SEE, thing is…last night? I took a Sharpie away from Captain Adventure, who was happily coloring in his room with it.
IN his room…ON his room…I mean, really…paper is made from trees, walls are made from trees, so if you really think about it, the difference would be…?
(The answer to that one would be something like, “The number of cuss-words Mommy says in the average 24-hour period times the square of how many Magic Erasers it takes to get Sharpie off the wall to the power of the cost of a can of primer and two coats of blue paint.) (I don’t know how high that number really is because my calculator can’t display that many digits. I also don’t know how a number would relate to a wordy-type question like ‘what’s the difference between a wall and a sheet of paper,’ but then I’m still a little frazzled by the whole Sharpie-on-walls-AGAIN thing.) (Seriously…I buy washable crayons and washable markers and even washable colored pencils, but what implement does he always, always! seem to find to rub all over the walls? Frickin. Black. SHARPIE. “The Undisputed King of Can’t-Be-Washed-Off-ANYTHING-Ev-AH Markers.” ARGH!!!!)
Captain Adventure came home a little tired today. Probably had a busy recess schedule plus also did I mention that he was up late last night decorating his room with a lovely Sharpie mural? I did? Did I mention that it goes from floor to as high as his little arms can reach when standing on the furniture? No? Yeah. That too.
ANYWAY. So he’s already a bit grumpy and not feeling too happy about much of anything…except maybe snack and more coloring!
So first thing after wolfing down his afternoon snack, he came into my office (where I am busily printing out enough paperwork to deforest the entire Amazon because everything relating to my new job needs my actual physical signature emblazoned on it on account of because now that we are in the Computer Age, there is no longer any need for physical docume…oh…wait…) and raided the paper tray in my printer.
This is why I never put more than a few sheets at a time into any printer around here. The boy doesn’t want to color in a coloring book, which is too limiting for an artist of his talents. Nay, forsooth, he prefers the wide open possibilities of the plain white copier paper, and could go through a gross of reams in a single sitting if you let him.
Ask me how I know.
ANYWHO, he got the paper and then turned his attention to getting a coloring-implement, seeing as how his irrational, mean, horrible, rotten, crummy, no-good-lousy-evil-overlord-of-a-mother had snatched away his Sharpie last night, which was Unfair and also Wrong.
Did I mention that he also “improved” his lampshade, bed frame, and my laundry basket?
FINE. So he starts to go drawer-diving in my office, immediately coming up with a non-washable thin-line pen designed for scrapbooking. Which I might actually get around to doing someday. No, really. Right after I finish shearing the cat so I can spin cat-thread with which to weave clothes for the garden elves.
NEVER MIND. (Obviously, it has been a looooooong day around here.)
I snatched the pen away from him and launched into the “what did we talk about last night” lecture, which I’m pretty sure sounds like this to him: “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah will this woman never shut.UP?!”
He stared at me thoughtfully for a moment, then went back into the drawer after the pen again.
I caught his hand and held it firmly (he hates that).
“No. Pens.” I said, very slowly and calmly (but possibly with a slightly wild look in my eyes). “Look, here’s a crayon. You can have crayons. But no. pens.”
He averted his eyes and slowly, dramatically, dropped to his knees. I do not acknowledge your commands. I do not acknowledge YOU. You do not exist. I say “LA LA LA LA LA” inside my head in your general direction and defy you with my absolute silence and refusal to look at you…
There was a long moment of silence as he pondered his options.
His displeasure roiled through the room, silent yet palpable. Really, the irrational stifling of his talents is too much to bear…
Still refusing to even glance in my general direction, he got up, went down the hall and returned with a pair of safety scissors, which he used to methodically cut a few sheets of paper into tiny squares with his back to me while he thought things over.
Then he got up.
He opened the drawer.
He looked at me with profound disgust.
Then he carefully dug through the pencils, pens, phone numbers of people I meant to call back and other detritus, picking out all the crayons – broken or whole, with and without wrappers, brand new or saved from the vacuum cleaner or recovered from under the van bench.
He is mightily annoyed…but managing to work within the unreasonable constraints of his barbaric jailor. He has so far produced a ballerina pig, three robots, an anaconda, a train and an entire page of the letter ‘s’ with little dots around them.
And while he is thus engaged, the barbaric jailor must now take alllllllllll the verboten drawing implements out of her drawer and find somewhere else – somewhere high up – to keep them.
Which means that when I go to actually sign all the documents I’ve been printing out for my “onboarding” process (which makes me feel like I’m catching a train or a boat rather than going to work)…well, I’ll bet you a burrito right here and now that I will have absolutely no memory whatsoever around where I relocated all said writing implements to, because if I didn’t have short term memory issues before I had kids, I SURELY HAVE THEM NOW.
It’s gonna be a looooooooong evening, isn’t it.
Yessir. A long, long evening…
P. J. O'Rourke
9 hours ago