Monday, March 12, 2012

Hernando's Hideaway

I just went to grab a pen from my desk and realized that I’ve had to hide all the “adult” writing implements in the study. Right now, within arm’s reach of my computer, the only writing implements available are a naked washable blue crayon (my son likes to peel the paper off), four slightly dried-out Color Wonder markers (the kind that only write on special paper), two Color Wonder Crayons with the tips smushed down to the nub, and (if these even count) a set of Color Wonder paints and a paintbrush. There used to be a green Sharpie in the drawer, but I had to hide it when my son got into it and scribbled on his own knuckles like gang tattoos. There was a pen in the same drawer before he used it to decorate his wooden toy truck. There was a Ziploc bag of non-washable crayons at some point before he made a mural on the wall with them (thank heavens for Magic Eraser). Even the mechanical pencil with the retractable lead had to be tucked away before someone put an eye out by accident.
There are a lot of things that parents need to hide away when their little ones become big enough (and curious enough) to explore. Not only writing implements, but scissors, glue, tape, staples, and white-out all vanish from the office drawers. The kitchen gets a complete makeover as things like the knife block, ceramic mugs, flower vases, even salt and pepper shakers drift from easily accessible countertops to higher shelves and closed cabinets.
The bathroom is the craziest spot in the house to make child-proof. Even aside from safety issues such as tucking medications and razors far from where little hands can reach, things like shampoo and soap and hand cream and toothpaste need to be tucked away from curious hands which can spread them all over the room. And how about treasure troves like bandaids (and let’s admit it, maxipads) that can be opened and stuck all over the room?

I won’t say much about the bedroom other than that the contents of certain drawers need to be relocated or at least shifted to the bottom of the stack.

Having small children in the house has caused me to hide away many common items in secret storage places. This can be a problem for a sleep-deprived mom who can hardly remember where to find stuff even when it’s where it’s supposed to be. So if you get a birthday card from me in the mail and it’s addressed in crayon, please forgive me. I know there’s a pen in the house somewhere, but by the time I find it the card will be late. Although it’s probably going to be late anyway, seeing that I can’t find the stamps, either.

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