Tuesday, January 19, 2010
SIX KIDS, ONE ARTISTIC PAINTER TRYING MY BEST TO COPE WITH CHAOS. HOW THE LOVE OF ART AND STORYTELLING BRING PEACE TO A CHAOTIC HOME.
With four kids at home and two step kids part time I often use my painting time as a an artistic release from the chaotic life that so many children under one roof provide. I have many stories about life with six kids. Here is one, unfortunately it is a true story! haha
It's funny really; you bring home this tiny package, bundled snug in a blanket, ready only for your love and care. Then you lose a little sleep, gain a little weight, blink for just a moment and your wonderful, sweet little baby is two and calling you names that would embarrass a sailor. You break out into a sweat at the thought of entering any public domain with your child. The "F" word, that dreaded word that you most fear always slips out of his tiny lips at the exact moment an old lady bends in for a closer look. The words "aren't you a darling" hang empty in the air as she "tsk, tsks" her way to the cash. This is not a word he learned in a picture book, or one of his movies, if you are lucky like us you could blame it on his teenage brother but for most it is obvious that this word was learned by you, the parent.
Like most parents, we dread our trip to the grocery store. It was on our last shopping trip that our son decided he wanted freezies, in the middle of March. Of course not freezies that you take home, freeze for a day and enjoy later; no, no, freezies at that moment, in that aisle. We tried to tell him just two aisles down he would find some already frozen. But he lay there, spread out on the floor, legs flailing, arms outstretched as if calling in help from the heavens above and I felt that familiar feeling. The shortness of breath, the pounding heart, the get me out of this moment now or I might lose total control feeling. I could have picked him up and endured some bruises from his swinging limbs. I could have grabbed him by the hand and dragged his limp body down the aisle. I could have threatened him with lose of toys, treats, life or limbs but then I would have been witness to an academy award winning performance at high volume, in surround sound. Instead I walked away and simply waved good-bye. It worked. Somehow, on that day, the clouds parted; letting out a little ray of sunshine I depicted as hope and turned my child into a sudden angel. We went merrily down the aisle on to the frozen section where he choose Popsicles, placed them carefully in the cart and proceeded to tell us to hurry. As I do not tell a lie you will believe me when I say we went straight to the cash and then straight to hell. He began his usual swing form the shiny silver "balance beams" which called out to him for at least one lick on its germ infested coldness. As he swung and slide on his bum across the dusty floor he started a rant. "Oh no, oh, oh, I can't take this. Oh no, oh, oh, I can't take this. Hurry. I can't take this."
I dared to ask, "What can't you take?"
"I want my treat."
The nice lady on the cash laughed and said "oh how cute. Well I think they are going to make you wait though."
I laughed with her, although my laugh quickly slipped into the hysterical laugh of a lunatic. I knew from painful experience that we were nowhere near home free. We packed our groceries into the cart, shuffled his little body along to distract him as we began our exit from the store; not soon enough though, for he yelled with great irritation, "hurry, you fucking idiot." Ah parenting, the job meant for a saint.