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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Katie, the trouble-brewer

Alright, I never thought I'd have to make this reverse decision, but, as of this weekend, Ana's painting privileges are suspended briefly. And, it is all thanks to the trouble-brewer Katie.

Ever since we've been reading Fly Away Katie by Polly Dunbar, say about a month now, Ana seems to want to emulate Katie a lot.

Ana lays horizontally on the dining chair with arms stretched forward and legs straight out back, à la Superman, gleefully exclaiming "Fly Away Ana!" - very similar to the illustration in the book where Katie flies into the picture.

Observant little girl that she is, she notes that Katie doesn't wear diapers. How does she know that? Well, Katie discards all her articles of clothing before getting into the bath tub in the last page, and she does not discard her diapers.

Indeed, in this simple, cute book, little girl Katie feels gray, and decides to cheer herself up by progressively adding colorful accessories and clothing till she feel brighter and happier - she puts on a bright green hat, yellow tights, pink dress, blue shoes and so on...

But she doesn't stop there. For if she did, I wouldn't have had to impose this ridiculous ban at home for Ana.

Katie goes on to paint her lips a shiny shiny red, her face blue like her shoes, her arms with orange stripes and her fingertips purple! Yep! And then she waits for the paint to dry. Somehow, while waiting for the paint to dry, she magically feels a fluttering and escapes into a bright picture on her wall filled with exotic colorful birds, with whom she spends her time until she has to get back for her bath.

A-ha! Now you see, don't you? Yep, Ana started asking for more paints and started painting her face and arms and fingers with the finger-painting paints I let her use for her "art work", repeating the lines from Fly Away Katie.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I found it charming at first. D and I laughed about it, perhaps unwisely, for I think that encouraged her somehow. She started getting downright ornery about it when I asked her to resist getting herself and her clothes messier than usual, with the logical, "Don't waste the paint, Ana"...

Now, I am not terribly finicky. Clothes are washable, and so is Ana. And thankfully, finger-painting paints don't stain, and wipe off without a trace. And, am not too picky about letting Ana run around blue and purple all through the weekend and give her a good scrub before starting the work week.

But, at the rate of about 10$ (or more, depending on which store you go to) for a 4-pack 5 fl.oz tube, these paints are not priced to be indulged in, at least, not in my budget anyway...

Of course, a ban, even if temporary, is meaningless against a willful toddler's incessant screams and deliciously sweet implorations punctuated with desperate pleases...

So, I did the only thing an artful mommy can do: I hid the paints and unabashedly claimed "all gone, no more paints Ana", and helpfully suggested, "use your crayons, honey pot". And, promptly and surreptitiously returned Fly Away Katie to the library opting to feign ignorance when it comes up at bedtime with a "I don't know Ana... where did you put the book? We'll look for it in the morning OK?".

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At 7:32 AM, Blogger Playing by the book said...

What a lovely story of yours to read about - I see I got off lightly with my girls and this book!


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