Without wanting to sound like Mrs Smug of Smug Avenue, Smugville, I have been a pretty good parent today. A has been slightly tired and emotional all day - still recovering from Saturday's sleepover shenanigans and post-birthday blues. C has been a little poppet, however, as if to offset his sister's sullen growling.
This morning after a hearty breakfast of porridge, we all went out for a run/scooter ride in the fresh air. C and I fully appreciated the fresh air. A whinged the whole way round. When we got back, after lunch, a couple of Storyteller tapes and a couple of recorded episodes of the current favourite TV prog Jungle Run, I went downstairs and took out The Usborne Big Colouring Book. If I ever suggest to the kids that they do some colouring in, they look at me as though I have suggested they run around the park naked. "Why would I want to do that?" their expressions enquire. However, if I get said colouring book off the shelf and start colouring in myself, it is suddenly the best thing to do ever. The minute I leave, however, the colouring book has to go away, or else anarchy breaks out. Clearly, they just like sitting doing colouring with Mummy. Which is fine by me.
Today we coloured for an hour and a half. During this time I taught them the Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain method of remembering the colours of the rainbow, and we discussed the merits and demerits of Crayola colouring pens. We also discussed what colours we were going to use for that snail, this elephant or the big robot with the lightning flash. We even skipped a page today - this kind of anarchy is usually unheard of, but it is half-term.
We like this colouring book. It's slightly in the style The Anti-Colouring Book by Susan Striker and Edward Kimmel. This book is a great concept. The pages are left for the colourer to complete and then colour, making it more of a creative exercise than the traditional colouring book. The Usborne book takes elements from this, but there is still a lot to colour for those who prefer their colouring old-school. There are also blocks of colour ready-done, which helps out the young colourer when their hands get tired.