When I left the boys, Colin was drawing on the marker board upstairs and Preschooler D was asking for a turn. I came downstairs to look at a book on Amazon. One book. I just looked at it. I didn’t even take time to put it in my cart. I didn’t have time. We were going to the movies.
Next thing I knew D was at my side saying, “I’m done!” He handed me three white board markers worn down to a hub.
“What . . . oh, dear . . . what are you done with, love?”
“Drawing,” he said.
And so he was. My grown up 4-year-old had scrubbed those three permanent markers across:
- Walls in his room
- Walls in my room
- Bathroom floor
- Bathroom sink
- Toilet seat
- Hall walls
- Colin’s comforter
- Living room walls
- Hardwood TV floor
I want so badly to tell you I took in stride. That I said to myself, “This is a teachable moment.”
I can’t do that.
I yelled. I yelled at D.
Then I yelled at Colin who had watched him part of the time.
Then I yelled at my husband who called to make sure we took some extra cash to the movies. I yelled, “I’m not taking them to the movies.” To which my smart husband said, “Then you’re going to have to sit at home with them this afternoon.”
We went to the movies.
In silence all the way there.
Not true. I yelled some more in the car on the way.
At some point during the movie I knew I had to be done. I wasn’t ready, but I figured one of us was going to have to be the parent and, dang nabbit . . . it’s me.
When the movie ended, my autism spectrum son — the one who isn’t supposed to understand feelings — came up and looked me in the eye and said, “I am so sorry about the walls, Mom.”
“It’s okay, Col. Let’s go get some groceries and see if we can’t find something to clean the walls.”
Nope. Couldn’t. That’s some permanent marker. It’s okay. It came off the bathroom sink and toilet seat and hardwood floor which would have been the worst. I was planning to repaint the living room anyway this spring, so here I go. And maybe if I get the bedroom painted I can convince Big Daddy it’s time for that orange carpet to go.
That would be a really, really good thing.
*My thanks to TWCD (who is not a TW) for putting it in an artsy context for me.