Monday, October 12, 2009

What Do You Say...

...when you go downstairs to tell your four year-old that quiet time is over and he can go outside to help Grandma pick up sticks, but instead of delivering your message, you discover this......and this...
...and this.
This,
this, and...
this.
Also this...
...and this.
This, too...
...and this.
And oh yes, this...
...and this.
Do you say, "It appears that Zorro has ridden this way"?

Do you say, "I obviously need to teach my son how to make a proper "z" since ALL of them were backwards"?

Do you say, "How nice that the marker seems to have plenty of ink"?

Do you say, "Young man, you just wait until your father gets home"?

Do you say nothing, and cry?

Do you say nothing, and laugh?

Does your jaw drop, and you stand there with hands covering your face, completely unable to say anything and hardly daring to peek between your fingers for fear that you'll find EVEN MORE places where a certain little four year-old has scrawled his backwards "z's" in imitation of his latest hero, Zorro*?

Yes, I did some of that.

And then, when I could recover from my speechless state, I got down, looked David in the eyes, and said, "Do you know that I love you more than any THING? Do you know that you are more important to me than the floor or the walls or the books or the shelves?" He nodded solemnly.

That was followed by, "WHAT were you thinking?"

He didn't really have a good answer for that; but later on, after we had talked and cried and prayed together, and cleaned and scrubbed and tried to erase the marker (which happens to come off very easily from a dry erase board, but not so easily from bookshelves, book spines, and white walls), he said in such a desperate voice, "I prayed and asked God to make the "z's" go away!" that I almost had to laugh.

I suppose the surprise is not that some unauthorized "artwork" happened in our home, but that it didn't happen sooner. After seven years of being parents of boys, it's slightly amazing that this is the first time that such a thing has occurred. But what a thing! It wasn't just one scribble on the wall with a crayon. It was EVERYWHERE. The more I looked, the more unbelievable it seemed.

After we had finished cleaning up (as much as we could do...Jeff did some painting tonight to cover more of the spots, but some still remain), I took David in my arms and sat in the old brown recliner with him, right on top of the ink streaks. We talked and prayed, and I told him how my specific prayer focus for the boys today was self-control. Ironic, eh? He was a sober little guy, listening closely and tearfully praying. And then when I said "amen," he hopped up to try to rub the "z's" off a few more spots that I hadn't noticed yet. I wouldn't be surprised if we make even more discoveries in the days to come.

I don't think I--or he--will forget the day Zorro came to visit...and left his calling card behind.

*Jeff and the boys have been watching some of the old Zorro movies. I think they're from the 1940s perhaps, and I know they're black and white. When I think of Zorro, I think of the movie that came out within the past 10 years, I would guess. That is not the movie the boys have seen. I don't think they're ready for that!

22 comments:

Sally said...

Whoa! That's a lot of z's. Before you give up on the dry erase marker removal, try rubbing alcohol. That gets it right off of stuff around here. I learned that at the hospital. It works for regular markers too. Whenever someone would accidentally write on the assignment board with a permanent marker, we would just have to use rubbing alcohol to get it off.

I'm glad David is in your family and you could work through this in a profitable way. May God continue to give you wisdom.

Margie said...

Wow. My response was like all of yours. I laughed, then gasped, then thought, "How is that going to come off? And how many are there???"

It seems like you handled it very well. I could use you around here; Sarah's my little draw-er: inkpen on Elizabeth's door, crayon on the window sill, marker on the window seat, tablecloth, rug. Always on her hands, her clothes. I'm fairly frustrated, but am trying to bear age in mind. So far, all but the ink pen has been removeable, and Wayne was unperturbed about touching up the door.

And the truth is that she's getting better. But we still can't use paint of any kind. I have to put my foot down somewhere. (I'm enormously glad E has preschool for that.)

This post goes down as one of my favorites. Ever. You can almost hear him whispering in triumph as he left his victory mark on the Fisher household.

Anonymous said...

Mr Erase! That's what I would say! It even helped me, help a friend get permanent marker of her new dining room table and couch!

mamajil said...

This is so funny I read it out loud to my husband and we totally got a good chuckle!! (only cause we have been there done that!!) Magic Eraser is my friend!!! Sawyer was our picasso...his first choice was always a permanent marker....I don't even know where he would find one but he had a talent for sure!! LOL

Love the Zorro.... Josh use to be a huge Zorro fan and our younger boys too.....I remember making Josh a zorro outfit and he had a black stick horse too....

I especially loved the prayer for God to remove the Z's!! You guys are great! thanks for sharing this cute story!

busymomof10 said...

I Loved this story! You were so wise to take pictures and record this memory. You had a great response too! I remember one time about ten years ago when my son wrote ALL OVER his freshly painted walls with a red marker! I did not respond as meekly or as wisely as you did! Thanks for sharing this story -- and try Magic Eraser! It is amazing!

Miriam said...

