My delicious daughter has discovered colors. Calls and signs for "Color color!" are hollered until they are met with a couple of crayons and some paper. Which generally she sticks to. I was, at first, ecstatic about this new found fun as it meant she would sit at her table and prefer to be undisturbed for up to 3o minutes. This is fantastic! Boho misfit dad and I are committed to a pretty 'free' style of parenting with very little discipline as it just reflects our own life for the most part and we don't want the poor girl to be confused least of all our lifestyle to dramatically change so leaving her be is the general accepted way to play in our house. (okay insert remarks here about how children rarely change your lifestyle)
But when I wandered into the kitchen and found my delightful child making graffiti all over every single surface in my house, I had to calm the anger beast. So I first just watched for a moment (this is the part where I breathe and silently sing my chill song before reacting). I realized she was counting to 10 and writing, what to her was probably corresponding numbers. Anger disappeared, joy took over. How could I not revel in that? My 18 month old delight counting to 10!
Though I could listen and watch all day, at some point it became time for a little conversation. I completely appreciate the whole hip hop culture thing, but um, not in my house huh? Well at least the graffiti part. So I sat down grabbed a crayon and started coloring with her, on paper of course. She quickly gave up her art walk and joined me. I made a couple of quick no, no signs when she motioned her crayon off the paper and that was that. We never really addressed the graffiti thing, she just didn't do it anymore. I guess I got off pretty easy this time.
However, since her style didn't actually go with my decor, I did eventually clean it up, with her help of course. I'm not sure how in the span of 15 minutes she had managed to, um enhance, every single surface area in the kitchen, but what can I say, she's always been a wonder child. Here's my super safe solution for destroying toddler graffiti art in crayon on everything walls, glass, painted wood, unpainted wood, you name it:
One small square baby flannel receiving blanket
Orange essential oil
Place a few drops of oil on art surface and rub gently.
Notes: Flannel blankets are THE best for cleaning up anything. Super cheap and the flannel picks up what you want without scratching surfaces. You can also use any other citrus oil (opposite of crayon as a basic while citrus is an acid, but orange is the most mild. Peppermint oil works really well if you are not worried about discoloration for example on glass, but will strip most paint). Always best to test an area before going to town. Have fun destroying your kid's hard work. ;) Hopefully you'll take a picture first.