Grayson had a sleepover a couple of weeks ago and the house was surprisingly hushed. Grayson is not our noisemaker. Evidently his even-keel manner and serenity are louder than any noise the rest of us can make.
Abby was glad to have us to herself but I noticed an edginess in her movement. She U-turned from one activity to another with a restlessness that spoke volumes.
Her security blanket was missing.
She tried to play with her dollhouse but the story line was thin and her heart wasn't in finding a place for the babies to sleep.
She asked me to run a bath so we could both play and float around; then promptly asked me to leave once I finally acquiesced.
Finally we landed on an art project. The night before, I spent some time on Pinterest, saving a few Valentine's ideas for us to choose on a rainy day.
This was our cloudless, sun-filled rainy day.
Oh, Pinterest, you are such a clever nanny. This will be a day she will remember forever.
Step One: Collect supplies. Now shred the life out of all of your daughter's favorite colored crayons. Awesome foresight, Mom. Abby was in tears before we even started. Excellent work in having her skin her favorites, too. That kind of trauma is hard to achieve at first try. But you nailed it.
Step Two: Let your 5 year old's precious little fingers shove all the broken pieces into your least child friendly art tool around: a pencil sharpener.
Then ask her to kindly get each curcy-Q over the wax paper instead of in her lap which really is a gateway toward the floor. Once on the floor? Consider it marble tiling. Pretty.
Yes, that is a vegetable peeler.
Step Three: Grab all the supplies from her approximately 4.5 minutes later because she has jammed all of her sacrificial crayons into the sharpener, never to be heard from again. I can think of kinder ways to meet our reward. Even for a crayon.
Step Four: Add another hunk of wax paper over the first, cut a gigantic heart out of it, then iron the living crap out of that heart until only the darkest colors take over, sullying it like the recesses of your own angry, Type A, Pinterest existence.
Umm, what happened? Is this Elsa's Frozen Aortic Pumper?
Step Five: Stare longingly into your daughter's flaxen hair glowing in the sun. Wish you were good like her. Pray to the heavens to keep your control freakiness out of her generous psyche forever. Ask her to forgive you for not letting her use the iron herself. She made it through the spiral blade of death trials, why not give her a hot cauldron to balance for good measure?
Step Six: Say yes when your little frustrated girl asks kindly to go watch Sofia the First on TV. For the love of all things pure and holy, let her walk away from your uptight string of autopilot nerve endings.
Step Seven: Call her back in to show her the surprise heart you found when ironing the small piece. Let her know you think it's for her. Because it's perfect, whole, and wide. Look again and try not to cry when you see her sweet heart is surrounded by your imperfect, messy, shady, mostly-needing-oxygen-blue-one.
Step Eight: Stick to painting birdhouses, puppet shows, and designer paper dolls. She loves those much more anyway.
Step Nine: Forgive yourself over a cup of hot green tea. Because you know your mommy self will do this all over again tomorrow.