Davene, your posts like this one make me want to print them off, write them down, or something, so when these kind of things happen with our kids I can know a good way to respond/react! I love how you handled this situation where most mom's probably would've panicked and ended up scaring the poor kid who didn't realize it was wrong until too late! I hope I have at least half as much mommy-wisdom as you do!

Elizabeth said...

You really do have an incredible way of handling these situations. I'm afraid I would have shooed my kids out of the room for their own safety (just kidding) while I analyzed and planned my next step...I guess I'm not all that quick on my feet. Thanks for sharing...

chicknboy said...

well, i'm kinda speechless too. as the pics kept scrolling I started to laugh a bit....oh my he made quite a few z's!!

i hope i would handle something like that with as much grace and wisdom as you did. you are a godly example to your boys...and those of us reading your blog. :)

Cherishing Young Biblical Womanhood said...

That made me laugh at loud!!!!! That is the funniest thing that happened to me today, but not to you I'm sure, sorry. Needed some comic relief! Thanks for sharing.

Tori Heatwole said...

Davene, those are some of the funniest pictures I've seen! I especially like the one where Zorro is listed as part of the family. Love, love, love the imagination of a 4 year old boy. Someday, you will cherish this memory!

New Mom said...

Note to self: no Zorro for Elon until he is at least 13!!! This is a rental for cryin' out loud!

But what a sweet mom!

Valerie said...

Oh my. All I can say is I'm glad our children have never met or I would feel guilty. I would have been convinced that my Hannah would have gathered your boys in a corner and said "hey, wanna see what your mom does when you use a marker like THIS?" ;) If I can't hear Hannah I have to find her - and fast. She has really taken to coloring on the floor lately. Oh. Joy.

Glad you were able to have a nice Mommy/Son moment and pray about it. Hope your walls (and more) stay clean. :)

Chris said...

This is by far my nomination for the best post that you have ever written! I love this post!

Jenn Heatwole said...

This reminds me of a story my Mom tells me often enough. She came in from outdoors to find her eldest daughter about four years old (that would be me) sitting on top of the washing machine (where I could easily reach the markers she had stored in the cabinets overhead). This daughter of hers had taken the markers and created a lovely picture all over herself and the washing machine. My Mom didn't quite know what to say when she encountered the artwork, but eventually gave this daughter a stern look and said, "Jeeennnyyy..." And the daughter innocently looked up at her and said, "Mommy I Love You." Trying to hide a smile my Mom said, "but Jenny..." And before she could finish the daughter looked up at her with the saddest face and said, "BUT Mommy I Love You."
From what I've been told this exchange went on a couple of times before my Mom and her daughter worked out the incident. Gotta Love Your Little Artists!!

Christin said...

:) This made me smile. (but only because it wasn't in my house. *grin*)

We try to instill that concept into their heads too (and our own)...I love you more than_______.

but man, it's hard to actually carry out in the moment, isn't it?

Good job, Mommy! and by the way, those sponges (with the bald man on the front) take marker out. I'm having a pregnant moment and can't remember its name. ;)

Marie said...

Oh my goodness Davene, You are such a sweet mom. I just love this post. You sure are going to have a reminder of some sweet memories. Thanks for sharing this with us :)

Jo Ann said...

Oh my! I'm smiling because of the familiarity of the story. I am confident that you will be surprised by finding a Z or two somewhere else in the days to come. :)

It's "funny", I just washed our doorframes and doors (pencil, crayon, marker among other things) the other day and within ten minutes Samuel got some markers (from who knows where) and drew all over the front door again. I know one day I'll miss those little hands getting into everything, the training, the hugs...

I was also just considering borrowing some of the old Zorros from the library. Perhaps I'll hold off on that one for awhile. ;)

first things first said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. There are no words. You did a fantatic job handling this...I would have hit the roof! Wow. Wow. Wow. Now I need to go hide any loose pens and markers...my boys are older, but we still get visitors from time to time!

Jolanthe said...

That's a whole lotta Z's! :)

It's not funny, but really - so very funny. One of those things you're just going to look back at years from now....

:)

Jolanthe

Stacey said...

This was so terribly funny!!! I loved the backward Z's and soooo many of them! I have no doubt that as your boys grow up you will find a backward z somewhere and remember the little hands that made it. I think it is so funny to imagine that your little one was wielding a mighty sword(pen). HE HE HE...

ashleykaye said...

wow, friend! i can't imagine how i would have handled it...or how matt would have... i am so glad that you set such a good example for us to follow someday when the same thing happens to us!! i love you! i'm praying for you guys as i read your blog today! happy to hear all of the fun things going on in your little piece of the world!!

first things first said...

This has to be one of my favorite blog posts of all time! When I saw that "Zorro" had been to church, it reminded me of this post, so I pulled it up and read it to Darrel. We lol-ed for REAL!! Then, I posted the link to both of the "Zorro" posts for my status on Facebook, I want to share this with other moms! Hugs!