Motherhood, Art, Creative Play, and Finding Joy in Everyday Life

Strange Little Firsts


There are some very strange little “firsts” that occur when you have a small child. Not the first steps, or the first time trying solid food, or anything obvious like that. Instead they are tiny calamities, the ones that occur with every single child at some point, and are rarely celebrated. You expect them, but you do not write in your baby book about them, often because you are too exasperated.

We have had a couple such moments this week. I knew they were coming eventually, so instead of stressing out, I merely chuckled, rolled my eyes, and shrugged my shoulders.

First, there was the “first object dropped into the toilet” moment. As I have mentioned previously, Simon has decided he is ready for potty training. As anyone who has had the pleasure of doing this knows, sometimes you are waiting in that bathroom for ages, waiting for your tiny person to do their business. So it was with hope of a good distraction to keep my little guy from growing impatient, that I said yes to bringing his toy car with him  for the wait. Well, the poor car took a tumble downward, and thank goodness Simon was unsuccessful that time around, because we were able to retrieve and sanitize it. Jeramy and I did exchange a look of momentary panic, that turned into bemusement. As all the picture books illustrate, the child will explore the combination of gravity and the potty at some point.

Second, tonight, we had the “first scribbling on a surface that isn’t appropriate” moment. Honestly, I don’t know why we haven’t had that one before. I think we got quite far before hitting it. But tonight while I was making dinner and Jeramy was washing dishes, I lost all common sense and allowed Simon the use of his dry erase crayons with distracted parental supervision. Really, I was being quite naive, expecting him to write only on the whiteboard. So I laughed when I discovered the brightly colored scrawls all over part of the kitchen floor. Jeramy grabbed the camera to document this milestone, and I thought to myself what a good job Simon had done with his coloring, despite the unfortunate placement.

I propose that we parents, or friends and relatives of children, not overlook moments like these. They are a right of passage, not only for the child, but the caretaker as well. It is like a child rearing battle scar. Or perhaps a box on the things-that-will-happen-if-you-have-a-kid checklist. It gives you a sense of community when you know that the other parents out there are also scrubbing crayon off the walls, or fishing pennies out of their toddlers mouths.

So someday, probably soon, when Simon picks up a box or bag of something totally not child safe by the wrong end, spilling the contents all over the floor for us to find bits of for the next year, I will shake my head and laugh, knowing that it is something to check off that strange little milestone list.


Author: thismummaslife

I am a Mumma, Wife and part-time Assistant Children's Librarian. I want this blog to be a collection of moments from daily life that may inspire or be relatable. Please feel free to leave me comments, thoughts, feedback or stories from your own life.

15 thoughts on “Strange Little Firsts

  1. Another artist is born! I have a few of those stories as well!
    I remember when you ate the kitchen chairs.

  2. Nicely handled! I used the mantra “We only write on paper” every time I distributed art supplies for about five years. I recommend some such approach because it gets progressively less adorable each time it happens. That said, I look forward to hearing about what he writes on himself next time!

  3. Ender started the coloring on everything phase very early on. I think before a year actually. Windows, walls, floors, books that werent meant to be colored, I mean everything. Sadly the first time he did this we didnt have washable crayons so we got some permanant marks now to always remember. He also tried to paint the wall today with his paintbrush.

  4. Oh no! It was just this past year that my littlest one drew with sharpie nonetheless, on the new indian rosewood dining table bench (and the ONLY decent piece of furniture I own). Thankfully a friend’s advice and a bottle of hairspray saved my life! And his, lol!

  5. We had a stretch where the scribbling on an inappropriate surfaces happened several times a day. Even after hiding every writing utensil I could find, there were always more!!! Good luck cleaning that up! I know how you feel!

  6. Arm and Hammer Magic Eraser!!! Works great removing crayons and pencils on walls. Not sure about floors – I think Simon thinks your floor is a giant wipe off board! I still have corners, areas that I need to clean from my son’s (went on too long) mural phases! Enjoy the ride, right?!!!

  7. First of all, thanks for stopping by my blog. I noticed this post so I jumped down. Your kitchen floor looks a lot like mine… One of my guys colored on the tan carpeting of our rental apartment with a sharpie! I couldn’t get mad though because he was so proud of his picture. He actually colored on a paper and went off all the way around by about 4 inches. He was a very artistic little guy and we had lots of markers. I had just used that sharpie to make a big sign to put on someone’s door and he watched me do it and then made one for me. It was my fault for leaving the sharpie there. I did find out though, baking soda and vinegar take that out! You couldn’t even tell it ever happened.

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