The walls were her pride! A combination of white, turquoise, jade green and yellow-green, they mirrored her unique style and spoke volumes about her exquisite taste. With them, her living room exuded the sophistication she was after and she couldn’t be more proud of herself. Really, who would have ever guessed that she, a housewife with absolutely no interior decorating experience, was responsible for such a perfect colour blend?

She was yet to host a guest who didn’t have truckloads of compliments to dish out. Even her supposed colour blind husband had dropped his own macho version of the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’. His compliment was his way of eating the sarcastic words he had previously spoken…’what difference could the colours on the wall possibly make to anything? Anything but my pocket, that is!’A lot, obviously! And this was a fact that even her 28 months old daughter, T, had been quick to see.

Immediately T walked into the newly painted living room, she noticed the change in the walls. Pointing excitedly at them, she looked from mum to the walls, then back to mum, before zooming off to run her little fingers over them. She was obviously drawn to every shade and mum couldn’t help but chuckle as she gently reminded her that hands must be kept off the wall.

Since the gentle caution didn’t kill T’s excitement, mum decided to take her time to introduce the ‘new’ shades of the familiar colours to her. This turned out to be a bad idea because everyday suddenly became clouded with intense lessons in colours; ‘why was it pronounced ‘turquoise’, not ‘toocose’, ‘why did it have to be called ‘yellow-green’, not ‘green-yellow’, etc. Why in the world hadn’t she just kept it simple with white, blue and green? How could she ever have thought that complicating the world of a toddler, with words like turquoise and jade, was a good idea?

Thankfully, today was different. T hadn’t so much as shot a passing glance at the walls all day. Colours and walls seemed like the last things on her mind as she noisily busied herself with her toys. So, mum settled in front of the television and got so engrossed in the airing ‘soap’ that she didn’t notice T suddenly become quiet. Actually, T had spotted a red crayon lying under the chair. A crayon that mum had missed, while stacking away the other crayons yesterday!

With determined moves, she stretched to pick the crayon and then she walked over to the wall. One quick glance at mum convinced her that for now, she was safe to do as she pleased. So, she took to drawing a long, red line across the wall. She stepped back to inspect it and impressed with the contrast of red against white, she set to work, drawing out several of similar lines. She chipped in numbers, letters and curves. Pausing every now and then, she took time to admire her progressive work of art and never forgot to reward herself with quiet claps and phrases like ‘well done, T’!

For some strange reason, mum never once looked up from the blaring television. Definitely her earlier decision, to turn up its volume in order to drown out the noise from T’s toys, was proving to have been a bad idea.

However, eventually, after sufficient harm had been safely done, mum finally looked away from the TV and her eyes were quick to see it all. Then, the expected loud, angry scream broke out. But by now, it was too late as T hurriedly released the crayon which fell slowly to the ground….but not without leaving one final bold line across mum’s beloved walls.