The Blue Crayon
The blue crayon.
That dreaded blue crayon.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
Never in the history of mankind, has a drawing implement generated such angst.
It all started at a dinner/BBQ I was at. After the meal, we were chatting and having coffee, doing our typical boring adult stuff.
The two young boys (who shall remain nameless) were relegated into the kitchen, each with big pieces of cardboard and a box of crayons to draw with.
Suddenly, there was a sound. An awful, horrible sound. Not dissimilar to that of a baby chimp being thrown feet-first into a wood-chipper.
We rushed to the kitchen.
Oh my god…what happened? Did someone fall down and split their skull open? Is someone disemboweled, and their life-blood is draining onto the linoleum floor?
No. The older brother was having a conniption-fit. The Mother of All Conniption Fits. You gotta admit, it was actually pretty impressive.
But we couldn’t really tell what the tantrum was about. The lad was incoherent. All we could get, from the occasional intelligible word, was that it had something to do with a blue crayon.
And you KNOW the younger brother had something to do with this.
Because during all the stamping of feet, thrashing and screaming, the two-year-old was quietly drawing on his own piece of cardboard. With a blue crayon. Smiling innocently to himself.
….A little TOO innocently, actually.
The little shit. You KNEW he had done something to push his older brother’s buttons. He probably took the crayon away from him. Or something along those lines.
But we couldn’t prove anything. And he knew it.
Well, whatever he did, it had the desired effect. He was now being entertained a 10-Megaton Thermonuclear Shit Fit.
Although the rest of us didnt’ think it was so much fun. The tantrum went on, and on…the older kid would not be stoppd. The whole house stopped what they were doing, to come watch the firworks.
(It would have been tempting to say “Ooooh ahhhh” at that point…but I think that would have only put fuel on the fire).
But finally, after a good 15-20 minutes, the tears subsided, and the boy calmed down, to a quasi-excited submissive state.
Then the Grandma, playing King Solomon, made what seemed to be a wise decision. She broke the crayon in half, and said: “There…now you each have a piece of the blue crayon..now go draw”.
But like I said, the boy was in a quasi-excited submissive state. You knew he was at that crucial balance point. You know that point…when it could go either way. The kid would either comletely calm down, or he’d lose it again, and go even MORE ballistic.
Both boys started drawing again. All was well again…for about 10 seconds.
Then the older one started to draw with a bit more vigour than was required.
Then he started to breathe hard….clenching his teeth, blinking back the still fresh tears from his face. He was forcing the crayon on the carboard
(Uh-oh…Houston, we have a problem…)
And then the crayon broke.
You can guess what happened next.
Holy shit! It’s now DEF-CON Five. We’ve now gone ballistic. Multiple warheads inbound. Draw your blinds, seek shelter, and pray to your God!
At this point, the Dad had had enough. He retreated into the bathroom, locked the door, and stayed there, leaving the Mom to deal with her screaming son.
And scream, he did. Quite enthuasisticallly.
And of course, once Junior noticed that Daddy was gone, this made his tantrum (I didnt’ think was possible at this point)…even WORSE.
At that point, I decided to make a hasty exit.
Thanks for dinner. Nice to see you again. But I have to leave.
As I exited, I had one last image of the Mom carrying her kid outside to try to quieten him down, while trying avoid his thrashing arms.
Huh. All that, because of ONE BLUE CRAYON.
(And to think…..people ask me why I’m single and haven’t settled down and had kids).