Several weeks ago Noah and I met up with a friend of mine at the aforementioned neighborhood spot and settled in for a leisurely lunch (by toddler standards this means any meal that lasts longer than 15 minutes). We placed our order, the waitress gave Noah some crayons, and I sat back to listen to my friend's stories of single life in LA. Prior to this particular afternoon, I think that the Muffin Man had only drawn with crayons once while at some other munchkin's house. As you know if you're a faithful reader of the blog, I'm not exactly the hippest Mother on the block when it comes to introducing new activities to my child. Honestly, if it weren't for my Sister-in-Law giving me helpful hints I'd probably still be expecting Noah to lie on his activity mat doing tummy time. Obviously it never occurred to me that now might be an appropriate time to introduce art supplies, so my poor, deprived kid wasn't on a first-name basis with crayons. I did a few orange squiggles on his placemat to demonstrate what the things were for, and then set him loose with a rainbow of waxy sticks and hoped for the best.
For the most part, our meal seemed to be proceeding well. Noah was quiet, I got to live viciously through my friend's sexual escapades, and I even managed to eat most of what I ordered without interruption. For those of you who are not yet parents let me preface this by saying that whenever a toddler is quiet for longer than a few seconds or a minute, he's usually up to something suspicious. I really should've been aware that something was going on, but between my pregnancy starvation level and my friend's scintillating stories I was mostly just thankful to have a few uninterrupted moments to eat some protein (while sitting in an actual chair) and hear about the current trends in dating (n.b. men of LA: please stop expecting sex if you're not willing to pay for a woman's cocktail). I don't know what Noah did that caught my attention, but when I looked over at him his mouth was completely blue and, instead of eating his almond butter sandwich, he was about to devour a final bite of Blue crayon. While I'd been completely enthralled by the 50 Shades of Grey antics of my fickle friend across the table, my kid had made himself a meal of an indigestible waxy substance in a bright primary color. I snatched that crayon out of his sweaty little grip, attempted to clean his mouth of whatever wax shavings were still lurking behind his molars, and forced him to chug an entire sippy cup of water.
Apparently, crayon companies understand that many children find colorful sticks of wax to be irresistible, which is why they are non-toxic. I'm terribly thankful for this, as it would've been a real downer had my ladies-who-lunch afternoon turned into a stomach-pumping-in-the-ER kind of day, though I probably could've convinced my friend to go with us by suggesting the possibility of an assignation with a handsome Doctor. Amazingly, Noah's crayon lunch didn't seem to upset his stomach, though I did find his Smurf-colored mouth and blue poop to be rather off putting.
You'll be glad to know that I have since purchased a lovely box of (washable) crayons for Noah to play with at home. He really seems to enjoy them now that he's learned that they are for drawing and not, in fact, an appetizer.
Crayon photo courtesy Woodley Wonderworks