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Breaking Bad (Crayons)

Over the past week, we have attended three different parent/teacher conferences. Which I guess makes sense, given that we have three different children, but still. What a damn timesuck that ends up being. Something to consider for any ongoing family planning purposes, you guys. . 

All three conferences were fairly uneventful.

Ike enjoys learning about animals and seems very comfortable "exploring the classroom space." (Translation: wandering around like a hopped-up ping-pong ball.) He is going through a "big vocabulary development phase." (Translation: He never ever shuts up.) Occasionally he can be quite "independent" (stubborn, difficult, made of NO, the perfect embodiment of every 3 year old ever) but is easily "redirected" (look Ike, it's something shiiiiiny!). He is not a big fan of the Montessori "Practical Life" activities.

(Translation: Table dusting? Floor mopping? Silver polishing? WTF decade do you people think this is? Child labor laws and Dyson vaccuums. Look 'em up, assholes.)

Noah enjoys...oh, throws up hands, Noah enjoys school and has the best teacher in the universe who responds to his occasional rigidity with all the calming flexibility of a gentle, graceful birch tree, who absolutely adores him and says things like, "oh, my heart!" when describing his morning hugs, and who would also clearly CUT A BITCH who crossed, doubted or teased him. Noah is whip-smart, whip-awesome, and clearly in whip-ass hands this year. 

And then there's Ezra.

Who apparently has a pretty serious crayon scalping/mutilation problem. Which is kind of a new one, parent/teacher conference-wise. 

His (very lovely, very nice) teacher carefully compiled and offered this bag to us as evidence. Ezra skins and breaks All The Crayons, like, All The Time. 

Ez cray


We were even permitted to take the bag home. Nay, encouraged. As shameful evidence, perhaps, or a conversational talking point with Ezra regarding hey, dude, could you NOT compulsively peel all the crayon wrappers off like Meg Ryan's Symbolic Apple in Sleepless in Seattle and then break them in half like something from one of the Saw movies?*

We were also informed that Ezra has been given special crayons, like big thick fat ones that 1) don't have wrappers, and 2) don't break as easily. He has also been given a special seat, the same kind of super expensive seat his big brother gets as an accommodation via his IEP, because he has a really hard time sitting still and paying attention. 

Ohhhhhhhkay. Whaaaat? 

(And this is why you never, EVER, even SECRETLY TO YOUR OWN SELF, start classifying any of your children as "the easy one." They will FUCK THAT SHIT UP PROPER, man.)

We did show Ezra the bag o' crayon bits and asked him about it, like, hey! Dude. This is...annoying. Could you...not?

"I don't do that anymore," he pffed. "My new crayons don't have paper. They're better crayons. Also [unintelligble] spills HER crayons all over the floor every day and that. Is. So. ANNOYING." 


The next morning, Ike dumped the entire bag all over the kitchen counter and floor. That WAS ALSO super annoying, trying to sweep up all the primary bits of wax sticks and crayon peelings, especially since Ike had zero interest in participating in this particular Practical Life/Care of the Environment activity. 

Noah looked up at the mess from his Minecraft book and then at me. "Those brothers of mine," he sighed. "When will they ever learn?" 

*Totally just guessing, because I've never seen any of the Saw movies. I mean, I'm still making references to Sleepless in Seattle, for fuck's sake. 


birdgal (another amy)

My son, who is just a few weeks older than Ezra, LOVES to scalp crayons and cut them up, preferably with a knife. As far as I know, he limits this behavior to restaurants that include crayons with the kids menu, BUT his parent-teacher conference is this afternoon, so maybe there will be the same bag of broken down crayons waiting for me!!


If that is the worst thing that came out of your kindergarten PT conference, I think you are doing ok. I'm just remembering Michael's, which was an EPIC DISASTER. Then again, his teacher was terrible, but still. Dude, it is crayons.

LD's Mom

Being handed a bag of those crayons is hilarious! I got a kick out of my Kindergartner being graded on "Executive Skills". He got a 2 on a scale of 4 which was labeled "Developing" Thank god he's got 12-16 years of school to figure that one out.


Oh, my. Wonderful, all around, thank you.


I'm reading this while sitting in the TLC waiting room while my son has an OT evaluation and preparing for a parent teacher conference this afternoon. You managed to get the humor and horror all in your story.


My second child was "easy" until kindergarten, too. His downfall was the mandatory nap, which I agreed with him was ridiculous. That is an awesome stool, btw. Is it working?


I have a crayon breaker and scalper as well. Thankfully we've not yet been presented with the broken crayon bag of shame - but we haven't had the p/t conference for the new class yet...


Sounds like Ez might be bored. There are so many issues for kindergarten students who have never been to school before...wetting pants...and teachers have to be mommies and teachers. Maybe he is just finishing his work and sitting while she handles multiple fires...
or not sitting...cause he's a boy.
Sounds like an awesome brood!


That bag. That is what all the crayons in our house look like.

Leigh Ann

oh yes. My youngest has been my easy one. And now I'm getting told she's being a "little toot" at school. (Translation: little shit.)

Susan B

When my daughter was in first grade her teacher sent home a note complaining that she kept chewing the erasers of every pencil she got hold of. It came with a bag of no fewer than 15 pencils that looked more like the dog's chew toys than pencils.
At least we finally had an explanation for the recurring canker sores.


