Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Ink Debacle

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Ink Debacle

Article excerpt

Our family is such a "mess" and it's impossible to hide it. Maybe that's a good thing because we are not the only ones out there who are trying hard every day.

We were ready to go. It is rare for our family, but we were actually going to be on time. The battalion Halloween party was going to start in a few hours and we needed to be at the battalion to help set up. While I was grabbing my purse to run out the door to the car, I was actually gloating to myself. Maybe we were starting to get the knack to this whole "being on time" scenario. Could this be?

As I grabbed the door knob with a smirk of satisfaction in knowing that I could consider driving the speed limit to the battalion today, I heard a high pitched scream upstairs, "Shelly! Grab some paper towels and cleaner now! Hurry!" After I realized it was my husband screaming, I stopped to process of how high of an octave he could scream. I yelled back, "What's wrong?!" because I refused to acknowledge anything could go wrong. He was not going to rain on my parade. Dang it. We were on time, for once.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"Shelly, get up here now!" he screamed. I grab a role of paper towels and cleaner and ran upstairs. As I looked up at the top of the stairs, I gasped. Mark was standing at the top of the stairs with sweat starting to bead on his forehead. He had Broden in tow, who was covered in blue and black ink, all over this face, hands, and feet. We both stopped and stared at each other for a few seconds, but it felt like a lifetime. What were we thinking? We were going to be late.

We knew the drill and started to mobilize into disaster clean-up mode. I have no idea why I thought of this at the time, but I yelled, "Take pictures of everything! No one will believe us!" Mark grabbed his phone and took pictures of Broden and then told me to follow him into our office and craft room. If it were blood, it would have been labeled the crime scene of the century. There were ink footprints on the floor, furniture, television, computer and Broden's iPad. I stared at the room in disbelief. What did he get into? Mark scoured the room and found two brand new ink pads that I had bought a few days ago. Well, they weren't new anymore.

Mark started to yell out a list of tasks in order to get the disaster under control. I voted to clean the kid, so Mark grabbed the bucket of cleaner and paper towels to see what he could do to clean up the room. Broden's bathwater quickly turned to a deep blue hue as I started to scrub his hands, face and feet. Thank goodness, it mostly came off his face. …

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