Monday, February 16, 2009


Ok, so the title is a little overly dramatic. But, we are admittedly softies with E, and, tonight, she did something that mandated a punishment.

Let's just say it is REALLY tough to get indelible marker off of hardwood floors.

E was really tired and looked to be headed upstairs. I was holding Andrew and turned around to turn on the upstairs light. When I turned back around, I saw E move her hand in a circular motion on the 2nd step. "That doesn't seem to be good," I thought.

And, it wasn't. She had a black marker in her hand...and had drawn two oval shapes...on the 1st and 2nd steps. Arrrrrrgh!

After shocking her with a loud, "Elizabeth! WHAT are you DOING?!?!" I thought, "Well, she has a box full of water soluble markers. It'll clean up fine. No harm done."

Then I picked up the pen. The only marker in her box that is NOT water soluble. @$%!#@!

And, apparently, rubbing alcohol only does so much. It'll need to be sanded and re-stained to fix. Unless someone out there has a foolproof way of removing marker from untreated hardwood.

"Laid back. With my mind on my money and my money on my mind."

I thought about posting a ridiculously cute picture of E with the caption, "How could you punish this child?" but that pretty much feeds into the aforementioned softy-ness. Which would undoubtedly cause countless eye rolls among the mothers out there. My little girl can indeed be a little scamp and have some disdain about it. I thought this picture captures that sentiment somewhat.

After taking away the marker (and promptly placing it in the trash), I came back to a sobbing Sweetpea on Mommy's lap, with Andrew on the other leg. (The leg occupied by E was soaked in tears.) I learned that it is possible to feel nothing and heartbroken at the same time. As heartbreaking as it was to hear her clearly dejected sobs, I knew that we had to teach her a lesson, even if small. Susan took E upstairs where she cried some more on our bed while I tried in futility to clean the steps.

During the bedtime routine, I explained to E that what she did was wrong and that she was going to be punished. No story before bed tonight. (See, I said it was small.) She didn't seem to know what to make of this, and it took a couple more minutes of explaining to get the point across.

"No brushing teef?"
"No, sweetie, no story. We're brushing teeth, then it's bed and prayers."
"But, there's always story."
"Not tonight, Baby Girl. You're being punished."
*pause* "No story?"
"No story."

After that, she didn't want to let me clean her up or brush her teeth. But she begrudingly gave in (no need for more tears). And, true to our word, there was no story.

I thought for sure that she'd cry herself to sleep, but I think she had tired herself out beforehand because she dropped right off. In her defense, she was exhausted -- she was up at 5 AM and didn't have a nap. She wasn't doing anything maliciously, and the crying was more because she was tired. It's a small punishment, but, we have got to teach her that there are repercussions to her actions. I hope she has learned something. As for me, I have learned that I need to keep a closer eye on that girl...

- Rich


The Lowe said...

Would nail polish remover work?

AwwwTrouble said...

A little concerned that acetone might take off the finish, but that's a good suggestion. I'll give it a try. - Rich

Laurie said...

I have put a tiny bit of nail polish remover on a q-tip to remove those types of things. Then I wipe the area clean with either another cleaner right away or just water. I'm sure that's a big no-no, but it has worked.

Elaine said...

Tough as nails, you are. Boundaries are definitely the cruddiest part of parenting - because you can ALWAYS find a REASON why they did something.