This was, I admit, where I gave to toddler gods, that my own children were grown and gone.
Ashley called with this quite unique question, because her two younger kids, ages four and two, were not napping like she had thought. Instead they had decided to get out the nail polish and treat each other to mani/pedi’s. The four year old understood the idea of where polish was supposed to go, so he managed to get tint on mostly toes and fingers. The two year old opted for a more free-style method which is why she ended up with sparkled polish glued to her scalp. They both had polish on legs, arms faces. The little one had belly swatches of color.
This wasn’t the first time I’d received a phone call from this particular parent. When her oldest was a toddler, she loved make-up, always wanting one of us to put on eye-shadow or a little lip gloss. I had once made the mistake of leaving my make-up case on my desk, where I was in the habit of checking email while preparing for work.
A few hours, I got that call. “Mom? How much did you like that lipstick in the silver tube? Ashley asked.
“What did she do?” Already knowing my adorable granddaughter was involved somehow. She was the little darling who’d pulled over a potted plant while in her walker and had delighted in spreading potting soil all over my living room.
She looked so proud of herself.
It is something how little ones can make such terrific messes while unsuspecting parents think they are sleeping, or when Mommy or Daddy has to take five minutes to pee, let out the dog, or take supper out of the stove. Their ability to create messes of epic proportions in short amounts of time is amazing considering that they’ve often not yet mastered toilet training, or complete sentences.
A friend once came home to a couple of smurfs. In her husband’s defense, weak as it was, he’d put the children to bed, and then gone there himself. He hadn’t thought to check if they were actually asleep first. So when my friend came home, her two youngest, one still in diapers, had gotten up, found a blue permanent marker and proceeded to take turns using each other as a canvas.
When I did hair, I saw a small but steady stream of children who decided at the early ages of five and under that being a hairdresser was the career for them, with expected results. Even my own kids went through their own “hairstyling phases”. The most creative example was a little boy, about three who’d managed to climb up onto the bathroom counter, access daddy’s electric razor and shave all his little brother’s hair off. His mom caught him halfway through his own hair.
Thankfully little artists grow up and learn art doesn’t cause shrieks of dismay from surprised parents, and they move on to mediums that turn refrigerator doors into pint sized art galleries. Until then parents, and grandparents will be making phone calls or searching Google to help them find ways to undo what their children have just considered art.