It's a Monday morning, and I'm recovering from one of the busiest weekends I've had in recent memory. In the last three days, I've thrown a birthday party for my oldest son involving seven other rambunctious boys, helped with a very successful garage sale two hours south and attended a birthday party 20 minutes north.
It all started last Friday. It was my oldest son's 7th birthday, and he wanted to have a "friend" party this year, instead of our traditional family dinner. Since he had been inviting his friends since before Christmas, I thought we would try to oblige him.
My husband came home from work at noon on Friday to help prepare for the party. Due to rain, we had to turn our basement into a mini-carnival before 5 p.m. We put our two younger sons down for naps and got started. Two hours later our youngest son started crying. I sent my husband up to check on him.
The next thing I heard was, "Eli! You are in SO much trouble!!!" I called up asking if there was a problem. My husband's reply, "Oh, there's a problem all right. Come see what YOUR son did!"
I bounded up the stairs and joined my husband in the doorway to our son's room, frozen in stupefied shock. Our 2-year-old son was blue, from his face, mouth and teeth to the very bottoms of his feet. He wasn't the only thing. His brown dresser had blue drawer fronts, his once white piggy bank had blue tattoos, and the bed rails and foot-board no longer matched the brown head-board. The light blue walls were sporting dark blue squiggles, the windows sparkled with blue "stained glass," the white window sill had a decidedly blue tint and the yellow curtains had blue stripes. His once blue and white bedding was now more blue than white, and his brown teddy bears had blue feet.
He had found a marker I didn't know was in his room. It was not a kid-friendly washable one.
To complete his artistic installation, he covered the floor under his bed and dresser in colorful chocolate rocks that had been in his Easter bag on top of his dresser.
We didn't know whether to laugh, cry or shout at him. We started out shouting and ended up laughing about it, two days later: after we gave him a bath that turned the tub and water blue and I had scrubbed every hard surface in his room. The bedding was washed yesterday, but the curtains are still in place with their blue stripes. I'm not sure when I'll have time to tackle them. Until then, they serve as a reminder that no matter how busy my husband and I are, we should always remember to take the time to check up on our children, even during nap time.
After that afternoon adventure, the party eventually pulled itself together, and my husband and I barely survived an energetic group of 7-year-old boys tearing up our house. After an hour and a half of chaos, we sent all the boys out in the drizzle to run off their sugar-highs by playing soccer with my husband. They went home damp and a little muddy, but wearing tired smiles on their faces.
Like I said, it's Monday morning, and I'm still recovering. And the bottoms of my son's feet are still blue.