I feel a sudden urge to purge this house of markers.
April 04, 2011

She comes to me with a fistful of colored pencils that she found while rummaging about in the art cabinet.  MAWMAW, she exclaims, holding the colored pencils out to me.  CAN! (crayon)

She’s close enough, so I don’t correct her.  I ask her if she’d like to color.  The fact that we do this every day has done nothing to dampen her excitement.  Her mouth drops open, her eyes widen, she gasps with anticipation.  YES!, she yelps.  YES!

Schmutz on the face is a semi-permanent state around these parts…

We pull out the paper and I push her chair in toward the table.  I bring crayons and chalk and a glitter gluestick to her too and I let her go to town.  She scribbles all over the paper and all over the table, but mostly she just turns the crayons and the colored pencils over in her hands marveling at them.  When she’s through, she looks about at the coloring on the table.

MESH (mess), she says proudly.  I laugh.  In this house, making a mess is a good thing.  It means that life and learning and good fun happened.  We clean it up together, but we miss a piece of chalk.  I find chalk scribbles on the cabinets, the walls, the dresser, the floor, and our clean laundry piles all afternoon.

This is a beautiful age, I find myself telling a friend on the phone that night.  Watching her color, listening to her piece together her puzzle of a world, finding chalk scribbles on the laundry.

My friend chuckles.  She has children five and ten years older than my daughter.  It’s cute now, she says, but wait until the piece you miss is a permanent marker.

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  1. By SimoneSpielzeug on April 04, 2011

    Hi, yes I know myself too well;-). The paintings, most unfortunately end in frustration.

  2. By on April 04, 2011

    Oh I know this all too well-we still have orange permanent marker on our couch from my middle child when she was about 3. :o)

  3. By Cynthia Krajcarski on April 04, 2011

    I coloured my grandparents wall in permanent marker. All my grandpa said when he saw it was was “Wow! It’s so pretty! Do some more!“

    I do not intend on having the same reaction.

  4. By Amelia Sprout on April 04, 2011

    Oh, the rules we have around crayons and markers.  I had solved part of it by putting them all in cool Fido jars, so she could see them to ask for them, but needed help opening them, but she is strong enough to open them now.  I know I should lock the cabinet with the sharpies in it, but I’d like to think she knows better… for now.

  5. By on April 04, 2011

    Jude some how came across an orange highlighted s couple weeks ago. Now we have orange highlighted all over our ottoman… Get rid of markers ASAP. Lol

  6. By Christy on April 04, 2011

    Your little girl is so so cute. I love when you write out her dialogue. My just-turned-two daughter talks the same way. I get such a kick out of it.

  7. By Sarah on April 04, 2011

    heehee! I have a whole room devoted to mess and my kids create all day long! it’s great

  8. By on April 04, 2011

    My son once used a black crayon on the white wall of a house we were visiting. When called on the carpet he asked how did you know it was me? He had written his name is how, lol.

  9. By Lauren B. on April 04, 2011

    When I was about 2 I found my Grandmothers bright red lipstick and plastered it over myself, her gorgeous white bathroom, and the white shag carpet on her stairs. when I was caught and shown how I look in the mirror with lipstick all over my face, I cried.
    I don’t remember this event but I’m guessing when I put on the lipstick I had imagined it looking wonderful and then was horrified to find I looked terrible. I’ve been reminded of this story many a time. =)

  10. By Sarah Christensen on April 04, 2011

    Lauren B - Your story reminded me!  When I was little, I had a toy radio.  I got into my mom’s lipstick one day and I colored over the entire radio with it - and then was completely distressed when I realized what I’d done.  My poor dad spent forever helping me wash it off.

  11. By on April 04, 2011

    Yes, either get rid of the markers or hid them really well. Kellen got a hold of one of my blue markers one time, but luckily only colored all over himself and one of his big toy cars and it was washable. I am so glad he didn’t color on our tan walls or our beige carpet. Although, we can’t leave him unattended with crayons either because we had green scribbles on our wall that had to be cleaned off with a Magic Eraser :-) The boy loves to color.

  12. By The Mommy Therapy on April 04, 2011

    You and your friend are both correct.  It is a fun age, especially with your first one.  My first loved doing all sorts of arts and crafts and was even so focused that i could leave the paint out for him to use when he liked and he would actually only paint on the paper….geez I miss that.  My second, not so much.

    I currently have marker all over my middle child’s bed, door and if left alone it will quickly be alll over his body.  I swear he is destined to be covered in tattoos, he just loves having his body “painted.“ 

    Enjoy it, it is bliss.

  13. By Cambria on April 04, 2011

    Just returned from the store where I purchased a 4 pack of magic erasers to clean the crayon scribbles from a missed orange crayon off my tile floor, closet door and front door. Permanent markers frighten me.

  14. By on April 04, 2011

    this was on my local news website and wondering your thoughts (sorry nothing to do with markers!)


