Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lesson #18: Never Look Away When Paint is Involved

My 3 1/2 year old wanted to paint the other night. I know, some of you are cringing already, but having worked in early childhood education, I'm not phased by the uber mess that accompanies such projects, so out came the paints. The really messy ones too, not water colors. I have to admit, mess tolerant as I am, I did begin to question all the projects I've had him do that involved handprints when he painted both hands and said, "Look, I'm making handprints for you!" Little did I know this would soon be the least of my worries.

Our kitchen has a room directly off it that isn't really big enough for a dining room and has a closet in it so we use it as a nursery. My little artist was happily creating all sorts of masterpieces at the kitchen table, and the baby was crawling around the kitchen checking things out. Since I could see them from the nursery I thought it was safe to step in there to make a quick call to my husband to ask him a question. (You seasoned parenting vets are laughing at me already.) I sat in the rocking chair, which faces the kitchen so I could see the baby be-boppin' around, but (here comes the fatal error) I didn't have a visual on the table where my little Van Gogh was going to town with the Crayola Washables.

I was just finishing up with hubby when I heard Mr. Artiste say, "Hey, I'll paint you too!" What I should have done was go flying out of the chair into the kitchen to investigate. What I did instead was call out "What did you say?" (I know, that one should go in the Dumb Moments in Parenting Hall of Fame.) He came running into the nursery saying excitedly, "Look mom, I'm a cool dude with my face paint!" Yep. He sure was. Both cheeks completely covered in red and blue paint. Before I could even comment he informed me that he'd painted his brother too. Sure enough, the baby came crawling in, grinning ear to ear, with paint on his cheek, arm, leg and a big ole glob right on the top of his head.

I did what any parent would do: I took pictures.

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