This morning, I tried to introduce the boy to the joys of art via finger painting. I started by telling him we were going to do something new and fun, "YEAH!" I brought him into the kitchen, set him up in his booster seat, taped paper to the table, and squirted the paint (which he was certain was lotion) onto a little plate. We named each color as they came out, red, blue, green, and yellow. Then, I showed him what he needed to do to make marks on the paper, namely putting his finger into the paint and smearing it around.
He gave me a look that seemed to say Woman, have you LOST your ever-lovin' mind? Ain't no way I'm sticking my hand in that! As a toddler with limited vocabulary, he chose the most succinct way of getting his message across: "Messy." I explained that yes, it was messy, but that we could clean him up when he was all done and it would be fine. He informed me, again in the most succinct way possible that he wasn't interested: "Down."
Positive that he just needed a little urging (I should have known better - this was the child who had to be coaxed into smashing his own cake at his birthday party and even then only managed a vague half-hearted, single-handed squishing), I took his fingers and put them in the paint, and then on the paper. Okay, maybe this isn't so bad, Momma...I'll give it a shot for a minute. "Yeah!" He got a tiny bit of paint and smeared it on the bottom corner, then he got a little more and rubbed it farther up. Alright. I tried it. I don't like it. Can I go play with something else now? "All done."
Not one to admit defeat easily, I tried mashing his hand into the paint colors and then making handprints on the paper. He indulged me for a moment. Okay, I let you have your fun. Now clean my damn hands off and let me go do something else. "Messy. All done!"
Okay bud. All done.