I was recently applying makeup in the hopes of making my skin look brighter, more youthful, and extra radiantly beautiful. After hurdling 35 years of age I’ll try just about anything to look less like a mom with bags under her eyes and more like a fresh faced 20 something. Of course, the bags under my eyes do match my blue jeans so they are the only thing somewhat stylish about me (unless it’s no longer fashionable to match your bags to your outfit). I am also always in combat with cranky, scowling frown lines that seem to be conquering my forehead one battle at a time. I was hoping for dewy, translucent, glowing skin as I applied the makeup, but my skin seems to spawn wrinkles with the application of water and so the best I came up with was skin that looked slightly less blotchy and a tiny bit smoother than it usually does. As I was performing this not so daily ritual my daughter walked in and pointed up at my face. I thought she was going to call me pretty or gush about my hair, but instead she yelled, “Brush! Paint! Paint!” There were a few moments of confusion (on both sides) before I tried to explain to her that I wasn’t painting, but how could I say I wasn’t when the evidence was stacked against me? I mean, I was actually applying my makeup with what looked like and actually probably was or is a giant paintbrush applicator makeup brush thingy?
Before I could convince her that I wasn’t painting or having any fun at all, my daughter threw herself on the ground and cried because I refused to allow her to “paint” mommy’s face. I had to draw the line somewhere though. She had already painted the table, her highchair, the wall, and the dogs left whiskers. She had painted the inside of her ear, the inside of her nose, and all of the spaces between her fingers and toes. She had painted on most of my copy and printer type paper which required me to print my grocery list on photograph paper. AND she had painted her teeth and most of her clothes. Wow. I think I may have just channeled Dr. Seuss a bit there, albeit badly.
This got me thinking about how concrete the world is to our Miss Tiny-Small. A brush is a brush is a brush, no matter how small (sorry it was impossible to resist). How do you explain that you don’t brush the dogs hair with your toothbrush or brush your teeth with the dogs brush? Also, a toothbrush is for teeth brushing and a paintbrush is for painting, except for when mommy uses the toothbrush to spray watercolor paint or to clean around the toilet, or to comb her unruly eyebrows or to polish her shoes (OK, I made that last one up, everyone can tell I don’t polish my shoes just by looking at them). What a confusing world we live in for a toddler. So many brushes and so many uses. Or as my daughter sees it, so many brushes so little time to paint mom’s jewelry, frying pans, furniture, clothes and any thing else she can get her blue, red, and green paint splattered hands on.
What a confusing world we live in for a mother who hopes to look like Drew Barrymore with the flick of a magical makeup applicator wand. Well, maybe it’s not so much confusing as it is disappointing. After wrestling the mascara and eyeliner from my toddler’s tiny, but remarkably strong grasp I remembered that there was a study recently published that said women who wear makeup are perceived as smarter than those who do not. I may never look like Drew Barrymore, but at least I can do something about my IQ. The study didn’t specify that the makeup had to be applied correctly to trick the onlooker’s eye. At least I hope it didn’t, because in all seriousness, I need all of the help I can get.