Bug had a fever last night and it didn’t show any signs of going away. So, I had cancelled all of his fun classes and messy play sessions. He loves Thursdays because of all our activities and I was going to make him stay home and drink fluids all day. I decided to plan a craft around our favorite cat to cheer him up.
To recreate Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes with paints, I was going to tape white paper to the kitchen floor and have the four “stops” setup along the path. A red pan of paint for the strawberries, blue for blueberries, brown for mud and a tray of water to wash it all away. It was going to be wonderful! We could paint our feet in colors and dance our way across the kitchen and into the sunset.
I had everything ready to go for our activity, this morning. When I went to go get Bug (he was snuggling with Daddy on the sofa) he had Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes. Perfect! We colored a sheet of paper blue and cut out cat ears. He liked the idea that they were a cat hat and then we moved on to the main event.And then things went horribly wrong. There were a few things I should have taken into account:
- When Bug is sick (or any kid for that matter) it is not a good idea to try something new. I should have just broken out the play dough and let him attack that with his plastic cookie cutters.
- Bug does not like to get dirty. For weeks when we were outside and his hands got anything on them he’d stare at them in terror, cry out “Oh no!” and then the tears would begin. It took us awhile to teach him to “wipe it off.” Even now he’ll ask me to stop pushing the stroller and remove a leaf that’s been stuck to the wheel. I have to refuse or we’d be stopping every ten feet.
- Bug has extremely sensitive feet. He doesn’t like me to cut his toenails, remove toe jamb, or even tickle his toes. “This Little Piggy” will send him into hysterics.
We put the paint out together and mixed the mud. Bug talked about putting paint on his hands (this was a huge milestone a few weeks ago. Before that he’d use a paintbrush or in a pinch: my hand) and pulled up his pant legs. We wriggled our toes and began talking about stepping in a big pile of strawberries.
That was as far as we got. Bug did NOT want to put his feet in the red paint. He almost cried in horror when I did. I put one of his feet in to see if he would like it (this is how he warms up with finger painting). He cried and tried to climb me like a monkey. Thank goodness we were all wearing painting clothes. We skipped right to the water and Bug very happily cleaned his feet.
My husband then had a very clever idea. He and Bug both have Crocs (those horribly boyant and strange looking shoes) and Crocs can be washed. Bug still did not want to step in the paint, even with Crocs on, so we reenacted the story by walking the toddler-sized Crocs through the paint and across the paper. Bug did help tell the story and direct my husband where to go next. He was also quite pleased to clean the Crocs afterwards.
When it ended everyone was smiling and I was shrugging. Oh well, our best laid plans… We’ll try this again when we’re all feeling 100%.
What you’ll need for Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes Painting Extravaganza!
- A healthy child.
- Red, Blue, Yellow Paint
- 4 trays for water (I used roasting tins and casserole dishes)
- masking tape
- White Paper
- Old towels or rags to clean feet
- Pete the Cat Ears (optional)