We were having an awesome morning until my daughter decided to colour herself first orange and then green.
The girls ate their breakfast in under an hour, and were getting along nicely. I actually felt awake for once, sure maybe the second cup of coffee was helping, but I was glad to have actually got some sleep. We were reading the Baby Einstein Rythym board book, which lead to am impromptu jam session in the front room. Rainbow showing me how she makes a beat by wildly dancing and stomping on the floor. We brought out some musical instruments. Despite Rainbow’s insistence that she needed three instruments and could play them all at once, I managed to convince her to share with her sister. I put on the march tempo on the organ. The baby played tambourine and laughed and laughed. Awesome morning.
|This looks harmless enough…|
Rainbow was pooped out from all the dancing, and insisted she needed a nap in my laundry bin. Meh, no harm, sure why not. After much fussing around with pillow and blankets she declared herself cozy. No, she didn’t want to come upstairs and help me put the baby to bed, as she needed to take her pretend basket nap.
So I headed upstairs without her. Changed one little bum. Nursed Rocket for maybe five minutes tops. Tucked her into her crib. Thinking about how awesome today was going, and making plans to break out a craft kit to work on with Rainbow, I headed downstairs only to find her barricaded in her room. I knocked on the door, insisting she open. She muttered something indecipherable. I pushed on the door, trying to force it open, afraid I was going to hurt her as she was using her body to hold it closed. I came round the edge of the door to find my girl covered in orange cheesy powder. She had a bag of her Dad’s Cheetos in hand, which she’d devoured half of. Her hands and face were literally coated in orange.
The problem here isn’t the fact that she helped herself to snack food that she knows she’s not supposed to touch. The problem is the last time I saw those Cheetos they were on the couch, downstairs, in the I Am Filled With Danger basement which my daughter isn’t allowed to set foot in without adult accompaniment.
Just last week she pulled a similar stunt. Disappearing downstairs while I was getting the baby dressed. I headed downstairs to start the day and she was nowhere to be found. I called out her name but she didn’t answer. Eventually I found her downstairs, sitting on the couch, covering her face up with her hands, with a half eaten box of her Dad’s snack crackers. Again, it’s not so much what she was doing as where she was doing it. Given the open access to the cat’s litter box, my workbench tools and goodness knows what else she could get her hands on in the laundry room, not to mention her dad’s extensive collection of miniatures, etc. etc., a box of crackers is probably the very least trouble she could get herself into.
I was frustrated as hell. Once I had her washed down, I gave her a time out. Then once I had simmered down I sat and talked with her (Again!) about how dangerous it is for her to be in the basement without a grown-up. I decided to try a new tack, and told her she was grounded; no TV, no video games with Dad, no Dorothy-Toto read to her at bedtime. Also normally while her sister sleeps we spend some one on one time. I told her because she was grounded that I would not play with her, but rather I was going to work on the computer while she should play quietly by herself in her room.
|My darling girl looking like|
a hobo with a 5 o’clock shadow.
I went on the computer and started chatting online with my husband, discussing important things like what the heck to do with our girl and where to hide the cheesies. I suddenly realize that it is Very Quiet. When I’m sitting on the computer her bedroom door is about five feet from me. My daughter, who was sitting in her room quietly drawing, is no longer talking aloud or singing to herself. I called out to her and she didn’t answer, but I could hear her creeping quietly in the hallway. I asked her again what she was doing and this time she answers, “Nothing. I’m doing nothing” Then after a long pause she timidly steps into the computer room and declares, “I’m just decorating and colouring myself, see.” She is COVERED in marker. She has drawn dots all over her hands and arms. It’s smearing badly and she’s has green marker rubbed all over her face.
For the record, Crayola washable markers, not as washable as you’d think. I scrubbed Rainbow so much she complained I was hurting her and she still had a nice undead green tinge to her lower face and dashes and dots all over her hands. So much for my awesome morning. It’s only 10:30 and I’m already ready to sell my daughter to the gypsies.