Colour My World
A household threat who revels in simple treats. By John Ng.
The Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have been eagerly consumed without much prompting. Michele sees fit to give him an ‘elephant stamp’ on each hand as a reward for finishing his breakfast. A third of the breakfast is all over the table and the floor, but I suppose feigning ignorance is bliss.
At this point I casually point out to Michele that the ‘elephant stamp’ used to be given to Levi if he didn’t make a mess of his meals. Michele laughs and brushes me off.
By this point, Levi is shrieking with urgent delight, sensing the imminent adventure. He has waited an entire night in anticipation of this very colourful occasion.
With Levi still strapped into his chair, Michele cleans the table and vacuums the floor as I open the four-litre ice cream container to reveal an assortment of crayons, coloured pencils and stencils.
‘YAY!’ Levi bursts into spontaneous applause as his grin reveals a Coco Pop stuck between two of his upper teeth.
It is hard to gauge a toddler’s enthusiasm for drawing — or colouring, for that matter.
Armed with a four-inch crayon in each hand, Levi has on many occasions left a mini trail of colourful delights on our floorboards.
Once, he even managed to scribble on our wall. Thankfully, my mother-in-law caught him just as he was about to go all Michelangelo on our dining wall. (A special shout out to our paint brand, Dulux!)
Thankfully, we have not allowed Levi to run amok with markers. With their permanent, fast-dry ink, their easy-grip handles and cheery farm-animal design, these markers are a genuine cause for concern.
Michele and I endured and survived a horrific scenario when we left Levi alone with his crayons for a few minutes in a room. He somehow managed to find a misplaced marker and proceeded to paint the town red.
We shudder at the thought of cleaning up the mess. A treat for Levi, a threat for us.
Next step: Play-Doh.
I have a cheeky suspicion that he may consume the colourful modelling clay, due to its uncanny resemblance to cookie dough.
But that will be another story for another time.
John Ng lives in Melbourne with his wife Michele and their two-year-old son Levi. He contributed a regular column, Living with Levi, to the previous version of Aquila magazine.
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