"Can I get my face painted like a pirate?"
This didn't seem like an unfair request from Mateo. We were in Legoland and we were just passing a booth that displayed several photos of kids' faces painted up to look like pirates, superheros, and princesses. A little girl sat in a chair as a lady brushed a colorful butterfly on her cheek. Sure, why not?
"How much is the face paint?" I asked
"Depends on what you want."
"Mommy, I want Spiderman!". Nico has now caught on to what we are doing and wants in on the action too.
"Spiderman is $17." the lady replies nonchalantly with a smile on her face.
Hmm...I must have heard that wrong. It sounded like she said $17, and that can't be right. Because that would mean that I would be shelling out $34 for both kids to get their faces painted. Paint that will wash off in a few hours. Unless of course they decide they want it off sooner.
The boys have had their faces painted before. At Christmas time, we were at a toy train show (again, the boys picked this activity, not me- last time I decided what the activity was it was 2002). Mateo got Batman and Nico got SpongeBob. When Mateo saw his face in the mirror, he said, "Wow, cool!" and left it on the rest of the day. Nico, however, took one look at the artist's handywork and screamed, "Get this guy off my face!". After trying to be persuaded otherwise, I finally gave up and wiped off the SpongeBob with a wipey I had in my purse. I remember being pissed about that. And SpongeBob only cost $3.
"Excuse me? Did you say $17?"
"Yes. You can pay over there. They accept credit & debit cards."
Uh-huh. I'm sure they do.
"Mateo, honey, that a lot of money."
"No, it's not, mommy."
"Well, actually it is. There's so many other things we could buy for $17..."
"Awwww!! Mom!! I want to look like a pirate!" Mateo pouts. "And Nico wants to be Spiderman!" he throws in to try and guilt trip me further.
"Listen," I try a different route, "I promise that when we get home, we can buy face paint and I'll paint your face. OK?"
"Uhhh!!" This is the only answer Mateo gives me along with his sourest puss. We wait in line at the next ride in silence. Mateo brooding, Nico cranky and insisting on being carried, and me wondering who hell pays $17 for face paint.
So we get back from Legoland and there is no mention of face paint. Good. They forgot. Time to put on Nick Jr and check my Facebook. I click the TV on and..."Mommy! Remember that! Remember at Legoland you SAID you'd GET me that!"
I glance up and see a commerical for a facepainting kit. Shit. "Yeah, I remember. We can go to Party City today and get some face paint."
So we go to Party City and pick up a face painting kit for $2.99. And because the cashier is the only adult I've seen all day, I tell him about the $17 Legoland deal. "Wow! Outrageous! Smart of you to come here." Why thank you. That's what I thought.
So we get home and Mateo, Nico & I watch several how-to videos on u-tube about facepainting. I don't have any of the brushes or special kinds of paint they recommend, but I manage to make Mateo into Black Spiderman and Nico into a skeleton. Daniela take one look at Nico and immediately bursts into tears. Nico initially enjoys this new ability to terrify his sister, but then gets bored and makes me change his face paint to Red Spiderman. Predictably, the boys then drag out the Halloween costumes and everyone, including Daniela, gets dressed up. Daniela even gets in the spirit and lets me paint a ladybug on her face.