In the week before we left for vacation, Becca ended up with marker on some aspect of her body not once, not twice but three times. The worst part about this whole experience was that I was within 5 feet of her EACH time she managed to cover herself in marker. Yes, that’s right. As my daughter was scribbling away on each leg (with a focus on the kneecap) or arm, I was blissfully unaware of what was going on.
The first time this occurred, I was working from home and Becca was having a needy day. She just really, really, really wanted to be on top of me. No matter where I was in the house, it seemed as if she was one step behind me. As I was trying to gather her breakfast items together, some yoghurt and cereal, she kept one step behind me. The problem was that my kitchen is quite small and I wasn’t being efficient so I was continually retracing my steps. Grab the cereal box… oops, forgot the bowl… turn around to get the bowl only to bump into Becca… got the bowl… turn to the counter to add the cereal only to bump into Becca… reach over to open the fridge door and grab the milk only to bump into Becca almost toppling her over. This went on for most of the morning as we moved from task to task.
So when Becca seemed content to quietly play beside me as I was putting the finishing touches on a writing project, I was relieved. I was especially relieved that she was fascinated with lining up the plastic ink cartridges for my printer and grateful that the ink cartridges were designed to make it impossible to get the ink out. I felt a sense of peace as I worked on my piece and listened to Becca signing to herself. A short time later, I once again glanced down at Becca and was jolted back to reality. My little angel baby had covered herself in marker from head to toe. I looked around for the source of the marker and my eyes fell on the printer cartridges. Had Becca somehow monkeyed with them and managed to release the ink? I turned one of them over in my hands and couldn’t see how but I also didn’t see any markers within Becca’s vicinity. I quickly gathered up all the printer cartridges and threw them back into the cabinet they usually reside, grabbed Becca and tried to wash some of the marker off. After a few applications of soap, I began to despair the Becca would ever have marker-free legs again.
A few days later as the marker was slowly fading from Becca’s legs, she and I were hanging out in the car as we waited for her abuelita (grandma) to finish with a dentist appointment. While we were waiting, Becca was sitting in the passenger seat with her babies (a Holly Hobby doll and a teddy bear) and playing her favorite game. This is the game where she screams, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” and clutches something (the bear, Holly Hobby or a hair clip) to her chest. She then begins to laugh hysterically as I pretend to take it away from her. Just as the game was in full swing, I received an important cell phone call and had to temporarily suspend the “Mine” game. Becca quickly lost interest in her babies and began to examine her surroundings. Within the blink of an eye, she spied a sharpie pen in the center console, reached out to grab it, yanked the top off and brought it to her face. A beat behind her, I grabbed for the pen only to grasp the air and watch in disbelief as Becca managed to add some crooked black whiskers to her cheek. Once again, indelible ink. This time on her face, great. I was now looking at my green-legged baby with whiskers.
The next time this occurred, Becca and I were once again in our home office. Becca was once again amusing herself as I was frantically trying to complete my mile-long to-do list before we left for ten days. This time, I had quickly checked around to make sure there were no print cartridges or stray markers lying around and had even given Becca a few toys to play with. Once again, I found myself lulled into a false sense of security as Becca quietly played and I finally managed to check a few items off the never ending list. Once again, I glanced down only to find Becca covered in marker head-to-toe. Except this time, I caught her clutching a green marker in one hand and trying to pick up two to three markers with her other hand. Apparently, Becca had spied the pencil case filled with markers tucked away on the bookshelf (the same one I overlooked a few minutes earlier). She then figured out how to unlatch the box, uncap the markers and began to draw. As I was crossing off tasks from my list, Becca was adding a big one– scrub daughter from head to toe.
And I’m out!
Unfortunately not out of markers but definitely out of patience. How am I supposed to get things done AND keep her safe? Is it possible to ever completely toddler proof?
The kicker to this whole situation was having to participate in the marker conversation with Omar after each incident.
Omar (incredulously): What happened?
Me: She got into a marker and wrote all over herself (as I inwardly rolled my eyes– wasn’t it obvious?)
Omar: Where were you?
Me: Sitting right next to her.
Yeah, I am definitely feeling like the mom of the year. The good news is that we are going on two weeks without any more marker incidents (I hope I didn’t jinx myself).
On that note, I better go and do a quick search for stray markers before Becca wakes up.