What Happens When You Turn Your Back On A Toddler

Notice How He Even Got In Between The Fingers
I've done fucked up and I know it.  I'm better than that.  I'm not some sort of a rookie, a noob that doesn't understand what can happen when you don't pay attention to your toddler.  I make fun of guys all the time that say "I only turned my back for a second."  And what did I do?  I turned my back for only a second.

I was talking to my sister on the phone.  It was a call that required all my attention.  My boy and I were having a great day, a day filled with the park and coloring.  He was happy, I was happy.  I thought that I could be on the phone for just a couple of minutes and nothing would happen.  Jesus, I'm better than that!

I walked into my kitchen and even did some dishes while I talked to my sister.  I had her on my headphones so I could set the phone down while I talked to her.  I was multi-tasking, a skill that I thought I had perfected!  I need new multi-tasking lessons.  My son is about to give me a free one.

I looked up.

"Shit.  I have to let you go, sis.  Ollie has gone and put on blackface."

Not full on blackface, thank the lord for small miracles.  But his hands and much of his wrists are covered in black marker.  He decided sometime over the "I only turned my back..." that he was done coloring in his special coloring book.  Coloring hands are way more fun.  So that's what he did.  I'm sure he was laughing all the way too but I couldn't hear him with my earbuds in.

And he had to choose black marker because that makes it way more fun and way more difficult to get off.  He has to go to preschool tomorrow and I know exactly what is going to happen.  I'll practically give him a bath in rubbing alcohol trying to get the marks off his hands and wrists.  But I won't get it all because I pick up the marker pack we were coloring with and nowhere on the package does it say "washable."  Another rookie mistake.

I've been in the game for 9 years, 9 years of caring for children and I'm still making these mistakes.

"What happened, buddy?" I ask him.

"Daddy!  Daddy!  Look!  I colored." he tells me.

Yes, son, you colored.  Now you have to wear gloves to school tomorrow and I have to tell the teacher it's because we are afraid of germs.  Great, you are Howard Hughes now.  Have fun with that.

He then points to the table showing me his little black smudged handprints.  They are also on his chair, his clothes, and probably some on my computer which I left near him.  Suddenly my lazy afternoon has been filled up.  The rest of our day's schedule is full thanks to a toddler and the parenting cliche "I only turned my back for a second."  

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