I love you! In a non-creepy, I don't actually know you kind of way :) Kind of like you love....spring? Anyhoo, thank you for keeping me sane and reminding me - we are all not alone!


I absolutely love that she handed you a bag of crayons. Made my day! (Also, my "easy" one is in Kindergarten and can't keep still either).


My daughter has a little friend who compulsively peels all the crayons. It makes me a little nuts. Not because I care if they're peeled, but because I can't ever seem to vacuum up all the damn wrapper and crayon bits on the first try. Or second. On the other hand, its crayons. (And my daughter could not care less that her crayons are naked.) This is not exactly a major life event for either of us.


Dude, put handfuls of those crayon carcasses into muffin tins and bake them just til they start to melt into globs of glory. They make cool rainbow-y crayon things that you can give back to the teacher so you win. You can also grate them up into things that can be melted between wax paper with an iron, but that seems like too much trouble.


I'm a crayon peeler, too. I don't like it when they're peeled, but if they're not, I really want to do it. I also peel beer bottles...which proves annoying since there's surely glue that won't come off. Life is a constant struggle for some of us :) I love the bag of crayons, too, BTW. And Re. Saw - close enough. (I've seen them all a million times because of my kids).


You totally need to get the book called "The day the crayons quit". Cute and fun book. Ezra might like it!


Both of my kids have always done that to their crayons and it drives me bonkers. There are always wrappers scattered around and bits of broken crayons. Now I wonder if they do it at school.


OH. I'm now reading the other comments and the one from jadine about peeling beer bottles? MY HUSBAND DOES THAT. It's frustrating and annoying, because when he peels off the label the bar code is gone and the bottle can't be returned to the store. Maybe that's where the kids got it.


There's some sort of white plastic lid in your crayon bag of shame. Either it's related evidence to a story I kind of want to hear or Zah's teacher just gave you whatever garbage she had laying around.
I'm also a little baffled by the fact that she kept them. Did she think she would need proof?
I have this scene playing in my head where other parents reacted with over dramatic horror and denial when they were told their child broke crayons. They "not my kid!"ed so hard that the teacher decided "from now on I save those crayons. I will never have my crayon maiming claims be disregarded ever again."


Hi! I love the Hokki! Next week I have the first parent- teacher night for my 4 children, all on the same night. When they talk about my twins at the after school I do not recognize them. You could melt the crayons in another shape such as a cone in the microwave? It needs a bit of water.


Totally second the book "The Day the Crayons Quit" - hilarious and fun


Oh man, crayon drama. My three year old is into skinning and breaking them right now too. Also, my kids' room has radiators that are perfect for trapping and melting fallen crayons so at this time of year when the heat comes back on the waxy molten crayon smell is strong.


My child is currently OBSESSED with "The Day The Crayons Quit"! I really think you need to talk to Ezra about the fate of poor little peach crayon who's naked and too ashamed to leave the box anymore! He doesn't even have any UNDERWEAR! How would Ezra like to go to school naked? (I may be reading this book a minimum of 3 times a day lately. It sticks in your head. HELP!)


Hey, my kid eats crayons. Playdoh, too. So Ezra's ahead of the game (and yeah, he sounds bored/fidgety.)


My family hides the crayons when we go to any ones house. My 3yr old goes into a trance and rhythmically peels all the paper and snaps them in two. We get in trouble at the library craft table all the time.


Now put all the broken bits (assuming you haven't thrown them away yet) and put them in little cake cases and melt in the oven and let cool. Huzzah! New special multicoloured round (yep you can still snap them if you want) crayons.

Plus - this is the problem I have with teachers. So if he does this crayon-mutilation, don't let him have crayons in class teacher. Don't present a collection to his parents to shame the child. Odd behaviour of the teacher, normal behaviour (snapping crayons) of a human being.


My 3 year old daughter also peels all of her crayons! I thought it was really weird when she started doing it, so I am glad to know she is not the only one who does it.

Bonus: it keeps her busy on long car rides to visit my parents. Messy? Yes. But totally worth it for hours of quiet.


Maybe Ezra is bored and needs a faster pace? He's always seemed to learn really quickly and be advanced...


Maybe Ezra is bored and needs a faster pace? He's always seemed to learn really quickly and be advanced...


This is not a totally normal thing to do to crayons? Because I'm pretty sure all of the crayons in our house look pretty similar to that.


How nicely passive-aggressive of the teacher to give you a small bag of shame. Our current 2nd grade teacher excels at the shaming, too. Gah.


All our crayons looked like that, too. For YEARS. Son is now 12, and I think the only reason all our crayons no longer look like that is that he prefers drawing with colored pencils.


I've read several places of kids/adults on the spectrum, not implying Ezra is on the spectrum at all, but they don't like the FEELING of the paper. That's all.


Amy, I clicked on your super expensive seat link to see what it was. Since then, I am bombarded with pictures of this seat, it's everywhere I go...Facebook, DListed, any news site. Big Brother is real.

All that aside, at least he is not eating paste. Billy Ricker in my third grade class stole everyone's paste jars and ate it. By fourth grade he had moved on to actually carving his initials into his arm with a pocket knife. He was hard to ignore, and the proof of that is that all this happened in 1950, yet I still remember his name and what he looked like.

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