I recently rediscovered this essay I wrote for college English my senior year of high school. It’s even funnier to me now as a mom of two spunky and creative little girls. Enjoy!
When I was three years old, I was mischievous. My favorite book as a child was about a girl who painted herself with magical markers. This inspired me to try it for myself.
One lazy Saturday afternoon, my mom went to a local craft show. My dad was supposed to be babysitting, which meant we could be naughty. As my mom left, she said, “Nap time would be a good idea.”
Well, as it turns out, my dad thought that meant he could take a nap. So, he rested on the couch, leaving my older sister Allison, who was six years old at the time, in charge of watching Dianna, my one-year-old baby sister, and me. She decided this was far too difficult a task, so she buried her nose in a book instead.
There I was, my mind racing. I had my first taste of freedom!
I thought about my greatest desire in life: to marker someone’s skin, just like my favorite book. First, I wanted to color myself, but I was a naughty kid, not a dumb one! I realized my mom would get mad if I did this to myself. Then, it hit me. If I colored Dianna, no one would ever find out that I did it, right?!
I went to our special art closet and dug out all the blue markers I could find. Dianna sat patiently, her mouth hanging open in awe, on the white living room carpet as I turned her sapphire from head to baby toe. Dianna was always silently amazed at how wild I was!
I giggled with excitement as I practiced my early artistic skills. Soon my masterpiece, the giant blueberry, was complete. Being the superb child I was, I cleaned up all the markers and returned them to the special art closet. I knew my mom would be proud of me for being such a wonderful artist and picking up after myself. Then, my mom pulled into the driveway…
“WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING!?”
My dad jumped off the couch and dashed to my mom. “What’s going on? Is everything okay? What happened?”
“When I said a nap would be good, I meant for the kids, not you.”
Allison laughed, Dianna stared—glowing blue—with wide eyes, and I cried. I remember thinking, ‘Why is everyone so mad? And how come nobody’s complimented my gorgeous art project?’
As my mom drew a bath for my baby sister, she told me she knew I was having fun, but markering people is naughty. I was secretly overjoyed that my dad misinterpreted the afternoon instructions so I could freely practice my creative ability on a blank canvas—my sister’s baby-soft skin.