Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

August 9, 2011

Because when you are two

When you are two...

it’s really fun to draw all over yourself.

This was the scene not once but twice on Sunday.

It first happened while I was on a run and Chris was hanging out. She asked him for some pens and paper, he obliged and then went back to doing the breakfast dishes while she was in the living room. When I came in the door from my run there she was – all lovely and blue hands, legs, feet.

He scooped her up and put her in the bath and scrubbed and scrubbed.

The second time it was the purple pen.

Fast forward a few hours. She and Simon were hanging out in the living room. I had gone upstairs with Chris to check on our phone line (which is having some issues) and when I came back down there she was again with writing all over her legs and her hands.

I scooped her up and put her in the bath and scrubbed and scrubbed.

And you know what my main thought was through this whole thing (besides a bit of annoyance at the scrubbing)? I was thinking how cool it is that her drawing is moving into a different phase. Some of the marks she’s making on paper (and in this case on herself) are looking more like letter forms.

Not that we’re in a hurry for all that…simply an observation on what is around here right now.


  • 1.
    Tanya Watson said…

    Ali I remember my daughter did this at around the same age, she got felts for xmas from someone and I came out and she had lines all up her arms and legs and told me she was a cat lol how cute, I took photos and will one day scrapbook them (10 years later haha) the things kids do…..

  • 2.
    dawn said…

    how like a 2 year old and twice in one day. great photo to go with story. hope this doesn’t become a daily thing for you.

  • 3.
    Sandra K. said…

    LOL! Great story! This sounds so familiar.


  • 4.
    Leora Henkin said…

    I am smiling!

  • 5.
    Donelle said…

    Just wait until she discovers scissors. I have a vivid memory of my now 17 yr. old daughter sitting on the couch with a bath towel on her head next to my stunned father. Her reply “I was cutting the brown out”She was about 3 years old.

  • 6.
    emily (justem) said…

    I love this! :) My daughter is a month or two younger than Anna and we have endured a LOT of body art! The best was the sharpie all over her face, legs, arms, stomach, and even the bottoms of her feet! :)

  • 7.
    Anna-Marie said…

    I was lucky enough that mostly my kids stuck to the paper, but I say better the body than the walls – that would be much worse. It’s actually really cute – but having to bathe twice in one day and scrub like crazy is not fun. Just glad she didn’t do it right before you needed to leave for somewhere. Love the pic and the story.

  • 8.
    Lisa W. said…

    Oh I love your feelings of bliss:) over this. Oh I just hope she does not move to the walls like my kiddos did…UGH!!! I am smiling too!!!

  • 9.
    Gina Crowley said…

    Ha ha. This is reminds me of my assistant’s nephews. They are triplets and when they were about 4 they were all in their playroom together. When their mom returned they had all stripped down to their underwear and drawn black stripes from head to toe; they wsaid they were zebras!!!!

  • 10.
    Michelle! said…

    ha! I love this! Her right knee looks like a star and her left looks like a little person! Not sure if that was intentional. I have a feeling she’s going to be artsy like her mama!

    MY son once drew tons of smiley faces all over his thigh. He was barely 3! I didn’t have a camera on me at the time and I really regret it because it was actually kind of cool looking!

  • 11.
    Ashley Marie said…

    So many stories come to mind upon reading this. When I briefly worked in a county hospital, we had an 18 mos old girl that was collateral damage in a gang shooting. For her safety (as per the rules of gang related shootings) she didn’t have very many visitors to keep her company. We gave her some coloring stuff to keep her busy. In about 15 minutes, she had found the only pen in the container of stuff and had drawn lines and curly-q’s up and down both arms and legs. You just have to chuckle to yourself when you see little ones get creative like this.

  • 12.
    Cathy said…

    This happened to me once, Ali. But it was in college. In my dorm. At a party. And people drew all over me. Sadly. I have no pictures. ; )

    • ….
      Ali said…


  • 13.
    Melissa said…

    The Crayola color explosion pens are clear and write only on the special paper. ;)

  • 14.
    Annie said…

    Hi Ali, this reminds me of a book by Robert Munsch I think Anna might like called “Purple, Green and Yellow

    • ….
      Carol said…

      I agree Annie, a must read. When I was a librarian I read it every year to the kindergarten classes. There eyes would get sooooo big!

