My kids are smart. So smart, in fact, that sometimes I forget that there are simple basic things that they don’t know, nor can they be expected to know, unless I tell them. I was reminded of that fact yesterday.
Scorch has always had a thing for drawing with his fingers in the dirt that coats our car. Last year when he started parochial school he started replacing his scribbles with crosses. Those crosses were drawn on to all the sides of the car any chance he got- we joked that we were driving around in the red-neck version of the Popemobile. This year, as Scorch learned how to write all his letters the crosses got phased out and instead we started driving around the Alphabetmobile. Scorch also has a thing for rocks. The boy is an avid fossil hunter, so he’ll pick up rocks any place he can. Park, playgrounds, parking lots- he very rarely leaves a place without a rock or five to take with him.
Never had the two obsessions met- until yesterday.
It honestly never dawned on the Hubs or I to tell Scorch to never use a rock to drawn letters on our car. I just (wrongly) assumed he knew that was a Bad Idea. But, really- how could he know? A 5 year old has no concept that a rock could scratch the paint on a car.
The second Scorch said to me yesterday in the parking lot, “Mom- look what I made with this awesome rock!” I knew what he did. I inwardly screamed, but I didn’t freak out on him even though there is now a nice small (thank goodness) “X” carved in my door. I wanted to lose my temper and just yell- I had already dealt with a flat tire and a screaming 3 year old in the past hour and this? This was just the icing on the cake. But we never taught Scorch this, we never told him explicitly that using a rock on the car’s paint is wrong- how was he to know. So instead of yelling at the kid, I explained to him why he could never do that again and took the kids home and put them to bed.
Then I had a big bowl of ice cream and prayed for a better day today.