ji've got to share these pics with you. but before you take a peek, two things. first, i am continually amazed at the things that get lodged into the brain of a toddler. i mean, they don't just remember words that you don't want them to, but they remember situations and experiences, often in vivid detail, and, hilariously, often from their own misinformed persepective. but the most fascinating thing about this (and perhaps a bit scary, too) is that as a parent you cannot control this. you cannot control what gets imprinted on your children's memory. not only that, but you can't even know what all has been imprinted there. what they saw on tv, or what the babysitter said, or whatever. all these words and pictures and situations come crashing in on them with very little context and they are constantly working hard to organize them and try to make sense of them. and we wonder why toddlers ask so many questions.
secondly, a few weeks ago we decided to go to one of the high school football games at the high school down the road from where we live. high school football on a friday night just feels so 'autumn,' and the kids had never been to one, so we thought we'd give it a try. as we arrived and drove around the school parking lot looking for a parking space, we saw lots of high school boys standing shiftily near their cars, probably doing things that their parents would not be proud of. we saw one group of guys who were busy painting each other green (school colors) from head to toe. i didn't really think much about this, as i was searching for a space. we found one, walked to the field (where we saw lots of other crazy high school kids all painted and dressed up for the game), found our seats and enjoyed almost three quarters of a high school football game, until the kids got too bored and we began to worry about them falling through the bleachers. so we left. and that was that.
until yesterday. when i was at work. and shannon was in her office working. jack, during this afternoon period used to take naps, but that is becoming much less of a reality, so he is supposed to be reading books, listening to music, and playing with toys, but we have emphasized that it is quiet time. on this day, he came into shannon's office and asked if he could play with paint (i think he's been doing alot with paint at school, so this is on his mind), and she told him that he could not use paint on his own, and that maybe sometime when she was with him they could paint together. he seemed disappointed, but he knew that was right.
about 15 minutes later shannon walked into the play room. she found this:
the boy who had been completely clothed was now butt naked. the same boy who had been completely flesh-toned, was now a hulkish hue, covered from head to foot (and you're going to have to take my word on this one, but every square inch was covered) in green finger paint. when shannon, who was half angry and half amused, asked him what in the world he was doing, he replied, "i'm getting ready for the football game, mommy."
that's what he remembered. and he's been waiting for this moment to try it out. i love that he even spiked his hair with it. of course we reprimanded him, and he now knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is completely not ok, but we also laughed together. these are the moments that add up to make parenting such a blessing. so much fun. so much work, yes, but so much fun, too.