    • ….
      Angie U said…

      I agree – my third graders love this book every year. They always want to know where they can get some “super duper never come off until you’re dead and maybe even later” markers (or something like that – don’t have the book at home. :)

  • 15.
    Shelley said…

    HA! I did the same thing as a child and once my mom took me to the mall and some older woman said out loud to my mother that she was a disgrace for allowing me to draw on myself. Can you believe that?? It was the early 70′s and my mom was a total hippie so she didn’t care if I drew on myself. Hey I was being creative, right? She looks adorable, keep on drawing Anna!!

    • ….
      Denise A. said…

      I just saw a little boy in the airport last month who had drawn all over his arms and legs with marker. I loved it. Just looked at it and smiled.

      I think it is great that his mom didn’t scrub it all off. Being dirty, messy, and “arty” is what little kids are supposed to do!

      Go Anna! :)

  • 16.
    Alexandra said…

    So neat to see our kids evolving – my daughter Hannah loved her magnadoodle and the day she did an “H” on it was so exciting!!

    I’m not a huge fan of when my kids draw on themselves either but as annoying as it is I kinda like the fact that they are thinking outside the box. However, I was not terribly impressed when my son decided to draw all over a beautiful, silk-matted, oil painting – thankfully I called the gallery and they helped me clean it up :)

  • 17.
    Jessica said…

    I had this happen with my 2 youngest kids (ages 2 & 3 at the time), but with black SHARPIE! I have photos too :) Amazing how quickly they do this when we turn our backs for a second!

  • 18.
    grace hester said…

    Oh boy! Glad it’s not permanent. :o ) But what a lovely memory that you’ve captured for Anna. It’s inspiring me to take photos of some of the little things my girls like to do.

  • 19.

    My oldest daughter did this on a daily basis, all over her face even…I could NOT get her to stop! they were just washable markers so I let her do it…wish I had more photos of it, but I do have a few hilarious ones!

  • 20.
    Twyla Davis said…

    Heck I look like this after a good craft session or two.

  • 21.
    Felecia said…

    Ahhh…yes….I recognize this! Mine made himself a tiger. And its ever so much funner when the older one colors the younger one. Since I have tattoos, it cracks me up when they color themselves “like mommy.” DOH!

  • 22.
    Allison Waken said…

    So funny! My 2 year old also drew all over himself with marker once. And when I say all over I mean ALL over – like I couldn’t show the photograph LOL! His reasoning was that he wanted to scare his brother. Of course!

  • 23.
    Marie-Pierre said…

    lol! Great thinking, Ali! :)

  • 24.
    Cathy said…

    Let’s hope she doesn’t move on to the walls!

  • 25.
    Lisa McDonald said…

    This picture took me back a few years…back to 1989. My 2 y.o. daughter and her cousin were “playing” while we sat around the dinner table. They were very quiet for a while and when we checked on them they looked much like Anna, except they were royal blue. “SMURF” was their nickname for quite a while!!!

  • 26.
    Dawn M said…

    my daughter is 14 and just yesterday her and her friends colored all over each other! at least at 2 years, it’s still cute! :)

  • 27.
    Christine said…

    Who doesn’t have a picture like this of their toddler? They reach the age when they realize that your body becomes a cool canvas to draw on. Its great that you are noticing the beginnings of letter forms.

  • 28.
    Suz said…

    My son performed a few similar feats of daring! Both of which I have documented in scrapbook layouts. The first was with a marker which he managed to create a pretty decent mustache with! The other occurred one Thanksgiving Day. I realized he was awfully quiet while I was doing dishes. I found him in the bathroom with my mascara across his face, on his hands, on the sink, the wall and EVEN on his white blonde eyelashes!! How he managed to get the mascara on his eyelashes with out incurring a self-inflicted corneal abrasion to his eye is beyond me! Thanks for the post and for bringing back the memories… :) Have a great Tuesday!

    • ….
      Jan from Canada said…

      its that dreaded quiet time when you know something is amiss eh? lol too funny..

  • 29.
    Misty said…

    When my kids started doing this I found some tatoo markers with ink specially made for skin. The never wanted to scrub and I never made them. The LOVED carrying their artwork around wherever they went and LOVED sharing it with strangers in the grocery store! So they were constantly colorful for months on end. Eventually they let it go and it was a bit sad to see it end.

  • 30.
    Monica said…

    HaHaHa! In case her doodling moves from herself to the furniture, hand sanitizer works wonders! Squirt a little on the stain, and dab with a clean towel to remove the ink. I know from experience that it even works on permanent marker! :) Might even help get it off her skin, who knows!

