June 26, 2012

Oh the Mess!

Have you ever spent the morning blow-drying your windows, coffee table, and walls? 

I have.

....okay, so it wasn't the entire morning, but I did spend a good 30 minutes undoing what it took my kids a mere 30 seconds to do. As I poured myself my second cup of coffee for the morning, my children were wreaking havoc on our living room windows, coffee table, entertainment unit, and my beautifully bright yellow walls. Their weapon of choice--Crayola Crayons. 

There are no pictures of this incident in this post, because I was not amused, so I didn't take any. The first thing I did after my discovery was commence a frantic roundup of all the loose crayons around the house. They were all thrown into a ziplock bag and hurled onto the top shelf of the closet where probably only Matt will be able to reach them. I think I'd have to classify this mess as the largest they've accomplished to date (although I fully expect to have to deal with bigger, more damaging messes in the future....the near future). Use your imagination though, and picture scribbles of purple, red, and green all over nearly everything but paper and the couch. They got the couch in deep blue crayon yesterday and that left me frantically searching Google for ways to get crayon out of a microfiber sofa. My final solution was rubbing alcohol, and I won't say that it worked like a charm, because it required a lot of spraying and scrubbing, but there is no longer bright blue crayon immediately visible on the couch.

So what does my hair dryer have to do with this? I had read somewhere, in some parenting blog online or a parent-section article of some online news outlet that if you heat up the crayon wax (as long as its on a hard surface) with a blow-dryer, it will just wipe off. I wasn't anxious to try out this fantastic-sounding solution to a well-known pitfall of toddlers with access to crayons, but after utilizing the technique, I think that it's definitely the easiest and most effective method of crayon-removal that I've tried. I used this method on the walls, table, and entertainment unit, and was thankful that a simple spray of windex was able to take care of the scribbles on the windows. 

I had originally started the process using a paper towel that I had dampened with water, but I had to switch to a damp washcloth as the heat from the dryer dried out the towel to the point where wiping up the wax was really only smearing it around. After I made the switch, though, the concept worked wonderfully. For my friends who read this blog and have kids close in age to mine or who have kids coming up on this stage, remember this--you'll be glad you did!

Of course I know that kids make messes. There was the famous baking soda disaster a couple of months ago, not to mention countless chocolate milk and juice spills, water being splashed (or poured) out of the bathtub, and even several poop incidents. Then there are the piles of toys that need to be picked up several times each day, the pages in books that have to be taped back together, the pre-baby-proofed-garbage can that was apparently a screaming temptation to these kiddos, and don't even get me started on what the back seat of my car looks like when the car seats get taken out.

Even with this knowledge, I have to acknowledge that I am a textbook Type-A personality, and once again have to mention my CDO, and I'll be the first to admit that I hate all things sticky, gritty, or just plain messy. There's the sandbox at the park, where some genius decided to stick a water table, the beach with the endless sunscreen applications and the inevitable pound of sand that is brought home in the car stuck to everybody's everywhere, the New England summer humidity, and the occasional leaky diaper (that one still puzzles me--pretty sure I'm a professional diaper-er at this point!). It all rocks those CDO tendencies and gives me anxiety and higher blood pressure.

But then there's those chubby cheeks that ball up when my little girls smile because they're so proud they used the crayons by themselves. And there's those chubby fingers wrapped around that evil stick of wax. And there's those chubby toes that carry those sweet little girls off running while they giggle their heads off trying not to let the "mommy-monster" catch them. 

I guess as long as I get the chubby cuteness along with the overwhelming mess of life, I'll relent my grudge against the crayons (although I'm serious about Matt being the only one who will be able to reach the bag where it landed), keep giving my girls their chocolate milk, keep encouraging fun bath-time splashes, and I'll continue to make sure we have lots of trips to the park where they can run around and burn off that mischievous energy that can so easily translate into the neighbors watching the crazy blow-dryer lady going at the walls again (*eye roll*).

Gotta love those kiddos.

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