Chirp!:

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Muted

    I'm just so disappointed.

    So we've got a chalkboard, a painting easel, paper galore, various art programmes on the computer, you name it.

    My son likes to write on walls.
    His name too, so there's no denying.

    And you know, i'm really proud he can write his own name ( in full - first, middle, last ) and his street address. He taught himself too, and he spells aloud to strangers.
    Very proud of his name, he is.

    He loves to copy words from books also, so I sometimes will find a passage written on the chalkboard and it's all very exciting.

    But he likes to write on walls.


    We've smacked, yelled, banned, been disappointed in him, taken toys away, banished him to his bedroom, discussed how naughty this is at length.

    But he likes to write on walls.


    Late last night, between twittering about periods ( oh yey! ) with Kim and Suse, and scrabbling with Shula and Caroline, I was making and labelling some CDs with a permanent marker.
    But i'm no fool. When I was done, I secreted it into a pocket of my jacket, secure in the knowledge no-one would go there.

    The baby did.
    When I was showering this morning.
    I wasn't long.

    Long enough for the boy to grab the opportunity, to go into his playroom, into that little secret nook under his desk, and write his name in big booming permanent letters on the wall.
    And then again on his desk.


    WHY?
    I am here typing this now and not talking to him. I have no idea how to proceed. Punishment and beatings have no long-term effect .. it's like .. like an addiction for him. He goes into a la-la name-writing world where rules don't apply and consequences don't matter .. just as long as he can scratch .. that.. itch.

    Apparently my mum was the same. My Grandma eventually took away every last one of her writing appliances - pencils pens pastels, quills - whatever they had in those days, who knows.
    So my mum simply scratched her name into things. Like her mum's special anodised kitchen canisters.

    The only thing that's keeping me sane is the fact those two walls in the playroom are designated for demolition one day.

    Oh, and get this: the kid is obsessed with graffiti, and rabbits on about how naughty the boys that do it are, and how the police will catch them and put them in jail.

    How long do you reckon before he discovers the spraycan ?

    24 comments:

    My Love is..... said...

    ohhhh I know how you feel. Have you tried getting it opff with toothpaste. you will be surprised at the results.

    Christie said...

    oh, this is a bad, BAD situation...

    i have no answers :-(

    Alby Mangroves said...

    If those walls are scheduled for demolition, I reckon let him go nuts! NUTS I say! If you encourage it, he might get bored with it :))

    Lin said...

    Do not fear! I used to do this too! I remember doing it - I climbed on top of my cupboard in my bedroom, would've been about 8 years old, and I wrote on the ceiling - my name and everything, so now denying it either. Mum and Dad didn't find it until they repainted some 5 years later. I grew out of it, hopefully your boy will too!

    nikki-shell said...

    Maybe you could arrange for the coppers to come next time he does it and take him to the police station?

    Fe said...

    Oh no! I think, at this stage, I'd be painting those walls with chalkboard paint and hiding the chalk so that he still feels as though he's doing something completely forbidden.

    And then I'd be praying that he grows up and becomes an installation artist with a patron rich enough to buy him buildings to paint on.

    In the meantime, I'd be taking away privileges and beloved possessions for short periods of time for any wall drawing. And rewarding him for drawing on ALLOWED objects.

    Sheesh. it's hard.

    And then I'd probably STILL be writing the exact same post as yours on my own blog!

    Good luck. The joys of parenting. *sigh*

    Stacey said...

    When I was six I wrote the word "shit" on the toilet wall at school.

    I was hauled up before Sister Geraldine who stood over me and told me in no uncertain terms that I would go to hell if I "defaced the church's property again".

    Stopped me in my wall writing tracks.

    My advice - a nun's habit, a huge protruding boosum, thick Irish brogue and a booming voice.

    If that fails, try Chux Magic Erasers (might be called something different - can't remember).

    Perhaps you could go down the "no posessions at all if you can't respect your home" route whereby he has to "earn" toys back by x amount of days graffiti free?

    muser said...

    hmm. I think I would paint the whole house in chalkboard paints. In fact, it comes in several different colours these days.

    Louise said...

