The Childhood Trauma of Face Paint

All children love face paint, don’t they? LP and Little Man have always loved having their faces painted and seeing the glee on a child’s face when they’ve sat in that face painting chair for what seems like hours to then see their finished masterpiece of a face in the mirror is a wonderful thing.

But, for LP, face painting is now often tainted with sadness, and she will now decline face paint rather than have that same fun painted face that her friends have. She would rather miss out than have her face painted as, sometimes, she’d rather go without.

But for a girl that loved nothing more than having her face turn into a beautiful butterfly this change came as quite a shock. You see, when we went on holiday in August LP had her face painted with a Frozen theme. She loved it but she also wanted to go swimming afterwards. We told her she could – but that her face paint would come off. We then spent literally hours trying to get her to decide whether to get in the pool, whether to wipe the face paint off before getting into the pool or whether to just do something that didn’t involve getting her face wet – until bedtime, when the face paint would have to come off anyway.

Since then LP hasn’t wanted her face painted. The thing is, that at five years old, the trauma of having to take the face paint off at bedtime is just to great that she would rather not have her face painted in the first place. She would rather go without to save being upset later on when the face paint disappears.

I love that LP has such a grown up way of looking at things – that she’s realised it’s all about damage limitation, protecting herself from the inevitable upset of having her face washed. But, I’m sad that she’s stopped just being able to have her face painted and instead always starts to think of the consequences and of what happens next. One care free aspect of her nature has disappeared and I just hope that it comes back again – sooner rather than later. Who knew that face paint could be quite so traumatic?

The Childhood Trauma of Face Paint

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