I grew up pretty sheltered. If I had a nickel for every time someone said I grew up in a box I wouldn’t be in agony over my freshly pink high-lighted white down comforter care of my daughter’s friend who came over to play. Oh great, I gave away the ending.
… Ah yes, my sheltered life. When my brothers and sisters were little our house was not the destination for our friends. My parents were just not the type that liked us having friends over. Not sure why at the time, but that’s just the way it was. We were the kids who didn’t have friends over, we were the ones who went over to our friend’s house. Nothing bad about that, but I did always wonder why.
Looking back I can guess any number of reasons. Maybe because there were guns in the house, no big deal to us, but you can’t risk it with strange kids who are unfamiliar. Plenty of households out there don’t take the right precautions and we hear about the toddler shooting a sibling because he got a hold of dad’s gun or any other unfortunate scenario that’s played out on the news. Maybe because there were so many of us and having someone bring a friend would just be too many to keep track of, let alone if we all had a friend over. Yikes. The house would have been a complete zoo then. Parents have the amount of kids they can handle. Any extras, even for a limited time could drive them to the loony bin. That’s where I find myself now. No, not the loony bin. Sorry to disappoint you, that would have been much more entertaining. My kids are still young though so you never know.
Since I could never have friends over when I was little, I vowed to make sure my kids’ friends would be welcome in my house anytime. My daughter just got to the age of wanting friends over to play and I have a pretty open door policy. That door though has recently closed to one child in particular. My daughter and her neighbor friend have played on many occasions outside and at the neighborhood park. The family and I are friends and I am comfortable with them. The little girl came over a couple times to play and that was all fine. Then I started to notice a pattern. Every time after that girl left something was broken. The first offense I remember was a full rainbow of crayons snapped in half. No big deal, it happens and they can still be used anyway. Then it just got more destructive. I found myself combing play doh out of the rug and wiping marker off the walls. Still minor inconveniences since it brought joy to my daughter.
That’s when it happened.
Remember the down comforter I mentioned? It now looks like a fluorescent pink striped zebra. Random slashes of a pink highlighter all over. Where was I? I was right outside the room playing and taking care of the baby. Happy to have my daughter entertained and having fun while I could give the little one some needed mom time too. I was in no way neglecting to supervise, it’s just that I unfortunately don’t have eyes in the back of my head.
Maybe it was an accident, but at 5 years old kids ought to know better than to draw on things other than paper. My daughter has known it for years now. That’s the silver lining I suppose, my child will never be the one creating abstract art on a friend’s valuables. Still though my poor comforter is a victim and I have to be the advocate to help in its time of need and defend it against future victimization.
The markers, play doh, crayons and any other writing instrument or object of potential damage infliction has been removed from access. I have proofed my house the best I can against future creative culprits. So with this minor adjustment I will be keeping my personal vow to my daughter in allowing her friends over anytime.
The best part, is thanks to THIS youtube channel I regularly watch, I was able to clean the offensive pink smears off the blanket without an expensive dry cleaning bill. That is definitely the highlight of my week.