When my girls were little, I sometimes came up with creative ways to occupy them when I was sick. Between problem pregnancies and long-term illnesses, I spent a lot of time on the couch with little girls who were not the type to sit still and watch Sesame Street.
One of the ways I used to occupy them was to let them draw on the bottoms of my feet. I’d give Victoria washable markers and she’d doodle halfway up my leg while I got to rest and not fall down or throw up for a little while.
(I still remember how idiotic I felt at the prenatal appointment when I stripped down and then realized I was decorated up to my knees in toddler art and had forgotten to wash it off!)
I still use the busywork trick.
Tuesday night, I really wanted to watch a television show. My boys were bored so I sat Alex at the top of the couch with me and 25 Matchbox cars and Jack at the end of the couch with washable markers.
For a good twenty minutes, I lined up fire trucks and convertibles with one little boy while another enthusiastically decorated me.
On my right foot was a series of… well, I have no idea, but upside down they look a bit like a weird smiley face. And on the left… I was orange. Jack decided he wanted to make me an alien.
It worked. I watched my show, the boys played and were happy (before moving on to the next busywork — even doing graffiti on Mom only works so long), and I’m pretty sure most of it was non-toxic.
And then today… I kept meaning to take a bath or jump in the shower but one thing after another happened. And so I took a walk around the neighborhood with two little boys and decorated feet. I drove to the lawnmower repair shop and rode along to the car repair shop to see about air conditioning. I gardened and chased the kids outside. I said “hi” to the passing teenagers.
All with these feet.
(Blue toenails courtesy of Annalee, who offered me a free spa treatment and pedicure the same night.)
My left foot kept scaring me throughout the day. I’d forget about it all and then catch sight of that and think I’d missed some sort of terrible accident.
Even after I finally got that bath, my left foot is still pale orange. And the brown heart appears to be permanent. I’m surprisingly unconcerned, though. It kind of makes me smile.
I can’t imagine what our townspeople must think of me.