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Another wasted Sunday at work, was all I could think Sunday morning.  Until I bent down to retrieve a sweater from my middle dresser drawer and saw this.


I carefully scraped at it with my fingernail, expecting to feel the waxy crayon lodge under my nail, and leave a chip off the carefully inscribed signature.  Except, instead, my nail hit a divot.

This was CARVED.

Dear child,
A tip: If you feel the need to carve into my furniture, have the brain power to not leave your own name.  Kind of leads me right to the culprit.  Also, be smart enough to wait until your sister is old enough to write, and then carve HER name.  I have so much yet to teach you.

“I am FUMING mad at you!” I yelled, when I finally found her relaxed in front of her favorite Sunday morning cartoons.

She looked befuddled, but the crime had occurred the previous evening, so I can see how her memory would be muddy.

“For what?”

“How about the NAME that is CARVED into my furniture?!”

She had the decency to at least look sheepish.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do to you yet.  And I have to work today.  But you can be GUARANTEED that I have ALL day to come up with something GOOD!  And I will be collaborating with two other mothers at work.  If I were you, I would be VERY worried for my return home.”

“Is it still illegal to kill children in all fifty states?” I barked at my coworker when I got to work.

“Except in Tennessee.  But I think you have to be able to hide the body well enough in the hills.”

When I returned home six hours later, Paige was standing in front of the door, as if she hadn’t moved a muscle while I had been gone.  Hands folded neatly behind her back.

“What did you decide?” she asked.  Allie will hide behind a couch when it comes times for the consequences of her actions.  Paige will remind you that you punished her in the first place.

“First of all, you’re going to scrub my bathroom.”  Mostly because it needed to be cleaned, and I was either going to have to deal with it after dinner, or first thing Monday morning.  And who wants to deal with THAT Monday morning?  “When you’re done that, since you enjoy writing so much, you’re going to sit down and write me a two page apology.  In your neatest handwriting.  And if it’s not your neatest writing, you’ll be starting all over.”

She didn’t even protest.  She marched to the cabinet under the kitchen sink, and grabbed the Lysol and the Windex.

When the bathroom was sufficiently cleaned and inspected, she sat down for her apology letter.  She wrote EXTRA big to cover those two pages, including a giant 1.2 at the bottom of the page, which was her way of writing page 1 of 2, in case page two got lost before the letter got to me.  It’s a big house, after all.

“I am sorry I wrot on your drawr.  I wanted to practice my crcive writeing.  I will never do it agn (C’mon Paige.  You know how to spell “again”) because it is not good for plants (?), you and Dad and your drawer.  It is also distruptitiv and a dubbl (double) D.  (In school, behavior that is disruptive and destructive is referred to as “Double D behavior”)  I am verry sorry mom.  Please forgive me.  Love you.  Paige.
P.S. I am sorry about you’r drawer.  I will give you 5 dollers if you want.”

Yes.  That took up two pages.  And yes, I even let her get away with that because she sat for an hour and a half with just that.  And started over quite a few times.

“Where are you going to practice your cursive from now on?”

“On paper.”

Lesson learned.  For now.