Monday, June 25, 2012

The Joy of Chalk

So I bought some sidewalk chalk. Images of happy children, entertaining themselves for hours, creating original, whimsical works of art, danced in my head.

Problem #1: We have no sidewalk.

The children stared at the box of chalk, their initial excitement at Something New having worn off. "Where can we use this?" they legitimately wanted to know.

Well, Daddy's parking spot is generally empty during daylight hours. However, like Yosef's pit, the parking spot may be empty of car, but it is full of dirt and dead bugs (the little black ones.) So I vetoed that idea, images of children squatting in dirt and bugs dancing somewhat less enthusiastically in my head.

Okay, so Mommy could park her car on the street, and the children could color in her spot. But Mommy's spot is not covered. With the weather lately reminiscent of an oven turned on, full blast, in Hell, Mommy vetoed that idea as well, not wanting her children to get heatstroke. Honestly, she is too tired and hot to take anyone to Terem.

So that left the mirpeset. Although the mirpeset is tiled, and thus not the ideal surface for chalk, they actually did a fairly good job creating original, whimsical works of art on Friday afternoon.

Problem #2: Creating original, whimsical works of art grows old quickly.

Yesterday, the children and a friend discovered that you don't only have to color with chalk. If you bang the chalk really hard on the mirpeset, it breaks and creates chalk dust! Then, you can scoop up the dust and rub it all over your arms and legs! In fact, this dust is so precious that the children gathered it into a container to save for another day.

Problem #3: Nadav will find the container on a day I'm wearing a black skirt, dump out the chalk dust and annoint himself with it.

When I pick him up to take him to Ariella's gymnastics show at school, he will rub his legs--really grinding those shoes--into my skirt, making it look like I'm the one who rolled around in chalk dust, and I will grab the nearest damp dishtowel (so recently used to wipe yogurt and snot off Nadav's face) in a wild, pathetic, and okay, failed, attempt to make myself look somewhat presentable. Then I will wonder--not for the first time--why, in fact, do I own any articles of clothing that aren't dust-colored??


OneTiredEma said...

We used to chalk all the time in NYC, but we quit that here--mostly because the works of art have the potential to stick around for 6 months! It really feels like sidewalk graffiti instead of temporary art.
Also used to do all sorts of water play. Back when summer was fun for everyone.

Rachel said...

So, um, problem #2? Your children didn't actually "discover" that phenomenon. I have reason to believe they were tipped off by someone else's children whose mom bought them chalk and sent them down to the courtyard w a good friend of theirs. Down to the packaging the powder "for another day".

Kathleen said...

Apparently chalk adventures are pretty much universal. Except we do have a small cement porch area. And I no longer pick up and carry any of my children unless I absolutely have to.

also if I may hijack your blog to comment to MOMZ- I love your take on living life in Israel as a new olim and enjoy reading your blog. Both you and Gila have a great sense of humor!