My day began at 5:16 a.m. Soon after waking came preparing breakfast, making beds, sending work e-mails, getting ready for work, and work. Post-work there was the checking of e-mails, two loads of laundry, and dinner preparation. Sometime post-work pre–dinner, [S] said she needed a diaper change. Clasped in her hands were two crayons, which she refused to let go. As we walked down the hallway, I noticed that she reached towards the wall, as if to see whether the crayon would work on painted concrete. “No, [S], we don’t color anything but paper, do you understand?,” I asked. “Yea,” came the reply.
As I changed her diaper, I asked [S] the colors of the crayons. “Pink,” she enthusiastically offered up. “No, that’s purple; that’s Nana’s favorite color,” I responded. [S] suggested the second crayon also was pink. “No, it’s red; aka in Japanese,” I responded. Afterwards, she ran back to the living room and I began working on our family finances, recording expenses and checking receipts against credit card charges. [S] was quietly playing at her table in the same room. At least for most of the time.
As I handed [S] a few receipts to play with, I walked in front of our sofa. That’s when I noticed an unusual marking on a cushion. As I approached our straw-colored couch, it became clear that the discoloration was due to purple and red crayon colored into the fabric. I glanced at [S], noting her preoccupation with crayons had long since ended, the offending crayons having been returned to their box.
[S] saw me. I, again, explained that crayons are to be used only on paper. I expressed my dismay that she colored our couch. And I left it at that. It is what it is, after all. The remainder of the evening, she sought my forgiveness, which had been given immediately.
As we prepare to have two children in the house, I am bracing myself for the realization that such things will happen. I am also reminding myself that [S] is a well-behaved child, with such incidents rarely occuring. Touch wood. Indeed, like most parents, I see my child as a wonder, growing, learning, doing–far too quickly most times. Perhaps, if I can’t work out the crayon from the fabric, it will serve as a colorful reminder to examine the world from a child’s perspective, while embracing the patience of a saint.