Monday, March 5, 2012

The Often-Imaginary Lives of Two Poetic, Color-Mixer Robonauts

When the boys say things like, “Look at the sunset! It’s so pretty and purple!” and “It’s such a beautiful day out!” A little part of me dances inside. I have an inner poet that used to be more outward but the past few years has expressed itself mostly in poetic prose when I’m writing in my novel (R.I.P) or pokes its nose out now and then here on my blog, so hearing them delight in the colors of flowers and sunsets makes me a little swoony. Between that and all their pretending, they just might be the drama club brooding poet types. (I don’t think that’s exactly what Brian had in mind when he found out he was having twin boys.) 

Cal especially comes up with the most creative similes. Everything is like something else. Example: yesterday he said a mark on the floor where the sun was shining through looked like a space shuttle. Then they both spent the next few minutes pretending to be inside the shuttle and come out on the land like the robonaut they discovered in National Geographic Kids and whom we’ve been stalking on YouTube ever since. They pretend to control each other—one is the robonaut while the other one pushes buttons on a remote control nearby. The routine is always the same: they get out of the shuttle, move their fingers around, step out onto the moon, leave a footprint, and point to their eyes and then to Earth. And before this routine they pretend to get dressed in their yellow suits and want me to hold a big book against their back to be their backpacks.

It's rather narrow, but I can see the space shuttle shape.

Coming out of the shuttle and onto the moon...

This morning while Cal was sleeping in, because he’s still sick, Clark informed me that he wanted to “just hang out without any clothes on.” So he did. And then he started pretending to swim around on the floor, since he had only his diaper on—like a swimsuit. He then dragged out a blue blanket, made it his pool, and kept jumping, diving, and swimming in his pool for around 45 minutes. He did set some rules. I swam and jumped with him, but we could only swim when the (imaginary) red light turned to a green light and it was also okay to play the guitar in the pool. And we had to be careful of the crocodiles, dinosaurs, and pigs, and horses that were also swimming in the pool.

Diving in
Anyway, this weekend they were sick, but not too sick to do some experimenting with colors. They love colors, like the colors in the sunsets and flowers. They also love to stir things, like Daddy’s blue sauce. (Ranch dressing with blue food coloring that only Daddy can make correctly)

I recently discovered The Artful Parent and I feel myself already becoming addicted. I found a couple ideas I wanted to try. The first thing we did was stir food coloring into a mixture of water, corn starch, and sugar, and then I put two colors in one ziplock bag for them to squish together (without getting their fingers icky! Yay). They discovered much to their delight that blue and red make purple, yellow and blue make green, and Cal was so excited that yellow and red made orange that some of the orange excitement squirted out onto the carpet. Oh well. Our carpet is disgusting. Also it came up easily. And I use the word “up” loosely.

After we put all six colors in ziplocks we held them up to the window. They liked them so much I taped them up and they had fun making handprints in them and squishing them around. They’re still there and every morning since they’ve exclaimed, “The colors are still on the window!” 

(To make this, heat up 4 cups of water, 1 cup cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir constantly until it thickens, remove from heat and stir a little more. Don't eat it.)

Yesterday I attempted a color craft that was a bit beyond them, I admit in retrospect. The boys picked out green crayons, I grated them, they dispersed the shavings onto wax paper, and I ironed them. And I traced shamrocks on them. And I cut them out. And I hung them up in the windows on white thread. And I cleaned the mess up. Maybe in a few years we’ll try it again. They do like to look at them hanging in the windows and talk about them spinning and how pretty they are, but I can’t say it was worth it exactly. I’m looking at the green and yellow shamrocks now in the afternoon sunlight and they actually do look pretty darn magnificent. Who knows, maybe one day one of the boys will write a poem about the spinning shamrock crayon craft and I’ll feel validated. Ha.  

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