Family O' Fames

ames + her family

Why I curse crayons August 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ames @ 5:47 pm
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And it is not what you think.  No one wrote on the walls or on any furniture.  At least not in the past few weeks.  Nor did I forget about a stray crayon that was in a pocket and put it in the dryer.  Not the usual crayon-hating post here.

Son #2 (who says his secret code name is Racer) has a newfound passion.  Coloring.  He LOVES to draw pictures.  He discovered this passion this summer and now that summer is over I have about 1,000 new drawings to recycle sort through to find the best ones to display proudly.

My two-year old monster too has become obsessed with the crayons.  But not in the usual way.  Yes, he likes to draw for a little while.  If by draw you mean scribble scrabble and then point at each scribble and name it something that only two-year olds with older siblings would know about.  For example:

“Wook Mommy, this Harry Potter.”

“Mommy, this Percy Dragon.”

You know Percy Dragon, right?

All two-year olds have seen this movie, right?

But, back to drawing, or not drawing, as the case may be.  After a few minutes of drawing characters that he should not know even exist, two-year old monster gets bored and switches to his new favorite activity in the whole wide world.  I’ll give you a hint:

What is that?  Need a closer look?

Why yes, they are crayon wrappers!

Everyday I clean up many, many piles of wrappers like this one.  Every.  Day.  Multiple times a day.  At least he is strengthening those tiny muscles in his hands, you know the ones that help with – those often elusive in little boys – fine motor skills.  Now, most kids would use the crayons to draw in order to improve their fine motor skills.  But why draw with crayons when you can make a huge mess, or even better – several huge messes – every single day???

Since this seems to be such an odd passion for a two-year old, it begs the question: how did he even come up with this idea in the first place?  I mean, some messes that two-year olds make are just obvious.  A whole roll of toilet paper unrolled – well, duh.  Shampoo bottles emptied all over the bathroom.  Squeezing a bottle and squirting goop everywhere=fun plain and simple for the under three set.  But sitting at the dining room table, painstakingly peeling shreds of wrapper of crayons?  How did it even occur to him?


That might have been my fault.

Let’s go back to the middle of the summer.  The hot hot hot long long long days in the middle of the summer.  Somewhere in the maze of websites and blogs I saw a project that we had all the supplies for!  Right now!  No day before preparation needed!  No trip to the craft supplies store or the grocery store or the home improvement warehouse needed!  And best of all it would use up those broken crayons that no one wanted to use anyway!

Maybe you know which project to which I am referring?

Melt your broken crayons in a muffin tin and make NEW! BETTER! AWESOME! CIRCLE! crayons?

I’m not going to link to the page where I found this project 1) because I don’t remember where I saw the exact page that inspired me to get up and do this project immediately and 2) this project is everywhere.  It is as old as crayons and muffin tins.  So, I don’t feel bad about giving proper credit because I am sure that Mr. Crayola is long gone and whoever invented the muffin tin?  Probably rolling over in his/her grave due to all the crazy things people think up to do with the simple muffin tin.

Back to our project.

It should have been a simple project.  Ttwo-year old monster, with the typical two-year old attention span, should have lost interest while we were sorting the crayons into two piles: still good or broken.  He really, really should have wandered away when we sorted the broken crayons into piles by color.  And the next step should have gone quickly.  He should not have even noticed me removing the wrappers from the broken crayons.  That’s how fast I expected this next step to be.  However.  Said crayons were old.  Very old.  And had endured many hours of sweaty toddler hand coloring.  Sweaty toddler hand apparently generates enough heat to very slightly melt these crayons.  Melt them just enough so that the wrapper adheres very firmly to ALL of the crayons.  Ok, I am exaggerating.  Approximately 2 of the crayons had wrappers that peeled right off.  The way they should.  The way I remember them peeling off when I was a kid.  So I stood there at the kitchen counter for basically the entire day scraping tiny shreds of wrapper of each piece of broken crayon.  Son #1 (who says his secret code name is either Speed or Ranger) helped me peel about 2 crayons.  One easy one and then one of the eleven million left that were not easy.  He asked if I thought there were anymore easy ones.  I said no.  He left.  He came back later and suggested I use a knife.  He came back hours and hours later and asked again,

“Mom?  Don’t you think a knife would help?”

I gave in.  By the end of the pile, all 10 of my fingernails had crayon embedded so deep under them that the crayon reached my cuticles.  And I finished the rest with a knife.

You know the rest.  Melt into fabulous new crayons!!

My kids hate the new crayons.

No one wants to draw with them.

My knife, cutting board and muffin tin all still have crayon residue on them.

And two-year old monster now spends his days making piles of shredded crayon wrappers under the table.