Thursday, July 20, 2006

I have a two-year-old.

Be forewarned from the start that this is a whiny post and I just want to get this down in writing for posterity, because I forgot about my recent plan to take pictures (to be used in future for purposes of bribery) of the messes C. makes.

:::whining mode on:::

Not long ago, I decided just to grab the camera and snap digital pictures every time C. wreaked havoc in the house. During our recent kitchen renovations, we were fairly distracted, she was more unsupervised than usual, and in spite of the fact that there are FIVE PEOPLE in this house who can keep an eye on her, she managed, within the span of a few days, to...

...Get hold of a sharpie marker and scribble all over my very light desk and the light cloth cover of my desk chair. (Hairspray dissolves sharpie marker ink, if you ever need to know.) Two people, who shall remain nameless, were in the same room with her when this happened.

...Climb up to a cupboard, find the liquid food coloring, pry the lid off the bottle of green coloring, and re-do the nicely varnished parquet floor in the dining room. Okay, it is nice, but there are some scratches where the varnish is missing, and when green food coloring sinks into those scratches, it doesn't come off!

...Dip both her hands into an open can of wall paint that was sitting on the floor (thanks, Daddy!) and spatter paint all over the floor, the refrigerator, and a nice denim jumper I figured she'd be able to wear all through next winter!

...Get hold of yet another marker--brown, this time, and washable--and scribble all over the doorway to the dining room. (Why does she hate the dining room? She likes to eat!)

And these would be in addition to the usual, but manageable messes like toothpicks all over the floor and trashbags unrolled across the hallway.

I had so urgently to clean up these problems--especially the food coloring and the paint--that I forgot my recent plan to take pictures of her escapades. A few weeks ago, I was feeling a bit more laid back when she got into the fridge and fed herself a bowl of jello with her fingers, though. (Notice the OLD kitchen floor--ugly, dirty, sticky linoleum that is now gone forever!)

I doubt if this is obvious from this short note, but C. does not like toys! She wants to play with real things around the house. I would welcome suggestions for activities for a child like that! Donations of chocolate, coffee, and reciprocal toddler tales also gratefully accepted.

:::whining mode off:::


At 10:53 PM , Blogger athenainaminivan said...

I feel your pain. My two year old is like minded. I have spent the summer taking markers out of his hands and cleaning up hamster food spilled on the floor.

Last night he snuck a candy into bed and woke up covered in chocolate. I had to clean the crib, sheets, and toddler.

At 4:06 PM , Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I don't know if you remember or not, but when the First Year Girl was a toddler I posted something VERY similar to this to the CMason list, pleading for help. I got several helpful suggestions, but I confess the most useful tool at our house was simply the passage of time.
She did enjoy some of the ideas suggested by a lady who said the trick was to find things that didn't seem like toys- a broken telephone or alarm clock, a cereal box and a serrated butter knife (not serrated enough to hurt the child, but just enough the child can saw away at the box) golf tees to pound into styrofoam, a box of sea shells and pinecones to sort, pipecleaners or yarn and large buttons to string, small cans of vegetables to stack.

I think you little one adores the diningroom and kitchen- that's why she wants to decorate them!

Reciprocal toddler tale coming up at my blog.

At 5:27 PM , Blogger Tim's Mom said...

She's grown so much! Look at that beautiful hair!!

She sounds *just* like M. If something is left out, even for a few seconds, M somehow manages to find it. It's almost as if she has some kind of built-in radar. Maybe C and M traded notes last summer?? Or maybe I was better at keeping things out of reach when I didn't have three older kids leaving pens, food coloring and scissors within her reach.

At 9:00 PM , Blogger Elinor Dashwood said...

If it's any consolation, my mom and I thought as we were reading, "That's one smart little cookie." :-)

I'm sure you'll turn that destructive genius into something constructive!

At 4:19 AM , Blogger blestwithsons said...

Back in February, my then five year old second son wrote the names of all the keys on our brand new Yamaha upright piano with pink and purple markers. We hadn't even paid for it yet! I just stood there going "!!!!!!!!!" and trembling. Thank God for baby wipes, though there will always be pink and purple stripes down the sides of the keys.

(in his defense, he is mildly autistic. So basically, he has the impulse control of a toddler)

At 3:44 PM , Blogger Sandy said...

Two stories stand out in my mind: First, when my ds was 4 and dd was 2, I was on a phone call with a business client in the evening when dh was out. (We lived upstairs and our office was downstairs.) When I got off the phone, I found both dc in the bathroom. Ds had scissors in his hand and there were little blond ringlets of dd's hair all over the floor. We had to cut her hair so short she looked like a boy for 6 months.

Second. Ds was 4 or 5 and I was meeting with another client in the office. I'd just planted tomatoes and peppers in my garden. I came outside to find that ds had pulled up every plant by its roots.

To give you hope: ds is now 18 and will be leaving for college in 5 weeks. He won the top scholarship to his college and we have bright hopes for his future. People can't believe our stories of what a rascal he was when he was younger.


At 11:09 PM , Blogger Kathryn Judson said...

re: the hairspray tip. I take magic marker marks off book covers and dust jackets using plain old rubbing alcohol. It works most of the time, and doesn't have the side problems of hair spray.

As for toddler tales, my brother is never going to be allowed to forget the day he got up early - very early, while everyone else was asleep - to help paint the house, and painted every can in the pantry. I was a baby and don't remember, but my mother assured me we had 'mystery food' for months, since she didn't know what was in a can until she opened it.

At 4:11 AM , Blogger The Apprentice said...

OH dear. How cute! I know that guilty look all too well from when Ponytails and Crayons (mostly Crayons) were little.


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