In the mind of a 3 year old, colouring on their body is hysterical. I have no idea why; at least I can’t remember why. Yes I did it too, so my mother says.

It started with Meebs’ fascination with lipstick. Marker is almost like lipstick. Right? Numerous times I’ve found her with pink or purple lips. On several occasions she has used marker to colour her lips. Pretty well applied too, if I do say so. So good in fact that I’m not sure why she can’t stay within the lines in her colouring book.

The other day in the bath I questioned why Meebs’ lips were so red. My little fibber told me it was ketchup. Nice try. With some prodding she admitted what she’d done and that she was fibbing. That’s a whole other ball of wax.

But the incident that brought it all home took place a week ago. Meebs was colouring in the toy room and I was paying bills at my computer; Elsje was asleep in the bedroom. Suddenly Meebs streaked past me into the bathroom. I figured she had to pee. But she didn’t turn the light on and I heard shuffling. I asked her what she was doing and she said “nothing”. When she says nothing, she’s always done something.

So, I went into the bathroom and found her behind the door covered in marker. All over her face, hands and clothes. It was also on the wall and window in the toy room. It was washable marker. I wasn’t worried, but of course I had to teach a lesson and enforce the rule that marker belongs on paper, not on skin or walls. Truthfully, I was trying really hard not to laugh.

I told Meebs I needed to take a picture to show MeebsDad what she’d done, because he would be very upset with her. I told her to show me her hands and this is the pose she struck. How appropriate.

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She looks so forlorn. Repentant. I don’t know if this was enough to curb the urge to treat her flesh like canvas, but she sure understood in the moment that it was not acceptable behaviour.

I dread the day she calls me a hypocrite and asks me about my tattoos. Thank god for washable markers. At least for now, no ink is permanent on Meebs’ beautiful canvas.