Some of you seem to be under the impression that I am this super-mom who goes with the flow, never raises her voice, and has wonderfully behaved children who never argue with her or each other.
Now, I realize I may be at fault for creating this false impression. I happen to be a pretty positive person and write about the best moments of each New Experience.
So, to clear up this misconception, I’ve decided to write only about the worst parts of tie-dying our own t-shirts. Besides, there were far more low moments in this experience than happy moments.
5:30– We ate dinner early on Wednesday, so we would have time to tie-dye the shirts. I find it is always helpful for my kids to have an incentive to eat their food. Therefore, I must have said twenty times, “Eat your dinner or we are NOT tie-dying shirts.”
6:00– Threats must have worked because plates are clean and kids are helping me set up the area outside. I told Leah at least 10 times not to shake the dye bottles. Of course, she shook a bottle of dye and squirted it all over herself. Did I mention the dye is permanent?
6:11– Bottles are being shaken, dye is being squirted forcefully from the bottle, and plastic gloves are blowing away down the street.
6:12– I am screaming like a lunatic. No one is listening, except my nosy neighbors who are probably tired of hearing my children’s names.
6:15– All materials have been taken away. I lay down the law once more. I remind the children just how lucky they are to have a mom who lets them tie-dye t-shirts.
6:16– Second chance: Luke asks for some assistance designing his shirt. He has a very elaborate idea, and I know that neither of us have the experience or ability to create it. I tell him we will try our best, but it might not turn out exactly the way he has envisioned it.
6:17– Luke is melting down as his shirt looks nothing like his creative idea. He tells me this was not a good New Experience for him. I’m heartbroken.
6:20– The dying process is done. Kids have just a few dots of dye on their hands, and I tell them I am proud they kept the gloves on. Once they both stand up, I realize I never told them not to kneel on top of the plastic garbage bag holding their t-shirt. All the excess dye has rolled onto their legs. Their knees are tie-dyed. For some reason, Luke’s neck has dye all over it, too.
6:25– Kids are very helpful while cleaning up. I finally read through the tie-dye directions to the end and see that I am supposed to rinse the shirts out and wash them in 6 to 8 hours. Since it will be the middle of the night and I have to work the next day, I decide we’ll have to see what happens if we don’t rinse and wash them for 24 hours.
Two days later– Shirts are rinsed and washed and ready to wear. All the drama from the experience is gone. Both children are beyond excited to wear their creations. Luke loves the way his shirt turned out.
So, while I may never win a Mom of the Year contest and we experienced one tantrum, it was easy to forget about all that when I looked at my children wearing big smiles in their colorful shirts.