Footprints and Memories

When my niece was 4 months old my sister-in-law took some paint prints of her hands and feet and framed the results for a Christmas present for me. I loved this idea and still look at them and reminisce, she’s 13 now and about to start her GCSEs.

When Noah was 1 or 2 weeks old I bought a My BabyLog Printing Kit to enable me to look back and remember how tiny his hands and feet were and perhaps to use one as a tattoo template for the future. Not knowing which paint to use and knowing how blooming messy it would be led me to this purchase.

If you know me at all you’ll know that I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and I’m also the biggest procrastinator the world has ever seen. Combining these two personality traits along with the instructions for use has meant that I have only just (last week) got round to doing it.

The instructions call for:
Preparation… Ok this I can, and did (many times) do.

Once opened it will dry out quickly… Oh, first hurdle, this is a terrifying prospect.

A calm, distracted or sleeping child… Oh, there’s the second hurdle for a perfectionist and perfect excuse for a procrastinator. Now if I had done this when I had intended to do it this would not have been an issue. However the older he has got the less, calm, distracted or sleepy (without being attached to me) he became.

A clean and dry body part… Easy, except when you have a child that is constantly chomping on his fists with over active saliva ducts coupled with having to work fast before the wipe dries out.

A hard surface for the special paper to be secured to… No problem.

The person applying the wipe must NOT touch the paper… On your own this is impossible, and I now know why this is a steadfast rule!!! Perfectionists nightmare, gone is the intended perfect print on a piece of unblemished paper! In fact my fingerprints feature heavily.

Wipe over area being printed, not too much but just enough… Don’t you hate those totally unhelpful instructions?

For footprints hold child’s ankle and press gently and firmly onto the paper then move up and away from paper… Oh my god! Holding a wriggling (he’s gone well past the 5 minute calm & distracted window now having become intrigued in what his crazy mother is doing) ankle is one thing, to hold it onto the paper long enough is another. Remember that secured paper? Not anymore it isn’t despite being anchored on all four corners as he decides to curl and uncurl his toes ridiculously quickly whilst giggling like a maniac and batting at my hands with his drool drenched palms.

Handprints can be tricky (no shit, Sherlock) so it’s best to be carried out when they’re asleep. Roll hand from base of palm to fingertips… There are 2 fundamental issues with this instruction. One, the sleeping part, Noah doesn’t sleep and if he does it’s either in his pram on a walk, attached to me after a feed (not to be moved else risk waking up) or at night in bed! This leads on to two, an intrigued and now overstimulated baby grabbing and clawing at the paper whilst having his palm rolled against the paper.

As with all prints the image will smudge if the paper or body part moves whilst printing… The number one reason as to why I had put this off until now and the number one reason why I do not have my perfect images.

The results were not as I had intended but exactly what I expected, me being me and all:

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All in all this experiment was an epic fail and with my next child (God willing) I SHALL do this when they are tiny. I will! Honestly! Who am I kidding, in future I’ll stick to poster paint then we’re not limited to attempts. Also I’ll force the assistance of his father.

I have reserved one piece of paper and half the wipe (hopefully sealed enough back in it’s wrapper) for another aided attempt, I’ll probably get the courage to try it again in about 5 years!

Has anyone else attempted this? What did you use and at what ages?

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