The Old Red and White
Tomorrow is Canada Day, the 138th anniversary of Confederation, and (praise be!) a national day off. Today we are making flags in honour of the event. For those of you who haven't seen this daycare-nursery school-and kindergarten staple craft, it's blessedly simple: Take a rectangular sheet of white paper and paint a strip of red along the short ends. Then cover the child's hand in red paint, either by using a paint-saturated sponge made of a few layers of paper towels, or, my preferred method, simply painting the little palm. The hand is pressed onto the white space between the two red stripes, and, Voilà! You have a pretty decent impersonation of the Canadian flag, with your child's handprint as the maple leaf. Cute, no? Anyway, we produced quite a few of these today, one for each of the six children here, and a few extra to decorate my front porch. Zach was particularly enthusiastic about this craft, and gleefully made half dozen on his own. I assisted in the stripes on either side, and then he would slam his hand with great emphasis onto the middle of the flag. Such fun! After we were done, I took the flags out to pin them to my porch until the parents come. Foolish me, I left the paint on the table while I did this. In my own defense, there were several older children in the house, three of whom are teens. I should know better. Teens, when involved in their own activities, are every bit as oblivious to their surroundings as toddlers. Thus, when I return, a laughing Zach greets me at the door, his dancing green eyes nicely set off by the daubs of red paint decorating his cheeks, chin, nose, and upper lip. "Mahwee! I paintin'!" He holds his hands up to me, intending to show me the paint brush he's waving, but also calling my attention to the great ruby swathes sweeping down both arms. He's a festival of red and white. Oh, well. At least he's patriotic.