This day had to come, I know … but I was really hoping I would be smiled upon by the Fairy of “all things clean and right” and allowed to skip this one particular moment.
As I was packing the diaper bag to do our afternoon errands outing, I heard a word from the other room that made my blood run cold and the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. The word …. “crayon”. Knowing there were no crayons anywhere out in the living room, I couldn’t even begin to guess what he was talking about, but was pretty sure it wouldn’t be something I would like. I guess he was a little annoyed at me for having worked in the office for an hour before getting ready to go out.
Skidding to a stop in the living room, after a mad dash down the hallway, I saw that my worst fear had come true. Nicholas had climbed up onto the kitchen table and found the black felt marker I had left there. Stupid mummy!
There were marks on the coffee table, covers and pages of books, the bottom corner of the couch, a throw pillow … and worst of all, on my precious rug. I love this rug! Something about it makes me feel grown up. Perhaps because it was one of the most expensive purchases in my life up until that point (other than a car) – at $1000, it was an investment as well as a way of keeping our toes warmer on our hardwood floors. It is a beautiful blend of colours that match me perfectly, as well as the furniture we have collected over the years.
I had no idea how to parent in this situation, so I very firmly tried to explain that we do NOT draw on tables and rugs and books (I’ll leave the explanation of colouring books for another day) with Mummy’s pens – that we only draw with Nicholas’ crayons on paper that Mummy supplies. Realizing that all of it was my own fault and feeling guilty for working and not paying attention to him, I knelt down to cry out my frustration. He gave me a couple of minutes and then brought me a book to cheer me up … didn’t work, but I appreciated the sentiment.
OK, tears out … mind in gear … boy in highchair with paper and crayons … what can we do about the marks? I was able to remove the markings from the table and the back cover of the books, but the rug has suffered what may be permanent stains. I was able to get some of it out with Pink Solution, but tomorrow I’ll try the Spot Shot (our ever-faithful carpet standby). The couch and pillow … permanent stains … bummer.
Even as a child, I hated when my things were ruined … as evidenced by the huge box of magazines and childhood toys my mother has been storing for me for the last 30 years … so I’m going to have to try to learn to let go of that OCD behaviour, unless I can instill it in Nicholas! Parenting is tough! Knowing how to respond in situations like this … there’s no manual of how to handle it properly for your child. I really hope he got the point I was trying to make, especially when he saw me crying about it, but I guess time will tell.