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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Do Crayola Washable Markers really wash up?

There is a small posse of individuals in my life who think I am an anal housekeeper. (You know who you are.) I like my house clean, OK? I've blogged before about that.

In an ongoing effort to prove that I, too, can play in dirt, wallow in filth, and revel in mess, I invited my Friday playgroup over yesterday for a pre-Halloween pumpkin decorating party. Also on the agenda were some extremely messy cupcake eating and lots of all-around toddler debauchery.

13 kids and 9 moms showed up--including one set of twins and one set of triplets--and if 22 people consuming sugar in all its forms and playing with markers can't make a mess that would challenge even Super Mom, I don't know who can. But was I worried? No! I had stocked the craft table with Crayola Washable Markers. Let the mess begin!

Unfortunately for him, Mike picked yesterday to be sick. I thought it was funny how he miraculously got well when the house starting filling with little people, but I didn’t feel too sorry for him. What does he think I'm running here, a rest home?

Right around the time hubby hot-footed it out the door to go to work, things were getting a little crazy in our family room. The sugar from the muffins and lollipop ghosts was hitting home and the decibel levels were rising. Everywhere I looked, things were this close to careening horribly out of control. One kid was climbing the potted plant. One kid was standing on a chair to get to the leftover frosting. One kid tipped over the rest of my latte (that was tragic.) One kid was about to choke on a banana. One kid was duking it out with another kid over which one was going to ride in the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe.

The party was ten minutes old.

I could handle with ease the plant-climbing antics of my little friends. It was when the muffin and lollipop-eating little ones realized that there were markers--and that it was OK to touch them--that I thought to myself Good Lord, what have I done?

But I was compelled to bravely carry on with the experiment to end all experiments; I want desperately to be the World's Coolest Mom™--you know, the one all the kids like. Yes, I'm years out of high school and I'm still trying to be (a) cool and (b) popular. It’s sad, but it’s true.

Being the World's Coolest Mom, I gamely encouraged the kids to, "draw! draw!" thinking that they would use the construction paper I had so kindly provided for them.

It turns out another word for cool is dumb.

I had forgotten that two-year-old artists think drawing on paper is for sissies and fools, which they are neither. They know that drawing is best done on skin, clothing, walls, wood floors, and wall-to-wall white carpeting. "Avoid paper at all costs," is what the wee ones whisper to each other when they think you're not listening.

And as much as I want to be the World's Coolest Mom, I must admit that I felt a small twinge of fear when I saw one small boy trying to turn my kitchen table into a Jackson Pollock-inspired pride flag. It took all my self-control not to run screaming for my trusty sponge. But I resisted the urge to clean mid party; the World's Coolest Mom just doesn't do that.

After the kids were gone and the house was quiet, I wandered about in a daze. I kept tentatively opening closed doors, half expecting a forgotten child to look up at me with a frosting-inspired grin on his face and an uncapped marker darkening the carpet at his feet.

Luckily my kids were the only ones left and I was finally able to put trusty sponge to kitchen table, to find out if Crayola Washable Markers really do wash up. And with a smug my-house-is-cleaner-than-your-house smile on my face, I can say in all honesty that yes, they do.

Praise, Crayola.

With products like Crayola Washable Markers, being the World's Coolest Mom is going to be easier than I thought. I'm 37 and popular at last. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish cleaning the doorknobs with antibacterial wipes.