Messy Hands and Quality Time


It was after nap time, and my 23-month-old kept repeating “mar mar” (markers) while heading to where the markers were kept, high on the shelf. With no forthcoming response from me, he proceeded to flip over a nearby basket and use it as a stepping stool to reach the markers, which he managed to obtain! 

Seeing all this effort, I agreed to the marker activity. We spoke about colors and shapes and bonded over drawing out letters, with me reiterating that “markers are for drawing on paper only.” 

A while into our activity, I noticed my hands were full of color—smudges. Oh boy, I thought. I’m hosting dinner in two days, and even the so-called washable markers only come off when you wash your hands with soap multiple times. I was not too happy about this. 

At that moment, I thought, “Why did I even agree to this?” Now supper is not going to be ready on time, and the kitchen table needs to be disinfected. 

I stopped, looked at my hands full of rainbow coloring, and told myself loud and clear: My little one and I spent time together. I listened and gave my child the time to enjoy working on an activity—that is priceless. These smudged hands remind me of the importance of our shared experiences. I hope we can always stop at the moment and treasure these special memories we are creating together.


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