  • 31.
    Jan from Canada said…

    my 3 year old daughter Taia was noticing her auntie’s “painted” toenails and thought they were pretty.. next thing you know she grabbed a royal blue magic marker and and painted not only her toe nails, but each toe completely :) I took a picture of their feet side by side and framed that snippet of joy :)

  • 32.
    Amy said…

    This reminds me of a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip (oh how I miss that cartoon!). Calvin gave himself an “unfortunate” haircut and to cover it up, colored his bald spots with a yellow marker. Needless to say, his mother noticed.

  • 33.
    COEngrGirl said…

    When I was about 5 years old the two neighbor girls “made” me sit still while they painted my toenails with real nail polish… soon it turned into painting both of my feet…. entirely solid red! My mom was ticked! I remember sitting on the kitchen counter with my feet in the sink while Mom worked to get it off…. I think with an entire bottle of nail polish remover. Sadly, I don’t think there are photos…

  • 34.
    Dori said…


  • 35.
    Lisa said…

    Silly Anna! -Too cute! Love your photo of her :) I have a similar one of my 4yr old son….but he drew all over his rear end!! -lol!! Haven’t figured outhow to document that one yet. :)

  • 36.
    deena said…

    Use shaving cream… it takes it right off with hardly any scrub! :)

  • 37.
    Leasa said…

    One of my daughters still does this at 14! But I much prefer it on her skin than on her clothes, at least it comes off the skin!

  • 38.
    K said…

    Dare I admit that I used to color all over my legs Long Past age three..?

    As an adult I once asked my Mom why she was cool with it and did not bother scrubbing it off. Her answer? “At least you weren’t drawing on the walls.”

    (she obviously never found the crayon people on the back of the wood furniture…!)

  • 39.
    Noell said…

    Trinity used to do this. She did it on her eye lids and face for makeup, too. I just let her keep it — she liked it, and I’m all for experimenting and self-expression through appearances! :)

    Fun times, for sure!

  • 40.
    PorscheNut said…

    Read the book I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! Your story reminds me of that, only yours is mild compared to what this little guy does. You’ll love the illustrations, too.

  • 41.
    Tona said…

    It’s hard to believe that Anna’s 2 already. Your article made me smaile.
    Luckily my son stuck to paper for his drawings but my friends 2 girls both loved to draw on walls.

  • 42.
    Erica Hettwer said…

    Audrey did that exact same thing a few days ago. Markers on her legs and belly the first time and then a couple hours later, pretty blue highlighter on her left arm. No time for baths so we used a baby wipe. Thankfully we only have Washable Crayola markers. :) Man, two year olds are fun!

  • 43.
    Tif said…

    ohmygoodness! this was totally us this week (my youngest is 16 months)…and the carpet took some of the beating too!

  • 44.
    Barb in AK said…

    LOL! Do you think some of this was inspired by all the people we see these days with body tattoos?

  • 45.
    Kelly_S_ said…

    Oh yes! Our home has seen the same. All pens, crayons, and markers now live on top of the fridge out of reach. My two girls (3 1/2 and 21 months) are taggers.

  • 46.
    Clare said…

    Rubbing alcohol takes even permanent markers right off. My 23 year old daughter painted her fingernails, toenails, and parts of her body with a black sharpie when she was three. Could not scrub enough to get it off until my neighbor told me about the rubbing alcohol. She was always a little artist, today she works in the movie business still creating art. Love that girly of yours, she seems so full of life, reminds me of mine.

  • 47.
    Brooke said…

    When my son did this around the same age all I could think was “thank goodness he didn’t draw on the walls and the couch!”. We now keep all marking objects at Mummy/Daddy only height so everything is properly supervised!

  • 48.
    Jules said…

    I drew on my husband last week! We were all in the kitchen and he was complaining about how big his stomach is getting and was pulling it in and pushing it out so I grabbed a sharpie and drew a face on it! No idea why but it amused us, our daughter and son-in-law who were there too :) Our youngest used to write on everything – windowsills, walls etc. She would deny it but as she wrote her own name (complete with the typical left-handers reverse e) every time it was a little hard to believe her denials!!!

  • 49.
    got2havefaith said…

    Keep her away from the scissors! My daughter did this (and still does at almost 5 yrs old) all the time. At least it washes off.

  • 50.
    Corinne L said…

    I can totally relate to this – my nearly 2yo keeps using himself as as canvas. (I prefer this option to his using the carpet though!)

Post a comment