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.
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?”
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.
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.