Turns out I do not have the fortitude for artsy/crafty projects with my four- and two-year-olds.
Yesterday they wanted to carve pumpkins. Okay! I thought. Pumpkin carving is festive! It'll be fun!
I exuberantly hacked holes in the tops of two pumpkins and expected much messy mirth to ensue.
There was no mirth. Fruit Bat grimaced and said, "It's just too slimey for me." Kitty Cat parroted him, because that's what she always does.
Hmm. Okay! I said. Why don't you have the job of plucking the pumpkin seeds from the guts and we'll salt them and bake them?!
Again, Fruit Bat grimaced. "It's just too gooey for me." Kitty Cat agreed.
So I, alone, did the scooping. Until we were into our second hour and the children, they were getting restless. I was sticky and muttering that next year we were painting pumpkins, not cutting them up. Who invented this stupid, labor intensive tradition anyway? Certainly not someone with squeamish littles underfoot.
I got a third of the way through "Kitty Cat's" jack-o-lantern, which, sadly, had really become mine. Fruit Bat was grumbling. Kitty Cat was whining. So I set it aside.
Today we went to paint pottery at a lovely little spot in Queen Anne called Color Me Mine. I explained to the kids that they would have to follow some specific instructions, that we were making ornaments and bowls that would LAST FOREVER, so this wouldn't be the watercolor free-for-all they were used to.
They chose colors, they dabbed paint onto hardened clay, they lost interest, they got hot because there was an oven in back the size of ten beer kegs put together. They painted a little more.
I instructed them, patiently at first, to coat both sides of the ornaments, to not dip their brushes in water, but to instead switch brushes, to not smear their names that I'd carefully written along the edges of the freshly painted pottery, TO HOLD THEIR PROJECTS CAREFULLY SO THEY DON'T DROP AND SHATTER.
All my bitching aside, I'm glad we went. It was a new experience and we spent the time with people we really like. I just don't have it in me to relax during such endeavors. Perhaps I'm a control freak. Perhaps it's because they're too young. I don't know.
But I do know that I have cookies to make for Fruit Bat's preschool Halloween Party next week and I'll be baking, by myself, late into the night.