Do you remember those crappy little plastic trays full of “watercolor” paints? And the fuzzy plastic brush that came with them? Well, whether you do, or you don’t, today was the day I introduced Biggest to them. While it was ultimately successful, it didn’t go anywhere near how I thought it would. I figured it would go something like this.

Paints, water bucket, paper. Brush goes into water, then paint, then paper. Picture is made.

Sadly, this was much closer to the truth, as seen through Biggest’s viewpoint.

Paints, water bucket, brush. Mix all paints together into black. Mix black into water. Paint with water. Skip paints altogether, play with the water. Skip the paper, paint the hands. Use paint brush to get paint off hands by mixing the paintbrush and the water onto fingers. With great prompting, mix two colors together onto paper. Return to washing fingers. Convince Mommy to make her own picture. Develop sudden interest in Mommy’s paper. Paint Mommy’s picture with whatever murky color the water is. Discover that Mommy can refresh the water, demand fresh water every time brush is rinsed. Give Mommy the idea to use fingers instead. After Mommy gets fingers mucky, return to washing fingers with paintbrush. Develop sudden distaste for sticky fingers, then forget about fingers altogether and use mucky paintbrush on paper. Get bored of paper altogether, develop fascination with painting Mommy’s hands while she futilely attempts to demonstrate finger painting. Once forbidden to paint Mommy’s fingers, use paints to paint other paints. Begin with using black. Rinse, repeat with purple. Once Mommy has finally given up on painting picture with clear colors, declare done-ness. Remove self to wash hands, get caught squeezing all the toothpaste out, while Mommy valiantly tries to clear up the colors for next time.


I seem to recall these paints lasting longer. I’m guessing, though, that it comes to a critical point: clean colors, or more than one use. By the time I realized that it really wasn’t going to get any cleaner, one of the cakes was half gone, and most of the colors were still pretty murky. See?



We did, despite everything, get something resembling artwork.


And we did have a lot of fun. I haven’t used those paints in forever, and it brought back some very happy memories. So I suppose, in the end, it was worth it. Even with the muddy, mostly used up colors.


The Handler.


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