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Picasso’s Work

July 24, 2010

After a 36 hour hiatus my shadow returned, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  I have to say that I was quite pleased to have her back!  Until we had some words about the fact that she decided to draw pictures…on the balcony…in crayon. 

It appears Maya can't even draw stick figures...much like her mother.


I noticed this wonderful fresco a while back but kept forgetting to address it, and since I was hell-bent on ruining our happy reunion I decided what better time than today? 

“Maya, why did you draw on the balcony in crayon?” 

“I couldn’t find the chalk.”  How can I argue with logic like that?

“Well now it won’t come off, so what do you suggest that I do?” 

“I don’t know.” 

So I did what any other sane mother would do…I handed Picasso toxic chemicals and made her step out unattended on the balcony so she could scrub the floor on her hands and knees. 

I won't let her watch more than 1/2 hour of TV a day but I am okay with her using chemicals on the balcony of a high-rise. My own logic astounds me.


Naturally the entire episode was an exercise in futility because I know that nothing short of turpentine is going to get that crayon out.  (Does turpentine get crayon out?)  Still, I am my father’s daughter and a point needed to be proven, safety be damned.  

“It won’t come out Mama.” 

“So what do you suggest I do now Maya?” 

“I don’t know.” 

“Well neither do I.” 

Story of my life.  Anybody out there know how to get crayon off tile?

49 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2010 9:39 pm

    Haha…bless your sweet heart. I loved how you ended your post. Even though I don’t have a child yet, I feel like similar interactions occur with my family and friends. And due to my childlessness, I unfortunately have no idea how to get rid of crayon.

  2. actorsdiet permalink
    July 24, 2010 9:44 pm

    i think you did the right thing, though i must say – i’ve seen those tiles in person and they’re going to be worth something someday…

  3. July 24, 2010 9:46 pm

    Oh dear. I feel for you Ameena. I have crayon, pencil and pen on at least 3 walls in my home. I’ve tried the obvious soap and water, Mr. Clean, wet wipes, and even an eraser lol. Sadly nothing worked and I didn’t want to try anything too harsh that it would take off the paint. So I finally gave up and decided maybe fresh new paint is the way to go. Have you tried nail polish remover? I was afraid to try that cause I didn’t know if it would take off the paint, but I’m also not sure if it would be harmful on tile so please try at your own risk. Teehee. Sorry, I wish I could be more helpfu. Goodluck to the both of you.

  4. Michelle permalink
    July 24, 2010 10:22 pm

    Mr. Clean Magic erasers got permanent marker off my walls and tie dye stains out of my sink! Seriously. They are magical.

  5. July 25, 2010 3:23 am

    I can’t tell what I like more…your posts or your tags for your posts. Both have me rolling on the floor laughing. Or ROFL-ing. As the kids say these days.

    I have no suggestions for you…although I agree with actorsdiet…those tiles are going to be worth something someday. Have Maya autograph them.

  6. July 25, 2010 3:38 am

    Oh gosh. I always wonder how you manage to keep such a nice place so clean and immaculate. Kids are like pets…messes are bound to happen. Good luck with the crayon adventure.

  7. July 25, 2010 4:00 am

    I would’ve done the exact same thing as you.

    I second the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers! They get practically everything out!
    On the line of toxic chemicals… how about nail polish remover? That also works on tons of stuff.

  8. July 25, 2010 4:27 am

    I third the magic erasers. They can even do a job on permanent marker (I know, trust me). If not that, since it’s crayon, use hot, hot water to get the actual crayon off then a simple solution of diluted bleach for any residue stain that’s left. Good luck. (This is just showing that she’s a normal child, by the way.) 🙂

  9. July 25, 2010 5:26 am

    I wonder if Maya knew you were setting her up for failure 😉 You did the right thing, though, and even if you can’t get crayon off of these tiles, at least you won’t have to worry about finding crayon on any more.

    I practiced my artwork on my bedroom wall when I was around Maya’s age too, and I don’t think my parents ever actually got it off. Eventually we just stripped the wallpaper and repainted the room. Sad. My pictures could have been worth something by now!

  10. July 25, 2010 5:28 am

    I throw my vote in with the Magic Eraser too … I can’t even tell you how much crayon I’ve had to eraser off the walls .. oh the joys of working with pre-schoolers and elementary school students.

    I quite like this post, byyy the way. Loving your writing.

  11. July 25, 2010 6:19 am

    She looks like Cindarella out there 😉

    I feel like you could sell those drawing at an art gallery for $400 dollars a pop.

