This was a week of milestones: the first parent-teacher conference, the first picture hung on a wall in the house we’ve lived in for over a year, and the first graffiti by Future President.
On Sunday, my husband finally agreed to take the plunge and put nail holes in our lovely scratch-free, hole-free walls. On Tuesday, in the midst of attempting to get a dirty baby into the bath tub, I watched Future President grab a pencil and take it to his room. While trying to both remove the baby’s shirt and preven crumbs from falling on the floor, I didn’t think twice about the pencil. Since starting Kindergarten, he’s fallen in love with drawing, coloring and practicing letters. It’s wonderful.
Except not when the letters end up on the wall.
After getting baby into the bath, I went to check on Future President and to ask him about his day at the pumpkin patch. As soon as I walked into his room, he threw down the pencil and put his arm over something on the wall.
“What did you do?” I asked. And there it was: his first graffiti, an upper and lower case ‘B’. I didn’t yell or shout. Instead, I said in a very flat voice, “You know better than this. You do not write on walls. Time out. Toys will be taken away.”
I think it might have been the very first time in his life that he really understood that he had done something bad. “I just want to be like Daddy!” he cried from his bed. And then I realized that he was telling the truth – to hang the picture on Sunday, G had made two small pencil marks on the wall to figure out where to hang the picture.
“I just want to be like Daddy!” he sobbed, over and over again, and then he put himself to sleep.
At least I thought he was asleep. When we went to check on him later, he had created a math problem on the floor using blocks and cars, lining them up perfectly with correct addition.
I went to bed both proud of my little Kindergartener for his penmanship and math skills, but also a little angry. Parenting doesn’t get any easier the older they get, does it?