This week, I learned that when you roll with the 3-year-olds, you need to step up.
Friday’s birthday party had a farm theme (complete with straw hats and bandanas for all of the young guests), but all of the kids were inked up with temporary tattoos on their hands, arms, and even faces. Since we were a bit late, The Girlie went without, but her party pack had a few for home use. Around bedtime tonight, she was rooting around the paper bag and pulled out several tattoos, demanding in a slightly shrill tone that I ‘hep’ her with them. So she unwrapped one while I read the directions, after which we cautiously discussed the preferred placement, settling on her left forearm. Once we had quietly counted to 30 and carefully peeled off the backing, there was a cute pink sheep smiling up from her alabaster skin, and a proud father smiling right back: the colors, placement, and total effect were perfect. We walked over to our trusty fan to dry and set the artwork, and congratulated each other.
And that’s when the shrieking started again. “Take it off! Take it off!,” she said, rubbing and slapping at her new smiling friend. I tried to talk her into making peace with the new tat, hoping that everything would be more appealing in the morning light. But finally, she prevailed and we went into the bathroom to “Wash it off! Wash it off!” For the first time in a long time, she was cooperative at the sink, but Lamby wasn’t budging. I rubbed vigorously, and even started to scratch gently, but several cycles of soap and water only served to fade the image slightly. Then finally, mercifully, everything sloughed off at once and we both breathed a sigh of relief as our little friend disintegrated and headed down the drain.
I hope she’s not venting about this traumatic night to some counselor someday. Of course, a subconscious aversion to tattoos wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.