  12. July 25, 2010 6:33 am

    She is creative!

  13. July 25, 2010 6:37 am

    Haha, omg, if it makes you feel better EVERY child does something like this!! Even I did and I was so well behaved and perfect for my mother… seriously, haha!! And my sister did stuff like this too… and I’m always catching kids at school doodling on things they shouldn’t. It’s like a rite of passage! 😉

  14. July 25, 2010 6:38 am

    Oh and I want to add that when I did doodle on stuff, my mom always made me clean it up. You reacted perfectly!!

  15. July 25, 2010 7:07 am

    i guess it sounds like magic erasers are a good way to do it but i remember being forced to hold a hair dryer and melt the wax then scrape it off when i decided that i wanted to be an artist on the walls of my house haha

    and you are too kind for saying that i’m pretty and that i have good skin. i was smiling for the rest of the day 🙂

  16. July 25, 2010 7:42 am

    she looks so friggin cute out there scrubbing those tiles. try Goo-Gone. I have no experience with kids and crayons, but it gets out random shtuff caked on random surfaces.

  17. July 25, 2010 8:25 am

    Sorry, I had to come back and get some answers. Looks like I need to pick up some magic erasers.

    And I forgot to say, at least she was practicing her letters and making cute drawings. I just have pointless scribbles on my walls. Hope you all have a beautiful rest of the weekend (despite this).

    • July 25, 2010 6:59 pm

      My mom gave me both the Magic Erasers and the Goo stuff today! I am going to give both a try tomorrow to see how it goes and I will report back!!

  18. July 25, 2010 8:29 am

    Oh my goodness, you have your hands full with that one. haha Well, at least she’s cute! I unfortunately do not know how to get crayon off your tiles. Maybe some formula 409??

  19. July 25, 2010 9:37 am

    My guess is magic eraser – I work at an art center, and magic eraser really does seem to get paint out of everything..I was skeptical at first, but now I want to buy stock in the company! It is a cheap investment (the off brands work just as well as the Mr. Clean version) so give it a try, and if it doesn’t work there, it will definitely be helpful someplace else in the house…good luck! I am sure I have this very scenario coming my way soon…

  20. July 25, 2010 9:37 am

    Thanks for the book recommendation! I’ll see if my library has it. 🙂

    One time my friend and I were playing with these blow pen thingies in her front hallway. We got the stuff all over the hardwood floors. Her mom (who was a chemist!) couldn’t get them out, no matter what combination of household chemicals were used. This was probably nine or ten years ago, and I bet the marks are still there!

    Okay, so that story probably didn’t make you feel better. Did you try ammonia?

  21. July 25, 2010 9:44 am

    Have you tried a magic eraser. M one time drew in crayon all over our hardwood floors and I couldn’t get it up with anything. Lo and behold…it came up with a few quick swipes of the magic eraser.

  22. highonhealthy permalink
    July 25, 2010 10:41 am

    I have to say, I’ve never had to deal with crayon on tile. Even when I was a kid, drawing on things was never something that interested me.. unless it was a coloring book, then I went wild.

    Tina suggested trying the magic eraser and I agree. It really is quite magical and somehow manages to get the most random of things out.

  23. July 25, 2010 3:21 pm

    LOL!!! Oh Ameena, what an adventure to be a mother…but guess what? I did the same thing…except I did it INDOORS! And it wasn’t even our house, it was rented! My parents were PISSED!

  24. July 25, 2010 6:09 pm

    hahaha…I have no suggestions on how get crayons out. I’m not much help in that area.

  25. July 25, 2010 6:24 pm

    ahaha I never know if I should be laughing at these situations (You & Maya). But it’s funny! There’s gotta be something out there that can get crayon out…

  26. July 25, 2010 6:43 pm

    If Maya becomes a famous artist, you can feel proud knowing she got her start with balcony doodles.
    PS: I once gave my younger brother a “tattoo” with permanent marker. I’m guessing a magic eraser wouldn’t have worked on that. So in some deluded way, you’re lucky? Sorta lucky?

  27. July 25, 2010 10:11 pm

    This is my fav post. One time I had my daughter wipe up the mess she made on the floor she said “I feel like I am Cinderella and you are my stepmother.” Your Maya tried to clean up without a complaint. Am looking fwd to yr report on the magic eraser and goo stuff.

  28. July 26, 2010 12:07 am

    You can tell maya lives in la, her figures look skinny 🙂

  29. July 26, 2010 4:55 am

    Oh no, I don’t know how to get it off either!