    Only my little one out of the three has been a prolific artist on surfaces of our home including the floorboards. She has stopped doing it for the moment but has yet to learn how to write her name!!

    Melody said...

    Glad it is you and not me. Sorry buddy.

    dancingmorganmouse said...

    I'd cut off his hands, but that's why I'm NOT a mum ;)

    M+B said...

    I have currently removed all writing and drawing materials from reach to be used under supervision only! Unfortunately mine writes on furniture not walls...

    My float said...

    It'll pass...(Fingers crossed!!)

    I think if all the punishments etc haven't worked, then I'm not sure anything will. I guess he doesn't understand why some people can write on walls and others can't.

    A suggestion - nominate a wall outside (maybe a shed or the fence or something...) where he can write away to his heart's content. Maybe he'll stick to this??

    meggie said...

    Buy a huge canvas, & let him 'go for it'?
    He may be a budding Picasso.

    h&b said...

    OMG, M+B - I totally forgot about the penned name on the couch arm too - from a few wks back.

    But yeah, i'm just going with 'being disappointed' and hoping it will pass. The good thing about old houses is that you don't get as upset when crap happens to it because it's not all shiny-new-&-perfect.

    And MF? - tried that .. he just adds it to his 'the world is my canvas' repetoire. ATM we've got him out front painting the fence.

    But if he goddamn touches my new bathroom ...

    :p

    norma said...

    tell him you want him to write his name a squillion times on ( one of the for demolition walls ) and you will give him (insert here whatever treat he may like ) a packet of tim tams would do it for me and maybe that would work, get it out of his system once and for all!!!

    M said...

    In Kindergarten (Prep) PL did his first grafitti on the wall of the boys toilets - no denying it as he too proudly wrote his name. Having to scrub it off changed his grafitti-ing ways. It helped that it was the Deputy Principal, not me, enforcing the punishment.

    peppermintpatcher said...

    Paint your walls with chalk board paint and walk away!

    Hoppo Bumpo said...

    I'd recommend the Chux Magic Erasers too. They work a treat. Just damp the little sponge down and rub gently over his hands and see if you can remove them.

    I see the same happening with our #2, who when not able to get his hands on pencils, textas or chalk, draws on everything with food (have you ever tried getting red Babybel cheese wax off glass?) or toys (apparently if you draw hard enough the paint comes off).

    Stomper Girl said...

    Ask him -as a task- to write his name and address etc on some big sheet of butcher's paper, then blu-tack them up at child-friendly height in central locations. A visual reminder that paper is the way to go if he wants his name on the walls?

    Apparently baby wipes are da bomb for cleaning up practically everything, you could issue him with his own packet and get him scrubbing as soon after the deed as possible.

    I think he is VERY clever to be able to write so much by the way, and clearly a child who just needs to express himself and to stamp his identity.

    Elizabeth said...

    Oh it can get so frustrating! Maybe he'll grow up to be a Banksy, and the playroom wall will fund your returement ("..an excellent early H&B..."), but in the meantime possibly *make his hideyhole or some other attractive area graffiti-safe ((tack up a large painting board, disguise it with the same housepaint?) & forbid him to write there then breathe a sigh of relief when he does; *get him to write his name an awful lot, or very large and/or in public view; * calmly announce you are going for a walk around the block because you are so angry and don't want to yell or be naughty yourself, and go. I never had the wit for creative solutions at the time I must admit, but I did get a lot of exercise.

    Corrie said...

    uh oh keira tested me with the walls in our new house...she did it twice. Unfortunately I can't remove one lot of it and its only pencil but its not coming off!

    thankfully I made such a song and dance about it she hasn't done it again....but I wouldn't put it past her.

    Corrie:)

    crafty said...

    Yeah, got one of those too. She also likes to draw and write all over her BED SHEET. I've stopped caring.

    Jodie said...

    Give him a wall -all to himself.
    Somewhere you don't often have to show the guests if you prefer. The laundry? Cover it waist high in blackboard and give him a thousand chalks - or paint all his furniture with chalkborad paint and let him go wild....

    (Daughter 17 still has a chalkboard wardrobe)

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