12 July 2006

Turtle and the Hair

Walking around the corner I found my child had taken it upon herself in the spirit of Warhol to become a canvas for her next masterpiece. It's not all that uncommon. Artists have done some amazing and odd things throughout history; Van Gogh cut off his ear, Dali painted his dreams and Ellie painted herself a gorgeous color of grassy green. I mean really green.

Chubby three-year old fingers gripped the washable marker with exuberance as she worked on filling in every square inch of her flesh-colored leg with marker. The tummy, arms and chest had already been properly patinaed. Even her crayola hair highlights reminded me of an Oopma Loompa wig. She looked so proud of herself. Nothing would stop her now. Except Mama.

I cried out, "OH! ELLIE!," startled at my Jolly Green toddler.

I composed myself.........6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Can't I step away for a minute to put away laundry?!! I should have been watching her closer. Who knew that a toddler could get through a bedroom deadbolt, two childproof gates and four tons of barb wire?

A dumb question ensues, "Oh, honey, what are you doing?" I asked. Perhaps she was drawing on herself? Duh.

"Cow-werling," she replied matter-of-fact with a sweet toothy grin.

"What did Mama say about coloring?" I inquired with a frown, "Now I am taking away your colors today. Mama told you. "

"Color. On. Paper."

I enuciated each word hoping that this was sinking in. I joke with people my hallway is her canvas, I hang my photos and pictures on the top half and she scribbles on the bottom half.

Her little toddler features drooped. Her brow wrinkled with sadness as she protested, "But MAMA! I wanted to be a 'tu-doe'.

Well, for all intents and purposes she looked like a turtle. I have to look at the bright side. It was washable even though I still can't get rid of her green belly button. I am just thankful she didn't find the Sharpies.

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe