A toad on a brown dashboard (its own) with blue water and purple waves.

dashboardtoadWell. Don’t *you* have your own dashboard? What color is your dashboard? The artist? Just a few days over four years old. Inspiration? Well, Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows of course. What were you thinking?

This is the kind of thing that you find when you are slodging along slowly dredging out the Landfill Dungeon, humming a little tune to yourself just to keep yourself sane. It is evidence that there is a body of work from this young artist that actually exists on paper! Make no mistake. She did not limit her media to the back side of recycled vee-hickle emissions test processing printouts from the EPA. Her first mousies still reside on my sewing machine case, despite The Commander’s well-intentioned attempts to clean them off. I remember stopping that esteemed woman’s efforts with, “No, Mom! Don’t clean those off!” A few feet behind me, on the other side of the Ugliest Kitchen On Earth, a 2-1/2-year-old once wrote her name – “Mouse”. Yes, it is still there a little less than 20 years later. For a few years back in the day, I went crazy with making rules, “don’t draw with glitter glue on your bedframe, don’t use marker on the walls. Or floors. Or furniture.” Sigh. I can clearly remember saying, over and over again, “ONLY ON PAPER!”

One of my favorite memories is a beautiful summer day when we were scheduled to attend an all-day company picnic. I got the beach urchins all dressed up in their cute little summer dresses and the 2-year-old mousie decided to completely cover her arms and legs with marker “tattoos” while I was messing around with the deviled eggs or whatever. Okay… Clothing off and into the tub. I got the little mouse completely cleaned up and re-dressed and wouldn’t you know it, within about five minutes, she had markered herself up again. But. “It’s okay, mama, it’s all dried out now.” Say what? Sigh. I decided that it *was* okay and off we went.

Life with a “spirited” child (or whatever it’s called) can be a challenge but somehow, the little mouse will graduate from college in a few months (shhh) and she grew up to be herself, a wonderful and very talented person, despite whatever her baggy old moom tried to jam into her head. And she doesn’t even draw on herself any more. I don’t think. Do you, Mouse? I love you, Mouse!

Raising children is the hardest job on earth. And it is the most important.

6 Responses to “A toad on a brown dashboard (its own) with blue water and purple waves.”

  1. Dog Mom Says:

    It’s called “Stage Makeup” now…. the grown-up version of markers….

  2. GG Says:

    We still have banana hand prints on the bedroom wall (couldn’t paint over ’em) from Liz – 1 year old?

  3. Kathy Farnell Says:

    Funny thing about tatoos. Datura decided to put a tatoo on her eye. (She closed her eye at least). On Monday, I saw the remains of that tatoo on her eye. On Tuesday Susie let me know that picture day was Wed. at school and the tatoo was going to be in the picture because it would not soak off. I think it will be neat to have that memory – you know – not just another boring school picture. So, leave that sewing machine case decorated and don’t wash that name off of the wall. Those are some of the treasures in your life. I hope the tatoo shows up in the picture, too.

  4. Pooh Says:

    I’m sure that you remember the weekend of Jan and Jim Black’s wedding. Do you remember that Dan arrived with brown marker all over his arms and probably his legs? Our flight was in DELAYED status for several hours. I got out the markers and paper for Dan. I turned around to look at the flight board yet again, and turned back and Dan had abandoned paper for his arms. After a second’s thought, I decided I really didn’t care, b/c he wasn’t fussing and they were washable markers. Later on, still at the airport, a very concerned man asked me if that was dried blood on my son’s arms. When I said, “No, it’s markers”, he looked at me like I was a bad mom. I ignored his look.

  5. jane Says:

    I’m sure I was a perfect child.

    (no, I can’t even type that without laughing)

  6. isa Says:

    everyone knows you’re perfect, jane!