It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Making Lemonade

Zach loves his little airplanes. He brings one or two every day, from a collection that must number in the dozens. They are not big and fancy. Most are simple plastic types, many have the look of dollar store items. All have little plastic wheels, many of which do not actually roll.

This is a problem, given that Zach loves, loves, loves to race his little airplanes along the long wall of my dining room. The dining room which is painted some sort of creamy country yellow. No idea of the shade: it’s what was there when we moved in and I liked it enough to let it stay. From the living room to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the living room, Zach zips and zooms those airplanes. Back and forth, forth and back. Bambambambambambambambam go the little feet. (Pitter-patter, my aunt fanny.)

Creamy country yellow and tiny, immobile wheels do not get on well. Last week I took a critical look at that wall and realized it had a dingy grey swath along its length, about 50 cm wide, and a metre or so up off the floor. I tried to take a picture for you, but the flash had the flattering effect of making the dingy wall look clean and bright. Flattering, yet inaccurate. So, no “before” pictures.

“Before”, because there will be an “after” picture. Not because I am going to repaint the wall creamy country yellow, even though the last owners kindly left cans in the basement. Nothing so mundane happens around here! Besides, the threat continues. Zach still brings his little planes, and still loves to pound up and down that wall. I could forbid airplane-driving on the walls. It would even seem reasonable, I’m sure, and yet… This is a small house. It is a long, cold winter. They spend a lot more time indoors than they will in a couple more months. It might be reasonable, but it seems cruel to make him cease such a satisfactory activity.

But what of the wall? Well, if your wall is being used as a road, why not make a road on the wall?

And if you’re going to make a road, why not, oh, a river, and maybe some mountains, and maybe a mountain forest?


Especially if you have cans and cans left over from painting a certain door last August.

Emma puts the finishing touches on the mountaintops.
Stage one, complete. River at the bottom, the brown bit is both beach and road, a forest and majestic, snow-capped mountains.

Tomorrow the tots will get a chance to cobble the road: sponges dipped in grey paint and applied to the top two-thirds of the brown band will produce cobblestones. The rest of the brown is beach. The next day, the road complete, we will blur the too-distinct line between blue river and brown beach with some sponged shrubbery and potato printed cat-tails.

And we will, of course, paint an airplane in the sky.

February 28, 2006 Posted by | crafts, daycare, Zach | 16 Comments