Trains and train wrecks...

>> Saturday, July 19, 2008

In case any of you are wondering, black permanent marker does not come off clothing or wooden trains. But I am getting ahead of myself....

Today we had planned on driving about 90min. to a local
train museum. We have been planning this trip for weeks, trying really hard to get certain things in that we have been intending to do with Lucas before Baby is born. It was overcast when we woke up but that didn't stop us, at first. As we got in the car and started our trek down there, it was pouring with no signs of letting up. With most of the museum being outdoors, we amended our plans. Total bummer. We instead played at the children's museum for an hour or so and then went and had lunch at a train restaurant we had heard good things about. We had a great time at lunch and Lucas loved that his food was delivered by the train that ran on the tracks next to our booth. Then as we browsed a farmer's market by the train tracks, a train stopped right by us. Lucas was awestruck with an actual train being 2 ft. away. Not as good as the train museum, but still a fun train-themed morning.

And then....

He fell asleep 10min. from home and then would not nap AT ALL!!! I desperately needed a nap, after being up with him for an hour during the night and then getting up to our usual early wake-up call. The longer it took him to settle down, the more frustrated I got. Hubby came to bail me out after about an hour of trying and we both evenutally conceeded to Lucas just having some quiet time so at least I could get a little rest. But as I lay in bed, trying to find a position that relieved my back pain and hearing him "being quiet" in his room, there was no way I was going to be able to nap. So I got up and I let him get up.

Hubby had an event for work and had to leave. Being very tired and wanting a minute to myself to look over some long-over-do
business accounting, I was more than willing to let Lucas go downstairs and play on his train table like he asks to do several times a day. He was down there for no more than 5 minutes when I heard "Mommy, come see my mess." Never good words. I walked ran downstairs very apprehensive of what I would find. What I did find was a black permanent marker in his hands and black marker all over everything. And I do mean everything. Where did he get that marker and how did he color on everything so fast?!?! Black hands, black face, black all over the train table and all the tracks and all the trains. He thankfully spared the carpet and my stash of slings in a tote bag not 5ft. from his "mess."
At this point, I lost it. I started crying and asking my 2yr. old why he did this. He doesn't know why! He never thinks about why!! He just does things. He is 2!
He asked me to clean it and I just rambled on about how it is permanent marker and I can't clean it! He started to cry, I continued my crying and just sat there and held him as we both cried. Why did it upset me so much that he marked on his train table? It is just a train table. But I felt genuinely mad at him. Frustrated and tired but also just plain mad.

I chilled out a bit as I got a rag and my Clorox Anywhere spray and started trying to minimize the damage to the trains. Mostly I just didn't have the energy to be mad anymore. I put him in the tub to soak until his fingers were pruny and I had scrubbed all the black off his face.
After the bath, I fixed him the only dinner I could muster the energy for... ham and cheese and grapes. Gourmet, I know. I sat there, quiet and spent. Feeling much like that poor camel whose back breaks after they throw on that one last straw. I even have the sore back and the humps to help complete the analogy. There is so much intense emotion in my head these days and I have been doing my best to hold it all together and stay on track. And then my toddler won't nap and he finds a black Sharpie and off the handle I fly.

Just then, Lucas looks at me and says...
"Mommy, you like cheese?"
"Yes honey, I like cheese."
"Mommy, you want some of my cheese?"
"Sure. That is nice of you to share."
"Mommy, thank you for loving me. Mommy, I love you so much. Mommy, you love me so much?"
Here is where I start crying again.
"Yes Lucas. Mommy loves you SO MUCH!" But I haven't really been acting like it, have I.

The day ended with us watching a Thomas the Train DVD and reading a Thomas the Train book at bedtime. Both unintentional additions to our train-themed day, but appropriate I guess. Oh, and did I mention that right before bedtime the dog got loose and I had to run, carrying Lucas and my oh-so-pregnant self, down to the end of our court to retrieve him? Figures.

It has been a train-themed day for sure and I am the train wreck. Having just recounted the evening's events to hubby on the phone, they sound (and feel) a little less dramatic. But in the moment, I felt done. Just done. Although, after I had my moment of freak out, I really did my best to pull it together and not take it out on Lucas. We had a precious moment together at dinner and then I held him as I sang and rocked him to sleep. After all that talk of expectations, today felt a little like a dry run for the many tired, frustrating, why-is-this-happening-to-me days that are probably in my near future. I didn't handle it as I probably should have or would want to... but I am trying. Really trying.
Off to scrub some trains.....


Heather July 19, 2008 at 11:14 PM  

Wow what a roller coaster day! Oh, I guess that should be train on big hilly terrain day.

I've had many melt downs like the one you described!

Mr Clean Magic Eraser seems to remove almost anything from almost any surface. I keep one on hand just incase. It's worth trying it with the magic marker. ;-)

Elizabeth July 20, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

I would second the Mr. Clean....I completely understand your frustration and feelings on this...we all know my kids can be creative with mischief

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