I was in my room the other day when Ben came running into me.
"Mommy, I not getting a spanking?" he asked.
Warning bells went off in my head. What has he done now?
"Ben, what did you do?"
"Mommy, I not getting a spanking?" he asked again.
Again I asked him what he did.
"Oh, just coloring."
I pictured my dining room, freshly painted, covered with pencil or marker and had to take a couple of calming down breaths.
"Ben, what did you color on?"
"Sompting. Mommy, I not getting a spanking??"
"What did you color on?" I asked again, wondering if he got the newly painted kitchen walls too.
"Come wis me. Follow me." he said, and I dutifully followed, dreading already what I would find.
I walked into the dining room to find Sam wiping off an old toy. "Ben colored on this" he said, "but I cleaned it off."
Big sigh of relief. And then I began to put every pen, pencil, crayon and marker out of Ben's reach, because I know next time I probably won't be so lucky.