Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crayon Catastrophe

In my pursuit to maintain the crown of Mama of the Year (What? I didn't win the crown last year!? Shocking...)


In my pursuit to maintain the crown of Kinda-Sorta "A for Effort" Mama of the Year (that's better...), I gave Miss Paige a box of crayons. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Because the last time I tried this I spent at least 10 hours Googling "wax poisoning" after my daughter mistook the orange crayon for a carrot and took a big bite out of it. Luckily we lived to tell about it (and found out crayon is not digestible and will come out in the exact same state it went in), but I've been nervous about bringing out the crayons again. Especially now that Paige is super mobile, somewhat defiant and an inheritor of her father's condition of the ears - also know as "selective hearing". I had visions of my perfectly painted camel-colored walls becoming an unwilling tribute to ROY G. BIV. And so I hesitated. For 6 months.

But while at Target the other day, I was bit by the "Back to School" bug and began checking out the aisles of school supplies. with my two non-school age children. And I came across a box of crayons that claimed they were 100% washable. So I picked them up, along with a cute notebook, and headed for home. During the 10 minute drive home, I planned out my crayon-redo introduction strategy. We were going to move slowly - one step at a time - to avoid a second crayon catastrophe.

Step one was having Paige color while in her high chair. GENIUS! She was confined and I could easily direct her to only color in her new notebook. And I have to admit, I was impressed by how well she listened. So after a few days of highchair coloring, we moved to coloring while sitting on the floor - with only two crayons. And just yesterday, after a slow transition, I gave Miss Paige the box of crayons, her notebook, and let her decide where and when she wanted to color. She carried her new loot into the play room, plopped down in her Elmo chair, and spent the next 30 minutes coloring. (Cue the Angels...).

Since she was occupied for the moment and Deacon was snoozing, I took advantage and snuck into the bathroom to pee. I couldn't have been gone for more than 3 minutes... but when I got back to the kitchen, I saw Paige walking back to her playroom, purple crayon in hand. Which meant she noticed I was gone and brought her crayon into the kitchen to check things out. I took a quick look around and didn't notice any big purple marks on the floor or walls - PHEW!

And it wasn't until about 15 minutes later when I went to the fridge to fill up her sippy cup when I saw it - a purple crayon squiggle exactly 3 feet off the ground on the refrigerator door. My appliances are old, and the crayon is washable, so it really wasn't a big deal, but I knew I needed to discipline Miss Paige and explain proper crayon use again.

I called Paige over to the fridge, knelt down to her level (in true Super Nanny fashion) and pointed to the crayon mark. She pouted and gave me the puppy dog eyes as I explained that this was not allowed. And then it happened... something I never expected and left me bewildered.

Paige looked at me... looked at the crayon mark on the fridge... back at me... and while still holding eye contact, grabbed a magnet off the fridge and slapped it over the crayon mark. She then proceeded to smile, wave bye-bye and toddle back to her play room. Problem solved! Out of sight, out of mind.

And I was left kneeling on the kitchen floor - jaw on the ground. And then of course I started laughing. Hysterically. Because it really was the funniest thing I had ever witnessed. And instead of wiping away the crayon, I left it there. Hidden under the magnet... A little reminder that even when I'm about to lose my mind and taking myself a little too seriously, I need to enjoy this time of my life and remember to laugh. : ) Oh, the joys of mommyhood!