J loves crafts. He makes many pictures, and he always presents them to me and says "I made this picture special just for you, Mommy". I love this. H thinks it's cute, but also wishes some of the pictures were for Daddy. They are not. And if H touches the pictures, J generally snatches them back and tells H that the pictures are for Mommy. H tries not to be offended.
These days, J is especially fond of finger painting. He uses washable paints. But we don't like to create additional laundry when we can just prevent paint accidents. So J has a choice of smocks that he can wear for painting. He can wear black or white. Both smocks are old "Hard Rock Cafe" t-shirts. J doesn't care. He runs over, grabs a "smock", puts it on, and merrily paints. He uses lots of paint, and makes beautiful 3-year old designs. Always special. Always just for Mommy. And they always go into the art bin when they are dry, presumably so that Mommy can pull them out later and admire their beauty.
J: I need my ... my ... mosque ... wait ...
J: Yes! I need my smock!
J's likes also include "grabbing" things. He got this tendency from a Backyardigans DVD ... The Tale of the Mighty Knights. Austin plays the Grabbing Goblin. J loves the Goblin, and emulates this character. So J will reach out and "grab" things that appeal to him. Mostly things that are green. Or shiny. Like the orange light on top of the camera that starts to blink just before the picture snaps.
This is how J "grabs". He just holds his open hand up, then closes it in a grabbing motion and says "I got the light!" We find it endearing. Unless it's time for hand washing. Then, not so much. At that moment, J will refuse to open his right hand. It is his grabbing hand, and he can't open it because "Everything is in there." H or I have to hold "everything" for J, and give it back when he is done.
Anyway, J loves to paint. And usually, this is fine. But lately, J has wanted to take his finger paints with him every time he leaves the house. And we just can't have that. Finger paints are for craft time. And they remain on the craft table. Tantrums abound as J tries desperately to pester us into changing our minds on this subject. Already a gifted negotiator, J tries in vain to reach a compromise. "I promise I'll only take the green one". But beyond that point, he is unmoved. Our proposed compromises are insufficient for his purposes.
"How about if you take a green car instead?"
He feels our stance that absolutely no finger paints can leave the house is quite unreasonable, and he simply does not understand why other people may not have a craft table and a lovely assortment of smocks at his ready disposal.
And so, I write to respectfully ask that you explain yourselves. Why do you not have a craft table and a variety of smocks for our 3-year old to use when he visits you? Your poor planning in this regard is making my life difficult, and I request that you kindly remedy the situation at your first available opportunity.
Or, you know, don't.