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Who Let The Dawgs Out?

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It’s Friday at 5:53 a.m. It’s still dark out and dawn won’t break for at least another half hour. Alex and I are in his bathroom. I am armed with several paint brushes and two tubes of paint. Alex is perched on the toilet seat (lids down, of course). I carefully dip my brush in the first color of paint and with a semi-steady hand begin applying it to the right half of his face. As I get to the spot under his nostrils, his nose twitches and I warn him not to sneeze. He checks the first half of his painted face in the mirror, then gives me approval to begin the second half. Carefully, as I keep an eye on the clock, I begin the second color. I am mostly successful at not smearing the two colors down the center axis of his mug. “OK. Now let’s hit it with the blow dryer.? I said solemnly. This is not some pre-dawn Native American warrior ritual. It•s school spirit day and I am decorating Alex’s face with Palisade High School colors of maroon and white. After the first layer of goo dries, I paint PHS in white on the maroon side, and a pretty decent looking Bulldog mascot paw print in maroon on the white side. We have one minute left before we have to leave for the bus. A couple quick touch-ups. He gazes at his bad self in the mirror. Then he convincingly says the three little words that make it worthwhile to rise extra early to do this. “Mom, you rock!? Yes, I do. And he•s gonna have one hell of a time washing that stuff off.