| LifeTakes |

Beauty Marks 

   Unfortunately, Mommy learned that “washable” is up for debate

This is the spot where Daughter decided it’d be really cool to have a wall mural. She made the wall mural with washable crayons and thought she could wipe it off with some baby wipes. Unfortunately, she learned that a wall isn’t a dry-erase board, and unfortunately, Mommy learned that “washable” is up for debate (it’s ultra-washable that actually is).

This is the spot on the bathroom door where Toddler scribbled with a Sharpie. He took the Sharpie from the drawer with the skeleton key, thinking it was the key and that he’d trick Mommy, who dared to lock the door. He quickly realized — this thing can color! So he started on the doorknob and happily progressed to bigger and bigger circles until he’d covered anything within reach. Mommy has purchased a magic eraser, yes, thank you. It did absolutely nothing. She’ll figure it out one of these days… probably just in time for Toddler to get married.

This is the mark on the wall behind the couch where the paint’s been scraped off from Toddler’s “boinging” back against the cushion. He boinged straight through the night clocking 50 miles per hour to take the edge off the pain from his hand-foot-mouth, while his mommy uneasily snoozed at the other end. Today she can laugh, because guess what, she’s emerged victorious from that haze of I’m-so-tired-I-haven’t-slept-in-a-week-and-my-kid-is-screaming-that-it-hurts. And if a scrape across the wall behind the couch is the price she paid for (literally) 40 winks, she’ll take it!

This is the spot on the stove where the knob melted because Mommy banged her elbow against the aluminum cover on Friday night, which in turn set off a Rube Goldberg effect and essentially turned the knob on the highest, and it took Tatty one hour to find a Shabbos goy to turn it off. This is the spot where the glowing grates burned the stovetop, and no matter how many times she scrubs, it stubbornly remains black.

This is the spot where Baby’s high chair has been dragged from the window to the table and back. This is the spot where Mommy thought, Maybe the traffic outside will distract him, and I can think a coherent thought or something. And this is the spot where Mommy realized that begging Hashem to send a garbage truck this way is just another sign that she’s not in high school anymore.

This is the spot where Oldest rhythmically bangs his shoe against the chair while singing lustily at the Shabbos table. And this is the spot that shall probably remain so until the chairs fall apart or Mommy decides to get them refinished — whichever comes first.

This is the spot on the kitchen table where foolish Mommy gave Oldest and Daughter kinetic sand. She gave it to them so she could close her eyes while Toddler napped and blissfully remained unaware of its staining properties until she woke up an hour later and stared in dismay at the bright pink spot on her (yearned-for, long-awaited) Canadel table, wondering why they couldn’t have played on the IKEA chairs instead.

These are the spots on the kitchen ceiling where Daughter somehow (magically?)  flung chocolate leben to feed the fan she decided must be hungry and jealous after watching three kids eat two lebens each one Shabbos morning. Those are the spots that were created about five minutes after the kitchen walls were washed for Pesach, and those are the spots that shall remain until the Kids are learning Mah Nishtanah again.

This is the spot that spread its tentacles when the upstairs neighbor was on a trip abroad and forgot she had a leak under her sink. This is the spot the Family stood under with pots and pans while the Parents tried desperately to contact the neighbors. And this is the spot where Mommy said she will not eat her heart out about the fresh paint job, and was quiet.

This is the spot where the parquet’s been worn down because this is the spot where Mommy paces when she tries to reach the pediatrician, or when she’s on hold for hours trying to schedule Toddler’s surgery, or when she’s trying to find out why Oldest isn’t on the bus he’s supposed to be on (but that’s a story for another day). This is the spot where the parquet’s been worn down because Toddler likes to zip at the speed of light on his tiny little trike that’s perfect for minuscule apartments but total kryptonite for polyurethane.

This is the house the Reubens (wish they) built, and these are the spots that make it a home.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 826)

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