I love, love, love to watch Ollie and Max paint. It's maximum cuteness watching Max copy his big brother and hearing Ollie ask for the green paint first - every time. That said, I can't wait until Max is less inclined to paint the inside of his mouth. I know he's just exploring and I'm not expecting him to even paint on paper (although he gives it a good shot), but I draw the line at eating paint. At the moment, whenever I get the paints out (or the playdough, crayons, chalk, pens etc) I have to watch Max constantly at the expense of interaction with Ollie.
So, when Max was asleep this afternoon and Ollie said 'want to do some painting', we did just that. We made colours (orange and pink), did splodging (I had to say 'splodge' every time he splodged), we did finger painting (with blue and green, of course), and then we had the most fun of all, playing with a basin of warm, soapy water.
It was really enjoyable one-on-one interaction with Ollie that is rare these days. It's great to do stuff with both boys and they are good kids that truly love each other's company, but when it's just me and Ollie (or me and Max), it's a different kind of communication. There's no jealousy, arguing, throwing around of toys, or even noise. It's mostly quiet, interactive, gentle play and that thankfully reminds me that perhaps I do have the patience for this whole parenting thing... I just need to realise it more often.