Was having a bit of trouble yesterday with the synchronization of my iPhone with some music on iTunes. (User friendly, indeed.) Needless to say, it had me a bit worked up, and as a result, I was upstairs, mostly ignoring the girls while they terrorized the downstairs. Before I had a chance to worry about what they could possibly be getting into without my noticing, Carter came up to me repeating, “I clean it–up. I clean-it—up, Mommy. I clean-it, up.”
Naturally, I assume she means the toys I had instructed both her and her sister to pick up so we could go to the gym (little did they know they would really have closer to 45 minutes to do this than the originally dictated 5). When I finally acknowledged her by saying, “Yes, Carter, yes, I hear you. You cleaned up. Good girl.” I looked down to see that she had remnants of pink and blue crayon stuck in her front teeth. “And you’ve been eating crayons again. Awesome.”
At about that exact moment I hear Eliott yelling from downstairs, “Mommy! Carter colored on the stairs! Well. Not all the stairs. Just one stair. Just one. The first one.” (How exact. Thank God for Eliott.) “Right on the carpet.”
At this announcement, Carter’s eye begin to show tinges of fear. I finally extricate myself from the frustration that is –what I thought– the simple act of putting some Lady Gaga on my iPhone to work out to, and go down to survey the damage.
There are about three spots ranging in diameter from 1-3 inches of blue and pink crayon on the first light beige carpeted stair. (I silently curse my mother for the Disney Princess glitter non-washable $1 crayons from JoAnn’s. And I curse JoAnn’s again for having them. And well, just for being JoAnn’s. Because we hate JoAnn’s.) As soon as I see it, Carter plants herself on the floor (protecting her bottom) and begins almost whimpering, eyes like a frightened doe, “I clean-it, up, Mommy. See? See? I clean-it, up.” Feeling the spots, I notice they are in fact, wet.
A little too confused to be immediately angry I ask, “How, Carter? Show me how you cleaned this up.”
She immediately stands up, puts her face to the carpet, and starts licking it.
My mind immediately flashes back to Fitzhugh, our family dog in Kansas whom we believed to have been abused by a former owner demonstrated in the way he immediately cleaned up after himself by eating his own poop.
What have I done?
I had to pause for a moment, just to hold her, and tell her it was okay and she was very responsible to try to clean it up all by herself, but next time, just come tell Mommy. Of course I honed in on the fear and really drove home the point that crayons do not belong on the carpet or anywhere else but at the table on paper.
When I got out the carpet spray and actually cleaned it up, she thanked me. Profusely. And rubbed my arm in support. I feel fairly confident the lesson was learned. She did repeat at least three times throughout the course of the day, “No crayons on the stairs. No no. Crayons (indistinguishable) table.” So at least there’s that.