I think I have been underestimating my child.
Last week, I went out on a limb and let Nikolai try painting for the first time. I was super worried it was going to be an awful mess that I was going to regret forever but it was nothing of the kind! Nikolai mostly used the brush, tried really hard to keep in only on the paper and only wiped it on his shirt once ;) Not only that, but he focused on it for more than 20 minutes, which is an eternity in toddler, and when it was time to clean up he didn't make a fuss!
Thanks for proving me wrong, Nikolai, and I'm so happy to be able to do creative projects with you!