“Sorry, Mommy”

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What a week.  He’s done it again!  Last week, Brady gave me some fascinating subject matter for a post called “Purple.”  Perhaps, for consistency, I should have called today’s post “Black.”  Actually, I’ve had a small bit of entertainment coming up with names for today’s post.  Might as well have something to laugh about.  The eternal optimist in me came through quite quickly and at least thought to get the camera.  The good news:  This might make good blog stuff or at least, a funny memory.

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Subtitle:  “Why we don’t have nice things” or “Why there won’t be a 5th Houk child” 

So you’ve had a Bad Day? 

In just one short week, I’ve had some sort of flu-like illness and spent a great deal of time in bed.  During that time, Brady has painted the family room including couch, carpet, cocktail table, toys, and dog – Purple.  That was permanent paint.  Then, over the weekend, he went into his sisters’ newly decorated pad that we call “Girls Place” and redecorated a nightstand, carpet, and some of their articles of clothing with Crayola paint.  That paint, thankfully, was washable.  And, today.  Ahhh, today.  Apparently our young artist is experimenting with various mediums.  That substance decorating him and once again, the family room, is….permanent INK! 

You can almost just see how creative he is from the photo.  That would be the dog’s cage that he used as his artist pallet.  Into that pooling of ink, he has deposited the following:

a seamstress style tape measure  

a used 35 mm roll of film

one AA battery

one broken Pirate’s sword toy

one Goofy as a pirate toy figure

and a brand new, but opened, toothbrush

I don’t know what he was creating, but man, was it going to be good.  He was truly thrilled with himself.  He came and got me, just as he is in the photo, to show me his masterpiece.  He had the tape measure around his neck, just as if he were doing some routine alterations. 

I screamed!  I did this for a variety of reasons.  One, he was leaving prints on everything he touched.  Second, he really scared me – I hardly recognized him.  Third, how much of this can one family take in a week?  I’m seriously considering putting him in the dog’s cage. 

The ink and many of the above mentioned items were again stolen from the study.  We are cleaning out the study (slow, slow process) and there are boxes of assorted wonders around.  It’s taken me awhile, but I am now realizing that’s exactly what those crates are to  him:  creative wonders ready for the taking.  The ink is a permanent refill for a business stamp pad.  The only good news here is that it is kind of slow drying and that is isn’t permanent until it dries.  I had a small window of opportunity. 

Knowing I had to move fast and still screaming, I let him lead me to the scene of the crime, where I screamed some more.  Then I yelled at him directly.  

“Sorry, Mommy”  Big, big tears.  He looked so sad, so deflated.  He even looked confused.  How did he get so cute?  This isn’t fair!

“Brady, you can just keep being sorry!  WE DON’T PLAY WITH PAINT!  I mean, we aren’t supposed to play with paint, or markers, or ink.”  Ugh! – I’m not making any sense, how could a 3 year old understand me?  Now he’s really crying and he was so just so pleased with his work.  Great, he’s ruined the family room for the second time and now he’s the one with hurt feelings. 

Deep, deep breath.  Guess what?  Guess who was watching him this time?  Oh yes, Mrs. Eat-My- Own- Words- About- Watching -the -Toddler Houk.  And, let’s just make it worse.  Brady was talking to me from the other room while he was in the midst of “creating” or re-decorating, as we now call it. 

“Mommy, where’s Daddy?” 

“He’s upstairs, Brady.  Mommy’s got to work on the computer. You play, okay.” 

“Okay, Mommy.  Where’s Daddy? He coming back down?” 

“He’ll be down in a minute, Brady, please let Mommy finish.  Do you need something?” 

“No, I no need thing, Mommy.”

Sneaky little devil.  The above conversation is code for:  How long do I have before an adult, any adult, You or Dad, comes in here to stop me? 

No need – he apparently had plenty of time to finish as he was already showing of his handiwork. 

There’s currently no time to choke on my foot, as hubby is headed out the door to a job interview.  Mission one:  Confine toddler to keep Dad clean.  Steve picks up his folder, loaded with the reference sheets I was typing for him while Brady got artistic.  We yell a good luck, as he can’t even get close enough to kiss either of us. 

