It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Why I Paint

By Nigel, age 2.
The Original Perfect Post Awards – March ‘07
Today Mary gave us paint! One paintbrush each, and lots of green paint. Green is a pretty colour. Mary says that soon there will be stuff called “grass” and “leaves” outside and they will be green. I’m not so sure about that. Everyone knows outside is only white and gray. Sheesh.

I love to paint. It’s just so interesting. You hold the paintbrush – by the hard wooden end, not the bendy pokey end. You dip it in the paint – the bendy pokey end, not the hard wooden end. The bendy end picks up the paint. If you take too much, it drips on the table. If you don’t get enough, you don’t get any green on the paper. It’s tricky. Takes a lot of concentration.

But if you get just the right much of paint? Then you rub it on the paper – the wet, painty end. And it makes marks! All over the paper!

If this is interesting enough, you might decide to take a closer look at the wet, painty end of the brush. But be careful, or – OW. Maybe you’ll paint yourself right in the eye. This is not so much fun! Good thing Mary is there to wash it off. But only the stuff right in your eye. The rest can come off at bathtime tonight. Mary said so.

If you’re careful and look at the wet painty end right, you’ll only paint your right cheek and fill your ear with green paint. That doesn’t hurt at all!! It’s okay, Mary, that paint in my ear? It doesn’t bother me at all! Mary? Mary, you can STOP NOW! (Dripping on my shirt? But it doesn’t hurt! Can’t that come off at bathtime, too?)

And if it looks so good, I wonder what it tastes like?? Ugh. Not so good. No, it’s okay, Mary! I’m not going to do that again. I promise. You don’t need to wash my mouth. I said, you don’t need to! Stick out my tongue? What? So you can wipe it with that? I think not.

When you rub the wet painty end onto the paper, back and forth and back and forth. If you’re patient, you can make a hole right through the paper!!

Or you can poke the wet painty bit straight down onto the paper, and if you poke it hard enough, it makes green raindrops!

Or, you can get the bristly end really, really wet with paint, and then bang it on the edge of the table. More raindrops!

Or wave it around above your head. If the brush moves fast enough, you can make even more raindrops!

If you move the brush really, really fast? The raindrops will hit the wall!!!

If you fill up your paintbrush enough times, your painting will actually drip when Mary hangs it up!

Oh, look! There’s my mommy! Mommy, mommy, look at my painting! Pardon? “What did I make?” Pfft. Adults. So clueless. With all that fun going on, who needs to worry about making anything?

March 20, 2007 - Posted by | crafts, Developmental stuff


  1. Lovely. You have definitely found your calling. You, Mary, not Nigel. Or maybe he has too, but we’ll just have to wait to find out. 🙂

    Comment by addofio | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  2. This is why I only allow painting in the garden.


    That’s what day care is for;-)

    LMD was given some glitter once at one of the playgroups. She did EXACTLy the same as Nugel did wth the paint. Have you ever TRIED to get glitter out of a wriggling 1 year old’s mouth? Or off the ceiling? Although the carpet looked pretty for a good few weeks:-)

    Comment by juggling mother | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  3. Oh, I love it! I was right there with Nigel. I even tasted the paint (yuck!).

    Great post!

    Comment by Matthew | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  4. But paint is tasty…

    Comment by z | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  5. Addofio: My calling is blogging? Or pretending to be a two-year-old? (Oh, and thank you.) 🙂

    Juggling Mother: “That’s what day care is for.” Indeed. One can’t be too house-proud in this business. But glitter? Even I don’t do glitter. Well, only outdoors. In a park. Far from my house.

    Matthew: You must’ve really liked it, if you were right there with the boy, because he was having a whale of a time!!

    Z: It’s not the flavour that bothers me, so much as the texture…

    Comment by MaryP | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  6. That was a bit vague, wasn’t it? I think I meant working with toddlers–you really get inside their heads and understande them. To say nothing of the fortitude to allow such messy exploration. And the perspective to enjoy it all. Telling us about it on the blog–which you do very well–is a bonus for us.

    Comment by addofio | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  7. I love the inside of your head, Mary P.

    Comment by Jen | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  8. the perils of paint.

    I have switched to bingo daubers for my temporarily paint-brush-challenged 18mth olds. No drips.

    “That’s what day care is for” appears to be a popular opinion I’m afraid.

    Not only for paint though – hey mary please, please do a post on what day care is for…

    Comment by Karyn | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  9. Addofio: Well, thank you.

    Jen: MY head? This was supposed to be Nigel’s. Nuts.

    Karyn: Bingo dabbers? Oh, what a good idea! “What day care is for” is also a good idea, but will require thought. I’m mulling it over, though…

    Comment by MaryP | March 22, 2007 | Reply

  10. I love the insight into a 2 year old. I had to read it to my hubby so he’ll know what we’re in for.
    I can’t wait till Jeffrey’s ready to paint. And of course he’ll eat it, he eats everything else….sigh.

    Comment by Dani | March 22, 2007 | Reply

  11. Perfect commentary for Nigel! I love your approach for writing this.

    Laurel had her first experience with paint on Tuesday. She absolutely loved it, got it everywhere (table and face) except on the paper. Too bad I didn’t have a camera handy.

    Comment by mamacita tina | March 23, 2007 | Reply

  12. […] Dooce explains why a family bed wouldn’t work for her family. (This link is so funny I cried.) Stephanie teaches her daughter about real life messages. Misfit Hausfrau learns about mermaid breasts. Nigel explains why he paints. […]

    Pingback by Bad Mommy Days « Red Pen Mama | March 23, 2007 | Reply

  13. […] is why I found Mary’s post “Why I paint” such a great post. It paints a perfect picture (pun intended) of how a two-year-old toddler thinks […]

    Pingback by Childs Play x2 — Because having one just wasn’t enough. » Perfect Post | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  14. Thanks for your wisdom. Let’s hope Mommies wake up and smell the coffee, to quote another wise woman.

    Comment by Grandmother | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  15. That was fantastic. Now I can plan ahead when my son wants to paint.

    Comment by ThePapaDog | April 2, 2007 | Reply

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