Last weekend the kids came over with their stepsiblings. I’d promised my daughter that she and her stepsister could have a sleepover here. (One of the things I’m trying to do is build a strong relationship with my kids’ stepfamily. My stepsister has been a huge influence on my life.) Anyway. So I decided to do tie-dye with them, and I roped Kealoha into helping. Now, I like to think of myself as a crafty person. After all, my mom taught me how to weave (not jut potholders but on a 1970s wooden LOOM), dye Ukrainian eggs, tin punch, make paper from scratch, and basically create an entire house from popsicle sticks. (I ate A LOT of popsicles growing up.) So I thought tie-dyeing would be easy. A piece of cake.
What was I thinking? My cheap little project ended up costing me almost a hundred dollars. I bought a kit to make it "easier". It came with a tube and cute little dye bottles. I thought “Great! No mixing! No children dyeing their faces purple.”
What I didn’t realize was that I had to mix the dyes before putting them in the tiny squeeze bottles, and I had to start the project 48 hours in advance and use some kind of ‘fixing solution’ which sounded mighty dangerous, and the tube just created a huge mess. Total fail. I went back to the craft store.
I bought another kit with pre-mixed dyes and no fixing solution. Kealoha and I covered our backyard porch with plastic, donned surgical gloves and tried to figure out how the hell to put rubber bands around the shirts and then do you dye them wet or dry and then how does the dye get on there without the kids turning colors. It was a mess.
I’d also bought two kits. One had army camouflage colors and since my son is into that right now, I got that for him. The other had pink, purple and light blue which I knew my daughter would love. As we were choosing colors I grabbed the army ones and my son said “What about the others?” And I said “Oh, you don’t want the pink one, do you?” I didn’t even think. I just spoke. My mind was like “Pink isn’t really good camouflage.” And you know what my 7 year old said? “Ma, yeah, I’m not really into that whole boy/girl color thing. I like pink. There’s nothing wrong with pink.” Proud mama right here.
Kealoha looked kinda shell-shocked as we ‘guided’ the kids to squirting colors on the shirts. “What made you think two geeks could conquer this?” he asked me. I think I’d been drinking wine at the time I decided this.
Still. We managed to create four shirts that looked pretty cool. And the kids only dyed their hands which, if anything, just meant they couldn’t vote in the next election or something, so I thought we were in pretty good shape.
The girls stayed over. Had a great time. I cooked them homemade crepes with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. When I dropped them back off at their dad’s house, my daughter hugged me and ran inside, her stepsister followed, then turned back and gave me a big old warm wave and smile. It was a good weekend.