I was hard at work on an article for FamilyIs.com. My house was peaceful for a change, my oldest two were at school, and my youngest was in the other room pursuing one of his favorite activities, drawing pictures. I worked hard on what I wanted to say, sipping coffee between typing bouts and just generally enjoyed the morning. My work was going well, the house was fairly tidy, and no one was suffering from a cold or flu.
It was at this moment of peace that I heard a little voice at my elbow, “Mommy, look!” A pudgy little three year old hand was held up revealing his name printed legibly in washable (thank goodness!) marker, on the back of his hand. He spelled out his name to me, pointing to each letter as he said it. Then he proceeded to show me the quality of his penmanship on the back of his other hand.
Turning away from my computer only made it worse. His name was scribed all over his hands, arms and legs…and he even attempted to print it on his face, though lacking the ability to actually SEE what he was doing, it was merely disjointed scribbles.
I was torn. On the one hand, he is 3 years old. He printed his name, about 15 times in all, perfectly legibly. Being that his older siblings had to go to occupational therapy in kindergarten to learn how to hold a pencil correctly, this was something to celebrate. On the other hand, shouldn’t I be upset with him for using his body as a canvas?
I chose the former. Praised him on his penmanship, checking over the printing together to pick out the best sample of his name. Then I took a picture for posterity and plopped him in a tub full of warm water and bubbles.
For Christmas I think I’m going to invest in soap based markers to use in the tub!