Teagan’s Blue Crayon

Teagan’s Blue Crayon

Originally uploaded by Bud the Teacher

Note – This post was mostly composed months ago; it’s almost a year old. I’m posting it now because I’m in the middle of revisiting lots of drafts of posts. This one seemed done. Not sure why I never published it. – Bud


Setting the scene: It’s just after dinner tonight, and I am in our play room, a converted office full of kids’ toys, assorted vehicles, and a large table stocked full of art supplies. Teagan’s there, too. In fact, she’s the reason I’m there. She discovered four discarded crayons, a leftover project of Ani’s, under the table. She’s only fourteen months old, but she’s been watching Ani, so she knows what those crayons can do.

She carefully lowers herself to the floor, leaning over to a collection of index cards and Curious George notepad pages, another discarded project. (Man, we really need to clean the play room.) She makes a tentative scribble on an index card, exploring the jagged red line she’s producing, her tongue hanging slightly out of her mouth with the effort. A smile and perhaps a bit of toddler drool appears on her lips as she continues to mark, alternating the crayons in her right hand, pressing each onto the card. I watch her watching herself discovering the way that crayons allow her to make marks on paper, the secret excitement only one fellow writer has for another building in my head and heart. Discovering the act of creation is, at any age, a big deal.

Her favorite, she decides between exchanges and random markings on the card, is the blue crayon, and I am able to sneak the others out of sight and mind before she decides to do any furniture or wall scribbling.

But the blue crayon must stay in her hand. The index card, too.

I tell her it’s time for bed and stand up to leave the room. She rises, too, clutching the blue crayon in one hand, the index card in the other. I watch her waddle her toddler waddle to the stairs and realize that she’s taking her tools with her to bed. And up the stairs, which she’s only beginning to climb on her own. I manage to get her to leave the card with me, motioning to her that she can have the card at the top of the stairs. But the blue crayon stays in her hand for the long climb, me one step behind, as she slowly ascends, reaching out the entire time for the card that I’m waving a few inches past her reach.

Her card returned, we begin the bed time ritual. I try to take her tools away to put on her PJs – but she will have none of that, shrill cries telling me just what she thinks of my idea. Until she realizes that I cannot remove her shirt unless she puts them down. Still, she cries and cries as I remove her clothes and change a diaper, only ceasing when, fresh and clean and pajama-ed, I return her crayon and index card to her still waiting fingers.

A few minutes later, she’s ready for sleep, and I place the card and crayon on her dresser. We say night night to them before going to bed.

9 thoughts on “Teagan’s Blue Crayon

  1. There are so many of those types of moments in our lives. How many do we miss? How many do we capture? You’ve captured a moment here that obviously has struck you as important. I agree. I so enjoy observing Mady (who is reading now) and wondering what’s going on in her head. I find myself also trying to do the same when she is frustrated or struggling to do something.

    This is the good stuff in life. Thanks for capturing it in writing. I need to do more of that on my site (it can’t be all ed tech stuff now, can it?)

    Brian C. Smiths last blog post..Re: Web 2.0 Rants & Perspectives

  2. This is really beautiful writing. I’m completely moved.

    My nephew did the same thing with a pink spoon from Baskin Robins, and I wonder about the relationship of color to mood, creation, and language.

  3. Great story indeed – got moved myself. I’ve been observing my six-year-old niece as she discovers the world of reading/writing. It is really amazing and you put it so beautifully here. Thanks for sharing.

    Gilmar Mattoss last blog post..PERFECTION

  4. Kia ora e Bud!

    It is moving. It is the innate, wordless and wonderfully precious communication between parent and child.

    Good that you recorded this memory. I have a 2.5 hour video of my daughters when they were very young. Watching scenes from that can be moving. But isn’t it great to have other means to recall and relive precious moments? The memory is good, but a diaried account can bring it as vividly to life as in a video.

    Thanks for the chance to peek into your memory.

    Catchya later

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