Thursday, November 18, 2004

The DaVinci Child

I was not home. Hubby was in charge. Loosely. The children were not hungry or visibly trying to harm each other, so he felt things were under control. In fact, things were fairly quiet. He thought he would get a few things "done." I have tried to warn him that Quiet is not necessarily a good thing with respect to the children unless they are technically sleeping. Quiet is almost worse than common childhood noises, in my opinion. Because at least the noises identify what they are doing. So there he was, enjoying the quiet, busily getting something done in the house. The Quiet grew suspiciously long. In fact if I were the soundtrack person for our home videos I would cue the ominous string section. Hubby must not have noticed the Imaginary Background Music. But he finally heard some hushed conversation. (And it is never a good sign when the children are speaking in hushed tones.) The 5-year-old was saying to the 3-year-old, "Are you planning to go all the way to the Great Room?" Since there were no sounds of racing feet or plastic vehicle wheels, Hubby went to investigate. They were both crouched on the kitchen floor. The 3-year-old was armed with the Big Fat Green Sidewalk Chalk. He was industriously using it to color in all the grout in our kitchen tile. He had finished with most of the eating area and was heading toward the next room. The 5-year-old was admiring his handiwork, ready to supply him with other brilliant colors. "Joe!" Hubby shouted. "NOT in the kitchen. That's for the chalkboard!" They both looked up, startled. The 3-year-old was displeased. He would not surrender the chalk. "Don't say my name," he said crossly. Hubby disarmed them both. The chalk supply was relocated to a less accessible area of the house. Then Hubby spent a good amount of time helping the children undo the art project with wet paper towels. I hope he remembers the equation with the children. Silence = Up To No Good. I did feel green was not a bad match as a kitchen accent color.

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