  15. By Sarah Christensen on April 04, 2011

    Christy - HA!  That doll has been a hot topic with moms around here lately.

    I personally don’t have a problem with a doll that nurses - at least not any more of a problem than I do with a doll that comes with a bottle.  I don’t think that dolls should really be set up for either simply because I believe that when a doll only fulfills one or two specific purposes then it limits the ways in which a child can play with it (i.e. a doll that comes with a bottle is rarely going to be play-breastfed and I suspect that this doll will rarely be play-bottlefed) - and I’m not a big fan of restraining a child’s creativity.  But on the other hand, I was 19 before I puzzled together that breasts could be used to feed a baby.  I’m sure it was discussed at some point in health or science classes and I’m sure I witnessed women nursing or heard my mom talk about it, but for whatever reason it wasn’t until a co-worker of mine talked about breastfeeding openly that I figured it out.  I have a very vivid memory of the NO FRIGGIN WAY epiphany of that moment, and it’s like 95% humiliation at not having known before.  So I understand that a breastfeeding doll could have value for kids who, like me, somehow slip through the cracks.  I don’t think that breastfeeding is right for everyone, but I also don’t think that any man or woman should feel uncomfortable or be uneducated about breastfeeding, so I think that if this doll helps educate or familiarize young children with breastfeeding then that’s socially beneficial as well.

    I can go on - about the demographics that will likely buy the doll, about the materials used to produce it, about what I think about encouraging children to view breastfeeding as an act that requires a special shirt, about advertising it as encouraging nurturing which inadvertently implies that bottle-feeding dolls do not, why I dislike that dolls like this are only marketed to girls, how hypocritical I think it is for people to care about this and not care about some of the other toys on the market that I personally find far more offensive (i.e. McDonald’s play food, dolls with guns, and the like), etc, but my overall stance is that I don’t have a problem with it.  My biggest beef is the way it is packaged, produced, and marketed, honestly.

    I don’t think that it’s a doll that we’ll ever have in our home, but I also won’t have a doll with a pacifier or a bottle in our home either.  I expect that as Charlotte becomes more interested in dolls she’ll continue ‘nursing’ them or offering them to me to ‘nurse’ (which is the extent of her doll play right now) because that is the behavior she’s accustomed to and it’s the behavior she sees reflected in other families we know, but I don’t think she needs a special doll for that.

  16. By Alicia S. on April 04, 2011


    Or Playdough.

    Or Moonsand.

  17. By Jasmine on April 04, 2011

    Magic erasers lied to me… Some markers do not come off!

  18. By on April 05, 2011

    I did this really awesome thing with a sharpie once. I took the sharpie, colored the entire palm and inside of my fingers and made sharpie hand prints on the sofa and all the walls of one of the bedrooms. For some reason it didnt occur to me that my parents might not find as much joy in the outcome of this as I did.

  19. By erin on April 05, 2011

    I love when Hannah tells me (outside) RUBBY HOWN (grubby hands).  Inside, not so much.

    We have Crayola crayons that are supposed to be easy to wash off walls, but I’m not eager to test them out.

  20. By erin on April 05, 2011

    PS, Jaimey has the cutest photo somewhere of her son bf’ing his monkey. :)

  21. By on April 05, 2011

    No more perm markers in my house. I’ve switched to the washable kind after Hannah drew on my dad’s car! The ones I got do wash off but will still leave some marks if left on too long. I also bought a proper easel so she gets to draw standing up too. Beats drawing on the wall anytime!

  22. By MOMSICLE VIBE on April 05, 2011

    Ok, where have I been because clearly I should have been reading you since I got pregnant (almost 3 yrs ago - WOWZA)!!
    “Piecing together her puzzle of a world…“  Lovely.  That is exactly the miracle I am gifted to observe every day as well.  MINDBOTTLING!  Our girls must be close to the same age and I love hearing the same heart stretching love that I experience in your eloquent echo. 
    If you were to take a gander at my site I’d most want you to see this pos (aside from my birth story of course)t:

  23. By MOMSICLE VIBE on April 05, 2011

    A word on the doll/toy discussion above:

    Amen sister.  I am kind of out of the loop of trendy toys as we gratefully accept what is given to Soliel by friends/family and hit up the local library and consignment… What lead me to browse Toys R Us website, I do not remember.  What I DO remember is barfing in my mouth when I discovered that their toys sections are separated by GENDER and that in the BOYS role playing section was a doctor’s kit and white coat.  Not in the girls.  Just the boys.

    Now.  There are MANY levels beyond just the doctor bit that I could rant about but I already have a headache just thinking about it and you see where I’m going….


  24. By Sarahviz on April 07, 2011

    I love that you used the word “schmutz”.  Best.Word.Ever.  We say it in my Trenches too. As in “C’mere you.  Ya got a little schmutz on yer face.“





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