This weekend Drew wrote all over his room in red crayon. The carpet, the bedspread, the tiny spot where the door meets the wall.
I've seen much worse, mind you, over the last few years, but something about this made me burst into heavy, uncontrollable sobs.
I wasn't so much disappointed in him as I was in myself.
I should have known better than to send him to his room for another offense with crayons in his hands. That was my obvious misstep.
But that wasn't why I was crying.
If I had only been a better a parent, he wouldn't do those sorts of things.
I've said that sentence several times now, and each time it sounds more ridiculous. But it's still hard to shake.
My kid is 3 and he wrote on his wall and I'm already somehow believing that my lack of something - patience, consistency, energy, attention, love - was what caused him to commit this "heinous crime."
Also known to sane people as "a developmentally appropriate expression of anger and frustration by a challenging three-year-old boy."
Some of it is all my personal crap with my own parents, resurfacing now as I parent my own children. This feeling that my lack of something was "why my father didn't love me."
Also known to sane people as "a crazy, probably bi-polar abusive alcoholic."
It's also me being tired and frustrated and challenged by my son's very typical 3 year old behavior, and often being the only one around to deal with it.
I see the error in my thinking. And I understand that somehow believing that my son wrote all over his room because of me and my shortcomings as a parent is utterly insane.
It's hardly a parenting fail.
And I'm coming to learn that no matter how much I try to be a better parent, and I am, every single day, there may still be red crayon on the wall.
That's why they make carpet cleaner and magic erasers.