Decon begins.  I hold Brady’s hand to go upstairs.  Dummy – I should have held both hands.  Handprint now on bannister and on wall.  Mental note, clean that too.  I put him into the tub – clothes and all.  The shirt goes straight into the trash.  I cannot waste valuable energy on cleaning a t-shirt.  I put him under the faucet before I even attempt to run water.  A blackish purple run-off is now pooling at his feet.  He’s giggling hysterically.  He’s recovered from my stern rambling and is now having a blast.  I soap him up 3 times before it’s safe to actually catch the water and fill up the tub.  My plan now is to put baby wash in the water so that while he soaks and plays, the bottom layers of black ink start fading.  Baby wash bottle – empty.  No baby wash or adult wash or shower gel to be found.  Quick trip to the girls’ bathroom.  I’ll have to confess later, but the Mandarin Kiwi shower gel from a Christmas present is now in Mom’s tub.  The whole bottle – it was only 4 ounces! 

Now the baby is headed toward clean.  I must face the family room.  But the baby’s got to stay in the tub.  “Never leave a child under 5 unattended in the tub.”  Parent safety rule number something that I am forced to now remember.  I glance down at Murphy dog and seriously contemplate asking him to watch the baby.  Okay, reality breaks through – What the Hell am I thinking? 

“Brady, I need you to keep talking to Mommy, okay?” 

He looks confused. 

“Mommy’s got to go downstairs and clean up.  Will you talk to Mommy so I can still hear you down there?” 

“Okay, Mommy.” 

I race downstairs and find some glass and surface cleaner.  I will work on the fingerprints on the wall areas first, as the couch is already trashed x2.  Here’s a good shot of the handprints. 

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And, yes, there is a God (I did already know that, but you need reinforcers on a day like today), those handprints did come off.  I thank both God and eggshell finish paint, which claims to wash up well.  I’m a believer!  This ink was so think that when I sprayed the cleaner on, the spray that ricocheted back of the wall was black, and left subsequent stains where it fell.  I caught on quick and just wet the rag. 

During this whole time, Brady is doing a version of what I instructed.  Instead of continuing to talk to me, he’s opted for just yelling “Moooooommmmyyyyyy” over and over.  Irritating, yes, but no chance of drowning. 

Now, I move to the top of the dog crate area.  Out of Brady’s treasures, I only saved the roll of film.  I’m going to take it to my handy Walgreen’s and see if they think the ink went inside.  It was so deep on the top of the crate that it was still wet and pooling, and funneling down through the air vents in the top.  Okay, dog bedding now thrown away.  I used newspapers to soak up most of the wet ink and then cleaned the top, briefly.  It’s a dog crate, after all, and I certainly have more important worries. 

I go to check the Bradster quickly.  I convince him to let me turn on the jets (it’s scary) long enough to get some bubbles going.  That last layer of black is pretty persistent.  We turn on the jets and I make him put arms/legs in there for the force of the water.  Now, he’s loving it.  We are riding the rapids.  I wipe off all the black residue from the drops around the top of the tub.  I look down, my clothes are ruined.  Given, they were lounging clothes – yoga pants and a t-shirt, but gees, enough.  I can’ t leave the bubbles going, as I won’t be able to hear him.  Bubbles off.  I find a toy football and floatie duckie in the floor.  That, with the one lego, the cup, and every kid’s favorite (and safe) toy, the cuticle stick, has made Brady happy.  He’s now playing rocket ship. Not yelling Mommy, but still chatting.  I run back down quick. 

On to the couch.  My luck has run out.  Ink soaks in quickly.  All I get when I try to clean it is a dirty cloth and more drippy, black water running off.  Forget it!  I said I didn’t like that couch last week and now I HATE IT!  We will be forced into slipcovers or new furntiture very soon. 

I’m thinking we might want to wait until Brady turns at least 4. 

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18 responses »

  1. This is great! I remember when I left the back porch painting for just a moment and returned to find that Will & Maggie had painted Ruth Ann green. They were so proud and I too stopped for the camera. With her red hair she looked like a leprechaun!

    On the Saturday, before Easter Sunday, Maggie gave Ruth Ann special body art…. with a sharpie!

    Love to you all!

  2. K, I’m sorry but your misfortune has brightened my day. That was a joy to read. Sorry about your couch. :( I’m suddenly terrified and considering looking into military school for the preschool age. I feel like my beautiful Ikea couch that I bought after wanting it for 5 years is doomed. I shoulda bought an extra slipcover before they discontinued it. Ok, now I’m just scared. The day isn’t bright anymore…I’m just downright scared. All the nice things INTO STORAGE!

  3. uh-huh. still love him. and i get dibs on adopting him! i have a huge grin on my face. i’m so glad to know you all! kisses!

