“The other day, I was standing beside the pink desk in my living room when something on the surface caught my eye.

Etched in the hand painted, hand waxed surface, there was a hand-drawn Christmas tree. Three little stacked triangles with a star on top.

Obviously, my son was drawing on the table, pressing down hard with a sharp pencil, and the image etched onto the table.

There was a time in my motherhood when I might have gotten mad about that — or at least peeved.

There was that time when he was a toddler and he attacked the refrigerator with a permanent marker.

“Jackson, what are you doing?” I asked and frantically tried to scrub the Sharpie snake away with various cleaning products, fingernail polish remover and home remedies — all to no avail.

“But it’s pretty,” he replied.

And that other time when he got our return address stamp and proceeded to personalize my beautiful, expensive, linen upholstered ottoman a dozen times or so. All in the time it took me to make a snack.

Note to self (and all parents of toddlers): Stash the Sharpies up high in a locked container, out of reach of curious hands. Ditto for inky address stamps.

And here’s another tip: Linen upholstery and kids don’t mix, and it’s not durable for everyday family use.

I have lightened up a lot and I’ve learned that messes and mistakes do happen. And I’ve learned that those little marks of childhood are things to be cherished. And when I saw Jackson’s tree and star, I couldn’t help thinking of all those parents in Connecticut who would give anything to clean up one more mess made by their little ones.

And so, I’ll cherish that Christmas tree, and I’ll be careful not to buff it out of the finish when I clean. Because it represents my child’s creativity. It will last much longer than his paper drawing, I’m sure.

Messes, mistakes and Sticky Situations are the stuff of childhood.

Wet Ones Sticky Situations Contest

Wet Ones is giving moms and dads the opportunity to share all of the Sticky Situations we have found ourselves in and tips on how to deal with them through their Facebook contest! Simply log on and share your story and tips, and you can be entered to win an iPad Mini or tickets to Six Flags. I did, and it was quick and easy. Just enter here.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.” Read my full disclosure policy here.

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