Well, that didn't really go quite as I'd imagined.
Two rather big disappointments, actually.
You see, recently we visited a local outdoor shopping center for what sounded like a super fun event.
Inflatables, games, and the ever popular, ever alluring face painting. What could be better? Sunshine, fun, and paint on your skin which doesn't get you in trouble?!
I had some excited girls, to say the least.
So off we went to Bridge Street, happily discovering a very close parking spot and holding hands and remarking about what a beautiful day it was to be alive. The birds were singing, the sky was a crisp blue, and the spring grass was a lovely shade of green.
It's moments like these that get mothers in trouble, I thought to myself. The loveliness of the moment was just sweet. I (almost) wished I had another chubby cheeked, brown-eyed baby to push along in the stroller with us.
Must be all that spring pollen in the air messing with my mind. I shook my head a little and resumed my presence in reality.
If you've ever been in a face painting line, you are aware that you can sometimes be in for an extremely long wait. In keeping with our lovely afternoon, there was only one small boy in front of us and Skittles the clown was already busy working on his face.
You'd think it would be fairly quick, right? What do boys care about how things look, after all?
This kid apparently was a Picasso in the making. He scrutinized each and every brush stroke poor Skittles made, testing her actual clown college graduate skills and asking to look in the little handheld mirror nearly constantly.
For the love of mike, I thought. How complicated is it to paint a kid's face red and put a few black lines on it for spiderman? I later heard from Skittles that this delightful lad had already had his face painted once that afternoon. This was his second time around because he didn't like the job she did on him as batman.
The woes of a clown are are often missed, I thought.
Finally, we were next!
My youngest eagerly stepped up (having been repeatedly assured that Skittles was not one of those creepy, freak you out kind of clowns that doesn't talk but just smiles eerily at you). She had already made up her mind that she wanted to be transformed into that famous cat, Hello Kitty.
(which while I'm on the subject, is it weird to anyone else that Hello Kitty is all the rage now again among little girls? That cat has got to have used up its nine lives by now! It's like thirty years old!)
She was quite pleased with the results. Skittles was just happy to have a three-year-old who didn't understand the finer points of shadowing and shading and demand she start over.
Next, my eight-year-old was up for her turn. It had been a very big decision. After all, Skittles was proudly displaying a poster with about fifty different choices!
I was personally pulling for the dragonfly, because that would've been an interesting one to pull off.
She decided on the unicorn, but at the last second she stopped Skittles' first stroke in mid-air and said, "STOP! I changed my mind! Make me a Smurf!"
A Smurf, huh? Well, I can't say I blame her. After all, who wouldn't want to be the only female in an entire community of men who adored you and would do anything for you? Serve your every whim? AND each of these men had special talents! One would cook for you, another brought you flowers every day, another was handy around the house, one was super intelligent, one could talk fashion with you (Vanity), and one was just all muscles (Brawny).
Did Smurfette every actually DO anything or contribute to society in any way? If she did, I missed that episode.
Anyway, Skittles grabbed her blue paint and got to work.
We had a very interesting conversation as she painted, definitely a first for me. I learned all about clown college and different types of clowns and the tricks they learn, etc.
I am a little concerned that my listening child may be under the impression clown college is a viable option for her because she likes to paint and she has a dog she could dress with a funny looking ruffle around his neck.
Finally, the finished product:
Not bad, Skittles!
We thanked her and spent a few minutes on the inflatables, and again I just couldn't help thinking what a perfect afternoon this really was. I love being a mother.
No sooner was the thought completed than a very distraught eight-year-old approached me, insisting that I must take her to a bathroom immediately so she can wash off this horrible paint job.
What? Wash off the face paint we waited for about 20 minutes to get? Whatever for?
"Mom, it's embarrassing. I do not like the little mole she put above my lip. I look weird."
I don't remember Smurfette having a facial mole now that I think about it. She had a point.
But still! We'd waited a long time (in kid time) for her to get her face painted! I tried my best to talk her out of it, but to no avail. The look she gave me was not friendly.
Hello Kitty, however, was positively glowing with happiness.
We marched ourselves to the nearest restroom, and she got to work.
Meanwhile, Hello Kitty ran out of the restroom to announce to all the restaurant staff that her sister was "wiping off her face because it's ugly".
So, to sum up, there were two fairly big disappointments that afternoon.
1. Clown College is not something I'm willing to discuss.
2. Smurfette should really just stick to cartoons and not try to take over little girls' faces.
Thanks anyway, Skittles. At least the one you painted like a cat is behaving like you'd expect a cat to...as if she owns the world.