  30. July 26, 2010 5:15 am

    “I couldn’t find the chalk.” That’s hilarious. At least she knew that she was supposed to be drawing with the chalk… 🙂

  31. traynharder23 permalink
    July 26, 2010 6:27 am

    my mom would have done that to me too. so i get it.

    awww too short notice! we’ll plan it next time! maybe a friday?

    YEAHHH nut free august! another friend in it!!!
    yeahd the bathroom trips are NOT FUN!

    and sorry about the lame texts…but hey! it means you guys are comfortable with each other. =D

  32. July 26, 2010 7:23 am

    I debated about whether or not to comment on this since it seems that not so long ago, I was decorating my own parents’ home with crayon and marker!
    Good luck getting it out… just remember, my Uncle always says that the naughtiest children are also the smartest 🙂

  33. July 26, 2010 8:52 am

    if the goo-gone and magic eraser doesn’t work, try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

  34. July 26, 2010 8:53 am

    That is just too funny.

    “I don’t know”.

    Story of my LIFE too.

  35. July 26, 2010 8:58 am

    awwww artwork! its so precious!!! i want some at my desk at work 🙂

  36. July 26, 2010 9:13 am

    oh no!!! I have no idea….I saw someone suggested The Magic Eraser…that would my reccommendation as well. While I haven’t ever tested in on crayons it does work really well on other stains in my house!!!

  37. July 26, 2010 10:04 am

    Oh no. I get really anxious about stains and messes. I freaked out when my cat was a baby and decided to spray on my bed. It was traumatic. Sorry, that’s gross.
    About the crayon, I really have no idea. I haven’t been near a crayon since kindergarten. And I couldn’t draw stick figures either! I was artisically challenged.

    I wish I could be of more help with the cleaning. I hope you find something that works.

  38. July 26, 2010 10:50 am

    Oh goodness, no crayon cleaning tips here but maybe it’s time to buy those crazy markers that only work on the special Crayola paper. 🙂

  39. July 26, 2010 1:18 pm

    Oh no! The only thing I can suggest is baking soda mixed with a little water and scrubbed on…it’s what I use on my tile. Hope this helps!

  40. July 26, 2010 5:31 pm

    LOL…I have to ask my Mum, I have been a Michelangelo in my days too. If I have given my parents any grief during my childhood it has to be my random art on the walls. For me my walls were the canvass..really this kid (Maya) cracks me up!!

  41. July 26, 2010 5:55 pm

    Bahaha, I love it! Poor little Maya. My mom would have made me do the same thing!

  42. July 26, 2010 6:12 pm

    you two will look back on this and LAUGH SO HARD one day. i couldnt have loved this post more. and u gotta enjoy the cartoon guy on the upper righthand corner.. its an evil/sly little grin haha ❤

  43. Leah @ Why Deprive? permalink
    July 26, 2010 8:18 pm

    You know, I think your logic is perfect. How else will she learn if she doesnt have to clean it up herself?
    My dad sells cleaning supplies – and for a long time he made them (which is what he blames for his cancer but that is so beside the point), so if anything will get that crayon out, he will know what it is. I’ll ask for you.

  44. Leah @ Why Deprive? permalink
    July 26, 2010 8:23 pm

    Ok – he said a solvent – apparently thats turpentine so it looks like you were right. He also suggest a citrus based cleaner. A lot of what he said sounded like total gibberish though. He likes to use fancy words like “butal based”.

  45. July 27, 2010 4:54 am

    WD-40!!! I believe I am adding more chemical fuel to your already chemical/toxic fire (why not!?) but this stuff works. I also have had luck with a toilette bowl cleaner because it contains the HC acid. The WD=40 removes the wax.
    ps- I think Maya’s drawings are so cute! And I also happen to think her Mom is quite talented!! (stick figures aside….)

    • July 28, 2010 7:23 am

      I have WD-40 so I am going to give that a shot! Thanks for the idea and for the very sweet compliment. 🙂

  46. nadia permalink
    July 27, 2010 11:50 am

    go maya! hilarious image of maya scrubbing the floor…i brought ayla and shani over to look and they both said, “lucky!” they love the fact that maya is allowed to use a sprayer bottle w chemicals, love it! so i assured them next time they will be doing the same;) maya’s a constant inspiration around here…XOXOOXOXOX

  47. Jo Ann permalink
    September 28, 2010 1:04 pm

    I heart Miracle Erasers!:)
    They truly live up to their name!

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