August 24, 2006

Don't Try This At Home

Tell me how smart I am. It was my baby's nap time but she was happily coloring so I just gave her a handful of crayons and stuck her in bed to "color herself to sleep." I figured it must have worked because I didn't hear a peep out of her. Half an hour later I snuck in to get something and peeked over at her bed. But the bed was empty. After a few seconds of confusion, I spotted her sitting stone still on top of her changing table with a crayon in each hand.

My little darning had gone totally "Harold and the Purple Crayon" on me. All the wall space within her arms reach had been targeted. She seemed to be going more for quantity than quality. From the looks of it, she had just climbed on top of the changing table reach virgin canvas when I so rudely interrupted her artistic process. She's never drawn on a wall before but had enough sense to freeze in nervous anticipation when she saw my shocked face.

I couldn't help it - I burst out laughing at my own stupidity of leaving her alone with crayons at naptime. Pixie was profoundly relieved and laughed with me. She then eagerly took me on the curator's tour of the postmodern art exhibit. Of course, that one is Mommy. This one's a dog. This one is Pixie. Over there is Tinky Winky. And so on. She had it all figured out.

I'm afraid I was a little too glib about the situation and she's been talking happily about coloring on the walls ever since. I need to get serious about being stoic and intimidating in times like this but she was just so dang proud of herself that I couldn't bring myself to burst her bubble.

The situation would have been more terrible if it hadn't been for the power of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It was so easy and fast to clean up that I'm almost tempted to just let her at it again. Almost. I love you, Mr. Clean! And you can bet your buns that Pixie loves you too.


compulsive writer said...

Love Harold and his Purple Crayon.

Love that you laughed.

And that you didn't break out Mr. Clean until after the tour.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Parenting dilemma. Do you stifle her creativity in the name of teaching her what is right and wrong?

If the Magic Eraser works, what's the harm in coloring on the wall? You might need to carry one with you should she express her creativity on someone else's walls!

Shannon said...

It could have been worse. My mother also once found me mid-creative process, but I had not been given adequate supplies, so I turned to a more organic medium... my own diaper! Yuck! Be grateful for BOTH crayons and Mr. Clean :)

Sarah said...

Shannon - did you really have to share that charming childhood memory? I feel violated.

Shannon said...

Sarah, dear, in the absence of any children of my own, horror stories from my own youth is all I have to offer. Luckily, I was a complete terror until about the age of 15, so there's plenty of goodness where that one came from :)
Love you!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, I think it was just an ancient gesture. (this is jordan by the way)

An Ancient Gesture
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
Penelope did this too.
And more than once: you can't keep weaving all day
And undoing it all through the night;
Your arms get tired, and the back of your neck gets tight;
And along towards morning, when you think it will never be light,
And your husband has been gone, and you don't know where, for years,

Suddenly you burst into tears;
There is simply nothing else to do.

And I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
This is an ancient gesture, authentic, antique,
In the very best tradition, classic, Greek;
Ulysses did this too.
But only as a gesture - a gesture which implied
To the assembled throng that he was much too moved to speak.
He learned it from Penelope ...
Penelope, who really cried.

kookaluka said...

i love the magic eraser!!!