Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Sharpie Incident

I have a confession to make.  Yesterday, I made a mothering mistake.  It wasn't a mistake per say, but it was something I regret.

I've been working on some calligraphy projects and I tend to use a notebook and sharpie to draft my work.   While Emma was napping, I hung out in the living room with a bit of Mr. Selfridge (Thank you, Amazon Fire Stick...you fuel my addiction...) and when Emma woke up, I left all of my pens and paper on the floor.  I didn't think much of it as we were outside for the rest of the afternoon.

Here's my critical error: I made dinner.  I don't tend to make dinner before B gets home as I much prefer to "get stuck in" with Emma (B and I eat much later anyways).  I'll play with play doh and color or have tea parties because - to me - that's how I mother.  I like to be present.  I like to get on the floor. I like to read the same book fifty times.

As I busied myself with polenta, Emma got ahold of the sharpie.  B and I were talking in the kitchen and our little two year old came wandering into the kitchen with a huge, mischievous grin on her face.  In her hand - the sharpie.  Her fingers were black - I panicked.  


I quickly snatched the pen out of her hand and looked around my living room for the destruction.  I found none.  NONE.  Her face crumbled; she sobbed. 

This isn't the worst bit.  Sure, I make her cry all the time by giving her the wrong cup or changing her dirty diapers.  The worst bit was that when I found the "destruction":

She was copying me.  She holds the pen perfectly and is already making pseudo-letters and straight lines.   Her little marks were nestled in amongst mine.  It just broke my heart - she wanted to be like mummy.  To her - she didn't do anything wrong as she was copying me.

I felt terrible.  I left the piece out in the living room to remind me to be patient - Sharpie is permanent, but does a little mark of sharpie really matter? I mean, really? I think my actions have a more permanent impact on Emma than a little marker.  

This morning, Emma showed me the "coloring" and I told her it was very good.  I asked if she wanted to do more and she showed up with another sharpie (Seriously!  Where does she find them?!) 

Ah, ha.  A teachable moment.  We spent about half an hour coloring with sharpie.  

Will she remember?  Probably not. Does it matter?  Not really.  Did we share a lovely moment together?  Of course.


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