  4. Ok…I have now laughed so long and hard my family actually got concerned and came to check on me! I am very sorry for your misfortune but you remember that twins curse you put on me a few weeks ago? Well all I can say is karma baby karma! Still laughing… I am also feeling very lucky that my 3 year old is simply a nudist who picks up every pretty women he meets. And by the way Aidan wanted to cheer you up so he went ahead and ordered your capybara (worlds largest guinea pig). It should arrive in the next few weeks in a large crate with air holes. However none of the care instructions said it was paintable so please be cautions. Here is a link so you can check them out in advance – http://www.rebsig.com/capybara
    Still laughing….

  5. Upon discussion of my hysterical laughter Walt and I came up with a solution for all your “spots”. We have put in an urgent call the The Cat in the Hat for Little Cat Z, he’ll be right over with some VROOOM for all those spots! Still laughing…..

  6. What a creative commentary and an equally wonderful approach to a would-be disastrous event! But then, you always leave me in stitches!!!
    Keep ‘em comin’

  7. Oh the life of a toddler: Yes I would love to go back to the days that my now 18 and 20 year old sons were that age. I remember a couple of stories maybe not so damaging. Once I heard this giggling from the bathtub where the oldest was taking a bath beside the kitchen where I was cleaning up supper. I stepped around the corner and there they were, the eldest had encouraged the youngest to get in the tub with his clothes on. I ran upstairs and changed his clothes into pajamas and then hurried down to finish the kitchen and heard giggling again. Yes there they were again the youngest in the bathtub with his clothes on. Fortunately I thought to get the camera–I would not take anything for that little memory. **The other we were getting ready for a church christmas choir program that I was directing. The children were shepherds. Only age maybe 4 & 2- I got them dressed and then ran to get myself quickly ready. Heard great excitement laughter and giggles. I ran downstairs, there they were- the canes(shepherds crooks) were stirring the water in the fish tank. Needless to say all but one or 2 fish survived. Remember these days are short. One day they will not be there to let you hear those little smiles, grins, giggles, and tears to nurture. Life is too short. Enjoy every minute good with the “bad”. God allows us to grow through all of this. Have a better week. Love to you all! Rebecca Thanks for sharing. Onward Christian Soldiers!

  8. oh my goodness…

    i am so not ready for my wife to have our child. I think this is an omen. my boss just showed me an email of a kid that had painted the entire living room white (tv, sofa, coffee table, sliding glass doors,etc) and said, “this is what you get to look forward to!”

    I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.

    thanks for stopping by my page!
    I’ll have to send my wife to see yours, too!

  9. speechless, I don’t know what to say. How many emotions can one have at the same time? You know he gets all that artistic flare from his dad don’t you? Do you have the picture when Steve helped mom paint the back porch white?

  10. This is fun, but not as much fun as locking mum out of the house, or running around with the carving knife, or wandering off in a strange condo complex complete with lots of stairs, a busy street, and a deep mountain lake!

    Everyone survived okay.

  11. I have a list I keep of “things that will be funny later”. This qualifies. Its a good sign that you got pictures. Oh I can’t imagine. Well, I guess I can in other ways but ink? Ohhhh man.

  12. PS” keep on hand lysol the spray kind. The kinds that probly have all sorts of bad effects on the worlds o zone. But yes truely it is a wonderous thing. It can remove paint even dryed from almost any object. That “pen” yanno the black ones everyone MUST have ten of that children can find even when you cant to paint the walls ( i have two budding artists) Mr Lysol to the rescue. On note it will remove paint off your walls IF your TOOO heavy handed. scrub light my friend. Carpet well it works there too . Furniture asweome. Make sure its the regular lysol tho the smelly kind not the good smelling kind.
    PPSS: Mouthwash the regular off brand Blue kind from walmart (like listerine) MAKES the bathroom counter art come off too. AS well as bringing back the natural shine to that same surface.AND bonus its also great for the mirror , toilet, bathtubby, and carpet. dont ask how i know.

  13. An Artist’s Wife told us about using cheap aerosol hairspray with acetone in it to remove ink from shirts/cloth. Worked several times for us. Our two have usually used Crayolas & pencils on the painted walls. Otherwise, we’re relatively graffiti-free.

  14. Pingback: The Flusher Seeks Redemption « Dying Arts

  15. This was a great story, and I can only say that with a smile because I have an aspiring artist myself! Great story can’t wait to read the others. Thank goodness I am not the only one!

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