The dreaded wall drawing

23:41, Jun 17 2013

My kids always have a ream of paper available for drawing.  So why don't they use it?!

Wall drawing is a tradition that my eldest started four years ago, two weeks after we moved into a newly-redecorated rental. Felt pen scrawled over a freshly-painted door is not a nice thing to do when your mum is 24 weeks pregnant with twins. She tends to cry.

Apparently the sign said "GO AWAY MUMMY AND DADDY" and his wrath was such that it couldn't be restrained within the confines of a piece of paper. Thankfully, the marks easily wiped away.

A couple of years later, he got hold of a UV invisible ink pen. It was only when I caught a friend's child in the act of drawing (invisibly) on his bedroom wall that we discovered what must have been the work of several days. When we inspected his room with the UV light, we found multiple artworks, signed by several neighbours' children. Once again, thankfully it wiped away easily, though I felt a little silly washing off invisible graffiti.

It's a tendency that we've tried our best to curb with our twins, now three-and-a-half. We've done our best to keep pens out of reach, though their habit of scaling ladder-back chairs means that anywhere up to, and including, the top of the fridge is in peril. Permanent markers live waaaaay up high, and we have a bottle of isopropyl alcohol just in case.

As they got older, I gave the twins washable markers, for use under supervision. As they matured, I gave them open access, with a small table supplied with felt pens and paper.


Those rights have been revoked.

You see, today I was greeted by this adornment on the back of our couch (which is not against a wall). Despite its simian appearance, apparently this artwork is "an animal trap". I was not at all surprised when it turned out that Finn was the artist.

I should have remembered his strategic genius. While I scrubbed the back of the couch with a wet cloth, he snuck under the kitchen table with the container of hot chocolate powder... and a spoon.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

I'm sure I'm not alone. A fellow Playcentre mum shared this tale:

"A picture I drew as a child is still on the toilet wall at Mum's, much to my children's delight. The worst bit was that I signed my brother's name next to it so he would be the one in trouble. Sadly for me he was too little to write.... I was a horrible four-year-old, but apparently a wonderful teenager. Besides, I still maintain that my ballet slipper made the wall look better."

I'm sure most parents can relate to that moment of horror when you discover a creation. What have your kids drawn on?