Monday, April 17, 2006

Little artist

Saturday night we colored Easter eggs. I had bought a tie-dye egg kit a couple of years ago when my baby sister was really into Scooby Doo, but had never used it. It came with the standard set of coloring pellets and the little wire egg tool, plus an egg-shaped plastic mold , a dropper, and a couple of pieces of fabric. The idea was that instead of (or in addition to) the regular dyeing method, that you would wrap an egg in the fabric and put it in the mold. You then take the dropper and squirt dye through small holes in the plastic mold. The wrinkles in the fabric surrounding the egg would transfer the dye in a sort of tie-dye pattern.

We stripped Charlotte down to her diaper, so that we wouldn't tie-dye her clothes in the process and sat down in the kitchen to try this. First, I tried to have her help put eggs into the coffee cups of color. She doesn't understand "gently" yet, and tried to shove the eggs in, cracking a couple in the process. Next I set up one of the white eggs in the little tie-dye mold and tried to show her how the dropper worked. She took to that immediately. She concentrated very hard and was able to pick up dye with the dropper (a flimsy plastic thing that's smaller than a regular crayon), insert it into the holes (that I'd poked with a screw driver and were barely big enough for the dropper), and squirt the egg. I had to keep rotating the colors in front of her so that she would use a variety of them, and occaisionally turn the egg over so she would dye both sides, but otherwise she did all the work. I had to convince her to stop long enough to take the egg out so that we could see her handiwork--it turned out great! She was thrilled, though it got an extra color wash when she dropped it into one of the color cups on the way to the drying rack.

At one point she had a bad tumble off the counter stools we were sitting on--I'd only turned away for a second and somehow she knocked the thing over backwards. Once she got over the scare (and I was sure she hadn't broken anything), she immediately wanted back up to keep working on the egg. Her daddy took a video of the last egg that she worked on (from the safety of my lap so that she wouldn't tip over again).

Charlotte constantly amazes me. She had better dexterity and concentration than I would have expected from a kid several years older than she is. Charlotte dyed 3 eggs in all, spending a good half an hour carefully squirting dye into little holes. She's only 1.5!!!

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