Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

May 23, 2007

Out, damned spot!

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 4:01 am

I was writing an email to a friend telling her how much I was loving my kids right now, when it happened. I was writing about their independence, and ability to play together. And I was thinking how nice it was to finally have a few minutes to myself – while they were still awake – without them running in to see what I was doing.

When I was done singing the praises of my children, I went to go check on them and join their play. I was not prepared for what I saw.

I found them underneath the dining room table instead of in the playroom. Both boys had markers in their hands… and both were coloring on the fancy table we had bought, the leather arm chairs that sit at the head of the table, and the upholstered chairs that sit at the side of the table. Likewise, the entire hard wood floor was covered with red & green scribbles.

All I could do was scream NOOOOOO, and burst out into tears. Was it mature? No, but the whole dining room set, that we lovingly spent months looking for and more months saving for, looked like a Fisher Price toy. A string of obscenities flew out of my mouth as I ran for the paper towels and started scrubbing violently.

Justin simply looked at me and ran away. Andrew came over and asked what was wrong, and why I was sad. It was all I could do not to take the marker and throw it across the room in a fury. I didn’t want to speak, because I didn’t want to yell at him. So I called my husband in tears and had him read me suggestions from the Internet to try to remove the scribbles. Nothing really worked.

I know that the kids didn’t mean it. I know that they are kids & that is what happens. I have all sorts of furniture that have nicks, and scratches, and crayon on them. But this was MY FANCY furniture. You know, the stuff that is supposed to be with you for the rest of your lifetime – that is why you spent a lot of money for the ‘good stuff’.

I am still scrubbing. And it’s eventually dulling in color. I think most people won’t notice right away when they look at it. Luckily we picked a dark cherry set, so red can be disguised. Green, not so much. But I am working at it.

The frustrating part for me is that I know they knew better. And mostly, “I” knew better. I shouldn’t have left the markers out for them to use on the paper while I wasn’t standing there. I should have known from their giggles that they were doing something bad. I shouldn’t have cried over a stupid piece of furniture in front of my kids and freaked them out. I feel guilty and pissed off at the same time.

When you are a parent, you put your kids first. You know these things are going to happen. But when they do fall apart – it’s hard to act like a parent and not just a regular person who is going to have to look at these pieces of furniture for the next 40 years. Hopefully I won’t continue to want to kick myself, and my kids, in the ass for being so stupid.


1 Comment »

  1. First of all, I’m actually impressed that you only screamed and cried. Most would have struggled not to beat their children silly with those tiny markers.

    Second, I’m actually a little glad this happened. Someday, many years from now, our children will be grown and gone. You will be all alone in your home and catch a glimpse of a faded green mark on the leg of the chair. It will be so faint by then that only you would notice. I can imagine the wave of joy at the flashback of these “two boys as tiny little men, our youth, all the giggling and snuggles, the sandbox you had in that little backyard in the house on Moraga, didn’t you use to be a blonde then?, Andrew as such a little chatterbox, Justin was such a little lover, Daddy use to be able to do an Ironman!. God, I wish they were still little.” Something tells me you will see that faded green mark and smile.

    Comment by Meg — May 25, 2007 @ 2:02 pm |Reply

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