Saturday morning came a lot earlier than we planned. Don let me sleep when Mari got up earlier than either of us intended. When I did finally pull myself out of bed, I awoke in such a frantic state, that I was out of it for about an hour. Mari immediately ran to me, her tiny arms drawn to me like I was a big magnet. While I was sore and tired, my arms reached out to her, ready to pull her in tight. We then headed on over to the bathroom to brush our teeth and wash our face for the day. (She loves to brush teeth with us.)
Anyway, I had intended on taking Mari to the park in the morning, but the heavens opened up and poured down much needed rain. As a matter of fact, it had rained quite a bit the night before too, but this was just raining down. I didn't mind, really, because it would make the heat a little more tolerable. But what to do with an active toddler when you aren't feeling quite up to par? Well, I consulted the activity bucket. What is that? Well, when we were reorganizing Mari's play area in our den earlier this summer, I set one bucket/drawer aside specifically for activities in a bag that would keep her occupied in half hour intervals, maybe longer. Most were activities we do together and some she can do alone. I pulled out Fingerpainting. SCORE
Within minutes, I was in the kitchen whipping up instant vanilla pudding, trying to think if Mari has ever eaten pudding before. I couldn't recall if she had, so this was going to be a big leap of faith. After it set, I took out two small plastic bowls and filled them with pudding. I then added some food coloring and mixed up red and green. She studied me intently, knowing I was up to something, but not quite sure what it was. She took off to occupy herself with Daddy while I finished readying everything.
I hollered out to her to get in her chair. (Of course, I didn't really mean for her to get in her chair, but little miss adventurer climbed up into her high chair like she was an elite rock climber. I couldn't tell her to NO DANGEROUS when she did what I asked, right. I need to be better about my wording!) Once settled in, I took off her tank top and slid on her tray with the two bowls of "paint." She started at it, quizzically, not quite certain what she should do. I dipped a finger into the cool gel and painted a flower. Don dipped his in the green and painted a smiley face. We both licked our fingers after we were done. Timidly, she dipped her finger into the red and made a gesture to paint, but instead went to taste it directly. Well, she seemed to like it and kept dipping her finger into it to eat.
That was just as good, so I sat on the couch to make a plan for the day. We had about 45 minutes before we had to leave for her sign language class. The rain had subsided, so it would probably be a rather humid day. I zoned out a bit watching Amazing Wedding Cakes on OnDemand. I then looked up to find this:
Yes, she'd made a wonderful living work of art! Not only did she get the hang of grabbing tiny handfuls and spreading it in her tray, but it was in her hair, on her chair and the supporting chair. Luckily it hadn't made it to the floor yet, but Guapo was secretly praying it was. Like a soldier, steadfast at her feet, willing the pudding to the ground. No such luck, buddy.
We only had 10 minutes before we had to leave, so I rushed my pudding monster to the shower to clean up before class. Definitely a WONDERFUL distraction for half an hour. :)
1 package instant Jello* (we used vanilla)
Make jello according to instructions. Divide into separate bowls and add food coloring.