As usual, it began with a bang! There were tears, there was loud ranting. There were ground teeth. There was a lot of huffing and puffing. There would have been retaliation too, but this time good sense prevailed upon me. And had he clenched his fists any tighter, I am certain his fingers would have come through the other side!
My crime of the day: Cutting the chart paper into the “wrong kind of half”!! “Argggggh!”
Wanted: 'Natural', diagonal half. I dared: 'Silly', rectangular half straight down the middle.
He was right. There is no way, “this can be made right”! And even the stationer was closed for the day, so a quick replacement was out of the question.
This is one of those occasions when it is best to stay very quiet and adopt a reverse conduct – do as told and do as expected (mind read, if that’s what it takes!). So I kept very quiet and hoping that it would appease him a bit, I laid out his colour cards, his paints, his glitter items ... whatever I could find in his desk, really. And then, very cautiously, I looked up.
My little tyrant had turned into a crazy walrus; three straws sticking out of his teeth on either side of his mouth, cheeks still tear-stained.
Of course, I did not dare to react and my smile was stuffed firmly behind my teeth.
“Take this sponge”, walrus ordered.
“Now paint the sides black. No messing anymore!”
(I just got on with it).
“Give me those triangles”.
He stuck five of them – a large one on the bottom centre, two small ones on the left towards the top and two more similar ones symmetrically on the right.
“There! Now hold this. Take one”.
(He pulled the straws off his teeth one by one. I picked a green straw from a choice of green, pink, white and blue).
He patiently rolled shiny paper around another straw and stuck it under a small triangle on the chart.
“See? Now do the rest”.
(Thought blurb:Eureka! Fire rockets! Wow! I got to work immediately!)
“Hmm... hold. Follow me.”
(Red ears. Smile suffocating inside mouth).
Very purposefully, cheeks puffed out, frowning furiously, knowing exactly what he was doing, he dropped blobs of watery paint at strategic points.
There was no stopping him now!
The next quarter hour was a mad, mad, rush. He huffed and he puffed and he blew hot and blew cold. ‘Beserk’ was coined for moments like this.
S P L A S H S P L A S H S P L A S H B L O W B L O W B L Owww
What was unfolding before me was magic! Of course I had to join in this relentless expiration too – this was supposed to be my punishment, see? With every blow, I could feel my lungs collapse within my chest and I was getting more and more light-headed. But stopping now would be suicide. So, I carried on.
Throwing in well-timed, “wow”, “fantastic” and “what a brilliant idea”, every now and again to gain precious breaths, my ‘penance’ was worth every second!
It was chaos, this match of streaming paint and gushing air. But under the very sharp calculations and strict instructions of a super-charged little boy, the madness took on a course of delightful, decisive art. While he pointed his straw a certain way, he blew hard directly from the top.
S p l a s h !
Another guided blow trained the maverick splatter into little runaway veins of colour that immediately took forms of jet-sparks, sparkling geysers, smoke trails and a riot of eye-catching vibrance.
I see, here, a lesson for the experts of mind. ‘Set the noose loose’, says the wise grandma, of errant busybodies whatever the age. ‘Join in the fun’, I say.
Trained anarchy! What a cracker!