Smells Like Free Spirit

My two-year old daughter loves all things art. I’m stocking up on back-to-school sale boxes of Crayola Markers (no RoseArt here – sorry not sorry) since she runs through them so quickly. We don’t break out the paint too often but when we do she is in her absolute happiest place. I am happy to indulge these things regardless of the mess factor because 1. It keeps her entertained 2. Hi, fine motor skills. Nice to work on you.

She already looks like an eccentric artist just making ends eat and living in an apartment with five other people in the East Village.

The thing is, paper no longer seems to suffice. Her body is her canvas now and whatever the medium – magic markers, washable paint, Dab and Dot markers, chalk, etc. – this girl finds a way to put it on her person. Olivia rolls around like a pig in mud whereas my son freaks out if he gets a drop of paint on himself.

At first this self-decoration came as a surprise. I set out some paper, gave her some paints, and went about the business of doing something mundane like unloading the dishwasher, completely fooled into thinking that she’s content to Picasso it up on a piece of paper. Next thing I know I’m surrounded by an eerie silence and look over to see that the palms of her hands are covered in paint as she looks up at me with a “gotcha grin” on her face.

Paint leaves me no choice but to immediately carry her over to the bathroom sink and begin damage control. But with markers, I’ve long since given up trying to wash it off. She covers herself in marker so frequently that it’s not worth the daily battle at 9am. We’ll work it out at bath time. Or not. For something that claims to be washable, that shit really sets into the human skin. A few weeks ago I let her have her “Dot Dot Paints” while I packed up the bag for swim lessons. Once it came time to put her swim suit on I saw that she had given herself bright purple tiger stripes down her legs. I shrugged, put on the suit and sunscreen deciding that the heavily chlorinated pool would have to work its magic. She got a few funny looks from my friends as we strolled in but by the end of that swim lesson that pool had her clean as a whistle.

Recently at my husband’s company picnic she discovered the delight of face painting. I was shocked in the most pleasant way that she sat completely still the entire time. Note, if that had been ME trying to paint her face, well, let’s just say one of us wouldn’t have made it out alive. Olivia loved the process and final product so much so much that she went back for an arm tattoo. If there had been time told me she wanted her other arm, her leg, her other leg, her nose, and her other cheek done. For the lat month it’s all she talks about now and I can’t help but wonder if this means she’s destined to sit in the tattoo parlor chair having a huge sleeve done one day.

Best day of her life. Hands down.

This is such an endearing quirk in a long series of quirks she has. I won’t lie, at times it’s slightly exasperating in a “great, another mess I have to clean up” sort of way. But it’s such a funny showcase of the big personality tucked into that toddler body of hers. I’m sure it’s also very fleeting and will one day turn into one of those stories your parents tell over and over again because they loved it so much. Or forget that they’ve already told it to you, your partner, your friends, etc.

Well, since I’ve run out of words on the matter and a picture can say a thousand of them, here is a photo gallery of Olivia’s recent artistic exploits.

This took a good week to finally fade away.

Showing off her school spirit perhaps? She will totally be one of those fanatical face painters in the stands.

Chalk was a new one for us. I applauded her branching out and trying new things as she sat on our deck in nothing but her underwear and artistic pride.

This particular paint job reminds me of Mel Gibson as William Wallace in “Braveheart”.

Once summer hit Olivia really hit her stride. So much more exposed skin to paint. Oh the possibilities.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s