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Graduations, Markers and Crap

It’s graduation time and last month was full of them! My 3-year-old daughter, Chickehawk, had a “moving up” ceremony, from day care to preschool. My 6-year-old, Ms. Prissy, just completed kindergarten, and perhaps most monumental, my stepson graduated from high school! Needless to say, it has been an emotion-filled time for me. Each graduation not only signified the passing of time but also the fact that change is never ending. As my children transition into a new phase in their lives, I realize that I, too, am evolving.

Lesson learned…

The other day, I bought my daughters a pack of markers. And, of course, as soon as I turned my back, they managed to draw all over each other’s faces.

Cue angry mother.

It is extremely difficult to wash markers off little faces -even if they are labeled “washable”. I’m talking vigorous scrubbing of turning and twisting faces. Why do my kids think everything is make-up?

After I snatched the markers from their hands and verbally scolded them, they scampered away to their room. About five minutes later, my youngest, came over to me with a wide smile.

“Mom” she said, “ Come with me. I gotta show you something. Watch…it will make you happy again.”

I was in the midst of searching my walls and couch for possible marker graffiti, but my little girl persisted.

“Come on, Mommy,” she said, grabbing my hand. “You will be happy.”

She led me to the bathroom, right over to the toilet, and inside was a pile of poop. “See mommy,” she said, smiling ear to ear, hands on her hips, clearly proud of herself. “Are you happy now?”

And I actually was happy. Very happy, because in that moment I recalled the months that had passed and my needless worry over her regression with the potty after she fell ill in the beginning of the year. Retraining her felt so frustrating since I knew she knew how to go.

Now here she is…her old self again. I was proud — proud enough to look past the fact that there was no toilet paper in the toilet and that my daughter probably did not wash her hands.

“Yes. I am happy,” I told her, smiling, too as I changed her soiled panties and washed her hands. My anger from the marker fiasco subsided as I realized what a turning point we had reached. I noticed my camera nearby and snapped a picture of both of my girls, their faces decorated in a rainbow of colors, before scrubbing them as they whined and protested loudly.

In that moment, I realized the importance of letting go of the small things and appreciating the bigger picture. That day, I ended up taking a really funny picture of my daughters, one that I’ll cherish forever. Kids grow up so fast. It’s been said many times, but it sure is true. It’s important to take a moment to enjoy the crap they give you — literally!



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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nikki #

    Pooping in the the pot is cause for celebration! This is hilarious and precious all wrapped in one. “I wonder what Sage thought?…Hmmm what will make Mommy smile again? Oh, I know!” The memories I cherish most are those spent with my sister. Our bond today is unbreakable. Our imaginations were free and open and my mother allowed us the great freedom to explore and make memories. To this day all she has to do is look at me and we both will be in stitches. It is truly the small things that make life…real. Bravo

    July 17, 2011
  2. Ninette #

    I am giggling over here as I ready your story! From the “marker faces” to the pooping in the toilet when you later notice there was no toilet tissue in the toilet nor did she probably wash her hands. LOL. Priceless! Most importantly, she knew Mommy would be after her accomplishment. So sweet! These memories will make you look back and smile and giggle out of nowhere. I love it!

    July 18, 2011
  3. Marsha Washington #

    You are right – they grow up so fast – my baby will be 21 this year and occassioally she will send me a picture of her poop. Catches me off guard each time and each time I have to laugh! That’s my soldier!

    July 18, 2011
  4. Beautiful story! Children have the amazing gift of making you smile with the most simple things they do–like poop! I love it.

    July 18, 2011
  5. Terri Batch #

    Love this story. Thanks for sharing! We still need to try to arrange for a playdate for our girls. Mine are soon to be five and two. They are quite a handful and will probably fit in nicely with your girls!

    July 18, 2011
  6. Dennis #

    Thanks for the reminders!
    Nice story.

    July 18, 2011
  7. Joyell #

    I love it! Excellent reminder of the joys of motherhood. Thanks for sharing…and the picture is indeed priceless!

    July 18, 2011
  8. Chana #

    Aw! So cute. Hopefully Sagey will be using the potty when we get together for the family vacay!

    July 18, 2011
  9. Kimberly #

    Loved it!

    July 18, 2011
  10. natalie Moore #

    these girls are just too cute. please send them to chicago!

    July 19, 2011
  11. I love your story. It reminded me as to how time goes so quickly with your children. My daughter has been invited to the White House tomorrow to discuss healthy food with Michelle Obama. When she was your daughters’ age, I pointed out to her that she couldn’t find her way home alone because she didn’t know her left from her right. She replied: “But Mommy,I know my middle.” Another story from Reader’s Digest titled Now While There’s Time reminds me of your story. Thank you for sharing this joy time with me. Your photo of your girls is the seed for another book. Hugs, JO

    July 19, 2011
  12. Jaz #

    Awesome… love the pic!

    July 19, 2011
  13. Toni Jackson #

    Love your stories Calida! They make me laugh! Keep them coming.

    July 20, 2011
  14. Monique #

    Awww very cute story! Nice reminder.

    July 20, 2011
  15. Nunu #

    You were so right, I smiled from ear to ear ; ) a lot of moments time gets the best of us. I work so hard to provide for my family- that I find myself missing out on “daddy time.” It stops here- I’M GOING TO REOWN MY LIFE, kids are so amazing. My family LOVES your family. -Nunu

    July 20, 2011
  16. Love your stories! This stories are my little break at the end of the day. They make me smile and remember I am not the only mother suffering from this little disasters.

    July 21, 2011
  17. Thanks so much….this is a constant remember to have self control and dont sweat the small stuff. I appreciate you sharing your life with us. Keep up the great work.

    July 22, 2011
  18. Kimani #

    This is CLASSIC!!! We have to laugh to keep from crying sometimes!

    July 27, 2011
  19. ALL #

    I can truly appreciate the story. I have a growing 12 year old son who spent 5 weeks away at camp this summer. It made me cray and think of lots of moments like yours of markers and crap. Thanks for lightening my day. I pick him up tomorrow. 🙂

    July 28, 2011
  20. Ukeme #

    Calida what a fantastic antidote. Keep up the awesome work sister.

    July 29, 2011

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