A few weeks ago, I had a munchkin camp out and told everyone to bring clothes they could paint in. Only an insane person will set 8 kids lose with red paint– but that is exactly what I did. I tried to give instructions about how to wipe the excess paint on the edge of the can before glopping it everywhere… but I can’t say it was overly successful. What was successful was involving a lot of kids who wanted to be involved, and the chicken run frame got painted (to match the coop) and the kids were thrilled.
As one of the kids told her mom, “We did all of this! Aunt Reenie barely helped at all!” While I don’t agree with the end of that statement, the kids did do most of the painting. One of the kids, in the middle of paint-maggedon said, “Well this is how to get things done! Just have a sleep over!” It was so cute I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’m actually more efficient without all the help. Jane, while painting the underside of the rails on the run said, “This makes me feel like Michael Angelo.” I’ve always said that painting is magical… painting with 11 kids under the age of 11 is magical and then some (in my defense, three of them didn’t have paint brushes but were certainly involved in the project).
It was fun (and very chaotic and horrifically messy) working with the gang and great to have them so invested in the project. I like watching them work together and feel like this is all them (even if I was working in the background to bring some order to the process and building the run as we went along). We also painted my crummy old barn chair because we had the paint out and the kids wanted to paint all the things. Now the girls are planning to paint some kind of design on it — they even had a meeting to plan it. As you know, I have no shortage of chairs and this one was pretty sad to begin with, I’m pretty sure I can take a deep breath and let the girls decorate it to their heart’s content, although I’m not sure I want there to be a “next time” for painting chaos.
Since I was already doing kid shenanigans, I figured we could easily add one more for the morning. So my two year old nephew CK came over the play, he spent a good bit of the time watering the garden (and switching settings on the hose nozzle). Toward the end, he and Benj handed me screws to attach the now painted gate. When we finished, he said “You have another project now?” Always, buddy, there is always another project.
At the end of the project, I’m stapling chicken wire with my nephew. My niece is pounding in the staples, all the kids are waiting for the big chicken release into the run. I said “I’m so excited this is almost done! How great!” Thomas, who originally raised the chicks and is VERY invested in their well being and happiness said with a big grin “Well, I don’t think you’re as excited as me.” True story. He was very very excited (in fact, at 7 am, the first thing he asked was when we were going to work on the chicken run).
As we released the chickens into the new run, all the kids gathered around, thrilled to see how they liked it. “I fink they really like it!!” Yes, yes they do. I asked what was their favorite part about this project, and in unison all of them yelled “THE PAINTING!” Mmm hmm. That was fun, wasn’t it?!