!
What a great idea with the make-up! And great pictures fellas!
Incidentally, I had one of those "Faith/Mommy" days today...and I'm just the Gramma! I don't think I can write about it yet...too horrifyingly fresh...