Part of our conversation:
- Case Manager: So, are the boys coloring?
- What I said: Umm… you mean with crayons?
- What I was thinking: Yes, they color their teeth with crayons, because they think crayons are food.
- Case Manager: Well, you should be working with them on scribbling, and then on drawing straight lines.
- What I said: Okie dokie. That sounds great. We will color our hearts out. I’ll mail you their drawings for your refrigerator.
- What I was thinking: Zach + Charlie + Cooper, armed with crayons... eating crayons… grinding crayons into the carpet… putting them in the dishwasher… hiding them between the couch cushions… drawing on the walls… Shouldn’t we work on cartwheels first? Am I the only parent of 17-month-olds who think crayons might require one-on-one supervision, and that one-on-three supervision just might not cut it?
And so… the crayon lessons began.
Day One, 7:30 a.m. I lay several sheets of paper on the boys’ table. I show the boys the paper. We like to eat paper, think the boys. I give Cooper a green crayon and show him how to color. Charlie starts to whine because he doesn’t have a crayon. I give Charlie a crayon and show him how to color. I give Zach a crayon, and notice that Charlie is trying to steal Cooper’s crayon, but to Charlie’s dismay, Cooper has eaten most of his crayon. Lesson ends abruptly, and there are 3 tantrums and some really green teeth. Total time of actual scribbling on paper: 2 seconds. Total time of actual scribbling on my table: 15 seconds.
Day Two, 7:30 a.m. The paper is ready. I arm each boy with a crayon. Charlie gets really mad because he needs two crayons. So he gets another crayon, but that is simply not enough for Charlie because he REALLY needs Zach’s crayon (guess it looked tastier than his own). He bullies Zach into giving up his crayon. Zach is crying, and Charlie’s lesson ends (with a tantrum of course). Zach is coloring the table. I look at Cooper, who is looking right at me with a crayon hanging out of his mouth. And he smiles because he knows exactly what he is doing. He removes the crayon, and then puts it right back in his mouth. Lesson ends before any more crayons are harmed. Total time of actually scribbling on paper: 10 seconds. Total time of actual scribbling on my table: 45 seconds. Total number of sheets of paper eaten by Zach: one. YES. This is progress.
Day Three, 7:30 a.m. I ask the boys if they want to color, and they run over to the table and point at the crayon basket on the desk. They each get two crayons. Although Charlie appears miffed that his brothers have the same number of crayons as he does, he composes himself and scribbles some scribble on the table. Cooper scribbles and Zach scribbles. Total time of blissful scribbling before crayons go into mouths: 1 minute. SUCCESS!
I can now check “scribbling” off of my developmental checklist.
We’ll work on straight lines and playing Boggle next week.