Thursday, November 25, 2010

Color me...

They are all there in the green and grey metal lunchbox, jumbled and broken, blunt and peeled. Their existence, dating back decades, makes you wonder why anyone ever has to buy new ones. This lunchbox is here at Gramma and Gran's house, and at home we have two other, similar containers in the same kind of disarray.


The names bring back floods of memories...

lemon yellow
brick red
carnation pink

The dreaded burnt sienna and, for me, blue violet (I always preferred plum and magenta). The names printed on the pale papers, and the waxy smell, even the dull sound as they rub together in the box. These things are evocative of childhood, bringing up both the good memories of how excellently cool the new fluorescent colors were and the envy I felt over those who were lucky enough to have the box of 64 with the built-in sharpener.

We dragged out the lunchbox of crayons and some scratch paper, trying to entice babywhumpus to color. daddywhumpus and I made some lovely pictures. Finn moved crayons from one place to another, bunched them up, scattered them with a flat, flailing hand, and stuffed them down my pants.

Eventually I felt a need to sort. So. Many. Crayons. All over the place. Too much chaos. I could not find colors I needed to finish the barn or the mountain or the bear. Stupidly, I began to sift through them, making piles of greens, reds, purples, oranges, yellows, browns, blues, and greys. I knew it was futile. I worked quickly, as time and toddler would be working against me. I got half way through.

It doesn't matter what it is. Legos. Blocks. Crayons. Dinner. Just give it up. Divorce yourself from any sort of plan. It's not going to happen. You are a parent. Your life, your vision, your dream of the perfect split-level plastic block house with shutters ain't gonna happen. Your child wants the yellow Legos. All of them. He needs to use the crayons to draw on your back and stack on the fireplace ledge. He had one bite of turkey, he's done with Thanksgiving, and so are you.


susan said...

hey Finn--want to share some pie? fyi for mom and dad--try fewer crayons at once--like 8 colors--as he might do better without so much to choose from--too overwhelming for him at this point. this used to work with pete and also includes toys--too many and they can't make a decision. Just an idea--grammasue xxxooo

Pete McCauley said...

I love this:

"he's done with Thanksgiving, and so are you."