Natalie was reading books in the other room. She had been quietly turning pages for about 15 minutes when I heard her say, "Mommy, take off my shirt, my pants, and my diaper."
She made her way into the room where I was just putting the baby down for a nap and repeated her request while counting off each item of clothing on her little toddler fingers.
"Mommy, take off my shirt (index finger), my pants (middle finger), and my diaper (thumb)."
I was puzzled by this request and asked her, "Why do you want to take off your shirt, your pants, and your diaper?"
Again, she demanded - in a very polite yet persistent way - that I take off all that she was wearing ... because she wanted to be nakey! Well, duh! But WHY?
"I want to paint like those kids." Huh?
"Those kids in that book." Ummm ... you better show mommy what you mean.
She took off running and I followed ... to the bookcase where I found a proudly smiling toddler and a photography book opened to this page ...
Aaaaah, now it all makes sense! And how could I refuse her request? She was inspired by something she saw in a book. She wanted to try painting in very little clothing. It does look like fun, doesn't it?!
And so ...she got semi-nakey and painted to her heart's content.
We compromised and left the diaper on because I was able to point out that two of the kids in the book are wearing their diapers.
Finger painting was not what I had planned for our afternoon. But we had so much fun ... and she even got an unexpected middle-of-the-day bath after some of that paint managed to get all over her belly - just like in the photograph :)
This experience was such a good and needed reminder to let my toddler take the lead sometimes. To follow her whims and wants and ideas. To take something from a book and make it real. To get nakey and messy :)
What inspires your toddler? What was the last unexpected thing you did together?