Painting Lessons

Finger Painting

It seems like lately every time I ask my three-year-old what she wants to do, her reply is, “Let’s paint!” Today was no exception. First we tried out finger paints. She was OK with dipping her fingers into the pots and dabbing the paint onto the paper. However, when I suggested she put paint on her whole hand to make a hand print, she looked at me like I was crazy. “Why don’t you put paint on my hahand printnd,” I suggested. She was quick to comply. It was an eye-opening experience for me. I felt vulnerable as I waited for her to place the paint on my hand. The paint was cold, and it tickled when my daughter brushed her finger across my hand. I shared my reactions with my daughter. After I made my hand print I asked her, “Do you want me to put paint on your hand now?” She smiled at me and nodded her head. We made a couple of hand prints and then we were both ready to wash up.

An hour or so later, the paints were pulled out again – this time with a paint brush. I set everything up and then sat down to do some work on the computer. My daughter painted for a few seconds and then called me over. “I need help, Mom!” I helped her with the requested task and then went back to my work on the computer. A few minutes later, she “needed” help again. It dawned on me she really wasn’t asking for help, she was asking for my undivided attention. I sat down and for the next few minutes we painted together – first she painted, then she told me what to paint.

It is now mid afternoon. My daughter has a splotch of red paint on her elbow, various colors of paint splattered on her shirt, and a red stripe on her cheek. Our masterpieces are drying on the table.

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