This ends in MOMA or the Hague.
The slippery slope; war on my walls, or untapped genius?
The Baby has discovered crayons. I’m using “discovered” loosely here. His father, about whom I have many good thing to say, was a complete and total goober and gave our son crayons. Many, multiple crayons. First, he gave him skinny crayons (should be noted, these were labeled “washable”) then when too many of those broke, he got Baby those big, fat fuckers that come in Ground into the Rug Red, All Over Oscar Orange, Mom Will Yell-ow, Baseboard Black and my favorite, THESE DON’T SAY “WASHABLE” WHITE: NOW CUSTOMIZED TO FIT THE CREVICES OF YOUR HARDWOOD FLOOR!
To be fair, Mac provided a really nice tablet of paper. But the tablet is like, 9 x 12? Our house is many, many,
many 9 x 12 spaces. That are at his eye level. His meaning Baby’s. Mac was a well-intentioned goober but his line of sight remains unassailable. For the moment.
So, how long do you think it’s going to take for the average toddler to run off the reservation with this? I can tell he’s doing it, because every morning there are more scraggly little crayon marks running across my white hallway doors. They are light (Baby has yet to discover the satisfaction of putting all your weight behind one of these suckers) and they run exactly horizontal across each door as though he’s testing to see what happens if he runs along and scrawls in his CLACZ (Chubby Little Arm Comfort Zone). I was wondering if he made a few marks every day, or made several all at once while Mac was doing something else. Sunday night at 4:30 am, I erased all the marks using a Brand Name Serious Scrubby Thing.
Oh. Why 4:30 in the morning?
I have bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and a toddler. If 4:30 in the morning is when my head, my abs and my ass can get it all together long enough to scrub walls, then that’s when it happens.
The marks were there when I woke up at
noon, 11:00, 9:00, 8:15, meaning Baby is running amok, probably while Mac does something inconsequential like hygiene. This is potentially very bad. Or good. Is it the call of the wild? The need to be a bad boy? Tag his territory? Mark up the walls that won’t hold me in forever, mom? I have declared war on painted surfaces because I prefer my doors like I prefer my truth: unvarnished, unpredictable, and filled with messy complications WHICH YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU’RE LIKE 167 YEARS OLD, MOM.
Or is it “My colors need to be free! This is an expression of angst that I am kept down by your class system, your race system, your assumption that because I have chubby little arms I cannot soar like the eagle? WHICH YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU’RE LIKE 167 YEARS OLD, MOM.” If it’s this one, I’ll quit erasing them. That sounds like someday it could add value to a 2 bed, 2 bath split-level on the Side of the Tracks that Realtors Call ‘America is Trackless.'”
In the meantime, let’s figure out the math on what he’s using to mark up the walls. There were 16 in the first box, 8 in the second. He broke each Washable crayon into at least 3 pieces, making a box of 16 now, functionally, a box of 48 and counting. I never made it to getting a hold on most of those. These pieces were “cleaned up” systematically by letting Baby throw some of them through the holes in the gate at the top of the stairs. At most, it makes a tiny wax dot on each stair where it lands. I can live with dots. I’m hip with that. I like Georges Seurat as much as the next person who understands that joke. However, triage of the Throw-Zone yielded about 13 pieces, and I have 4 inexplicably whole smaller crayons, meaning that (in theory) 25 pieces of crayon are out of commission in this war on my walls, but 23 remain in enemy hands and we have 8 Big Boys yet to come. They’ll roll out like a Panzer division any day now. Or, the cat got into the box and batted them under the TV. He loves that.
We must understand this is a war of attrition. Because the bigger crayons are not unbreakable. And how many pieces might each bigger crayon yield? Also, where are the rest of the small ones?
How long do I have before he figures out the pens, pencils, colored pencils, hi-liters, Magic Markers, Charmed Markers, Muggle Markers, artistic charcoal and spray paint? How do I combat this? I can’t guarantee the 4:30 am Maginot Line Against Markers every night year in, year out, until he’s old enough forget drawing with markers and tries to huff the damn things.
Meeeeeeh…ok. I think I surrender. There are many things worse than my kid drawing on the walls with a few art supplies. He could hate art. He could be afraid to try new things.
He could take every bucket of leftover paint, every bottle of nail polish, every permanent marker in the house and paint a giant mural over his closet that stands for years and many people that come into our lives write on, draw on, sign… spending half a decade documenting the teenage years of an artistic but floundering girl and her intrepid younger sister.
As far as I know the Hague let me slide on that one.