The Little Painted Indian

bekah Parenting 3 Comments

I’d like to share a little story with you.

If you just got to the office, pull your chair up close, pour a second cup of coffee and try not to spit on the screen as you read.

If you’re at home, first off please tell me you’re still in your pj’s -ahem, workout clothes– cleaning Multi-grain cheerios off the kitchen table, floor, living room… and how in the world did they get in the bathroom? and secondly, that, you too, are chasing your child down the hall to wrestle them out of footed pajamas and into something decent like a tutu or batman shirt. If so, let’s pause for a brief moment as I reinforce that your day is going to be a heck of a lot better than mine was recently.

And so the story goes…

Once upon a time, in the Pogue Cottage, a little boy was napping in his new bunk bed, no doubt dreaming of food mountains- pizza, raisins, yogurt and “cuties.” In his dream, time is but a myth, therefore, the little boy never had to pause in-between meals or snacks. Life was a continuous feast, meant to be savored with fist-to-mouth flavors, one bite after another.

As all dreams must end, the little boy stirred, woke, groggy but content, believing his belly was indeed full after such a vivid sleep.

His mama, down the hall, played Memory Game with his older brother. The brother who never dreamed of eating, but of fighting ninjas and throwing footballs and baseballs. Together they heard the raised voice of little brother, knocking from the bedroom side of the door, announcing, “I’m up!”

The mama’s footsteps approached the door. She turned the knob to the right…

Imagine, if you will, the sound that accompanies horror film scenes when people are being stabbed: Eee,!Eee,!Eee!

And imagine, as you swing wide that door, you are met- not with blood- but with the sight of a two year old covered from head to toe in POOP. {This is the part of the story where I interject to tell you that whatever you are imagining, doesn’t even come close to what that poor mama witnessed.}

Steps from the room entrance, the little man stood. He was an indian warrior, face painted for the hunt. Earth colored brown streaked his cheeks and forehead, it pulled at his curls causing them to stand straight up and out! Clay like brownie dough wrapped around his fingers and palms, his wrists, and up to his elbows. Looking down, his mama saw smeared shorts, back and forth patterns on the front, and when he turned, shirt lifted, the brownie dough spackled waist to mid-back and back down shorts.

Staring at the spawn of the Lock Ness monster didn’t do the scene justice. The boy was a hand-dipped fudge bar! The mama made the most logical move. She closed her eyes and ‘Out of This World’ Evie’d the scene to a pause {please tell me you loved that show as much as I did} Surely when her eyes opened, the crime scene would be absolved.

But no! Eyes reopen and slits focus. NO! Noooooooo!

The little painter had not only expressed his creativity on his body, but on specific areas in the shared boy cave.

On the blinds. Every. Single. Slat. As if he’d been rubbing piano strings, polishing them to perfection. Over and under, one blind, then two, the entire bottom right half of the window covering was a painted fiasco.

She looked down at the indian warrior, his blue eyes sparkling. A million thoughts swirled. Should she punish? Scream in fright? Double over on the floor and belly laugh ’til she could no longer breathe? Words she didn’t hear escaped her throat: Oh.My.What.In.The.World?Oh.My.Goodness.Oh.Gosh.Oh.My.Oh.My.Ohhhhhhhhh!!!

“Where else?, “she inquired? “Where else did you touch?”

Like a painter at his first canvas, the boy grabbed her hand {this is where you spit on the screen or laugh in relief it wasn’t you} eager to show his work.

Finger pointed, he gestured at table, brown smears along the edges, underneath, handprinting the back of chairs, and every coloring book that rested atop the work space. Skinny lines faded heavy then thick from one wall corner to the next. Surprises at every turn. Big. Stinky. Poopy surprises.

And then she saw the back of the door. A mud-hue rainbow arched bold against the white background. Brown clouds dotted the blank canvas, focusing on the round knob, evidence of a full hand turning circles, circles, circles.

“And there,” he nodded. “I touched the fishy!”

No! Her eyes zoomed to Captain Joe’s tank. Perched atop the boy’s dresser, sat the beta’s fish hotel.

A smile showed cracks in painted cheeks. “I touched the fishy.” To the mama’s horror, she saw, that yes indeed, her little warrior had pulled a blue chair up to the dresser, eyed pure water in Captain Joe’s home, and attempted to wash the evidence from his hands. Poor, poor Captain Joe.

Dear reader, this is the climax of the story that involves a lot of shrieking, disrobing and sanitizing. Into shower, under streams of pressured water went painted indian boy, the drain drinking down war paint and revealing a sheepish two year old. The fear of a shower was his due punishment.

How could his mama not appreciate his poop art? Why the screams and shrieks? Why the need for an hour under the warm shower head?

Pink skin returned, a wet boy dried and dressed. He emerged from the bathroom humbled but satisfied for he had painted his first piece. Created art on the canvas of his room. Stern words had been spoken. Apologies were given. But the mama knew. This was a warrior boy who would find ways to paint. It was her gift to point him towards tubes and crayons, brushes and outside easels.

The Pogue Cottage returned to mild normalcy. No doubt one room now cleaner than it had ever been before; disinfected and wiped, vacuumed and sprayed. One could lick ice cream off the blinds and sleep next to Captain Joe’s tank.

The mama snuggled her little boy under into her- her painted indian warrior.

Dream, she whispered. Paint. Get messy and explore. But please, adventurous boy, please just don’t do it with poop!

The End.

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