Monday, 12 August 2013

the day Petal was the paint

When Petal made the move from her cot into a bed with sides, we decided it would be good if she helped decorate her own bit of wall, to personalise it a little.  I created a base with a colour that matched her bed~sheets to try and focus her on a finite piece of wall ~ as you can see, the walls were a rather fetching shade of magnolia, as the bungalow was a new build when we moved in six months before Petal was born.

Petal was almost two, and loved getting messy ~ thinking about it, she still does...  She was that child ~ you know, the one who covered every single inch of the paper in scribbles, and if she did a painting ~ well, the paper would end up completely saturated and ripping under the weight of the paint.  The theory was, the wall could take the weight of however much 'art' she covered it in ...

So off to the local B&Q, Petal choose which tester pots she liked the look of (white, pink and pale pink ~ surprisingly colour coordinated for some one related to me I thought!) and carried them home in the car.

Indoors, I put old clothes on Petal while Mr Manley put an old fitted sheet on the bed, and let her get on with it!

No brushes or anything, we just encouraged her to use her hands to put the paint on the wall, swirl the colours, twirl her fingers, slide the paint around, smudge the shades into one another ... just whatever she liked the look of.  I had the extremely important job of paint holder, so Petal told me which colour she wanted, then held her hands out, palm up,  I poured some of the paint on to her hands, then she turned back to the wall and continued with her masterpiece!  Petal rubbed her hands together, mixing the colours and coating herself in pink~ness at the same time ~ a great sensory  experience for everyone involved.  That reminds me ~ if you're going to give it a go, make sure you're using low odour paint (there is a word for it, think it begins with a v?) and you open all the windows ~ it's much more enjoyable when everyone stays conscious!

As you can imagine, by the time Petal decided she was finished everything was a bit of a state ~ although we'd put an old sheet on the bed to protect the mattress, she obviously decided the bed frame should match ~ if you check out the bed head (word? not a word?) you can see where she got there before we did... It was also very clear that Petal's artistic side was very ... immersive ... she had to be the wall, or be the brush, or be the paint...

 Mr Manley carried her at arms length into the bathroom, where (very unlike me) I'd been organised enough to have already run the bath.  Taking off her clothes without touching them was kind of tricky, but we managed it in the end!

Petal loves her wall, and used to follow the curves with her fingers when she went to bed.  Because of a lack of space in the room she shares with Noah, they both have high beds now, but when Petal plays under her bed she can still see her painting, and says she remembers doing it.  Personally I think it's more likely that having seen the photos and the wall, and heard the story her brain has made up a corresponding memory, but hey, what would I know!

Have you tried anything similar with your children, or do you think you might give it a try?  I was a little concerned at the time that she might get the mistaken idea that she could paint walls wherever and whenever she wanted, but (thank goodness!) she didn't ever try it.  Do you have photos of any unplanned (or planned) interior decorating that your beloved offspring have done?  Please share them if you do, I'd love to see!

Giving Petal the opportunity to ... make her mark (no pun intended) on her room turned out to be a lot of fun, for us as well as for her.

A lasting momento of her babyhood ~ the day Petal was the paint.

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