Reruns and Leftovers

In The South, You Can Wear A Crayon On Your Head Or Color With One

Anyway, I was over at the Apathy Lounge where I ran into my friend and the proprieter, the lovely Mizz Beaverhausen who was celebrating the 105th birthday of Crayola Color Crayons.

And I was reminded of two things. No, make that three. I was reminded of how much I love crayons. I was reminded of a post I wrote a few years ago about crayons and I was reminded that I have nothing for tomorrow. So here ya go, an old post about crayons.

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Broken Crayons

I like my crayons broken. They are better that way. Like people, you can do more with them once they’ve been broken and the hard edges are worn down with love and time and attention.

Many many months ago, Sean and I sat down together to color for the first time. The crayon he was using immediately gave way under the pressure of his clumsy inexperienced hand. “I boke it!” he cried, holding up both pieces. “Fit it Mommy!” Not wanting to expose my inability to mend all that was amiss in his world just yet, I soothed him by breaking my crayon too and telling him that they work better that way. Then we went through the entire box breaking all the crayons in half. Since that day, Sean has made it his mission in life to leave no crayon unbroken. So take that as fair warning, you might not want us to come play at your house.

Last night, Sean and I were reading together before bedtime. He doesn’t actually read yet, but has memorized the words to every book he has which is somewhere in the triple digits. And that makes it hard to skip pages let alone paragraphs or even the occasional adjective. The book we were reading from last night was a collection of nursery rhymes, most of which I find to be rather disturbing. Three blind mice? And an ax-weilding crazy woman chasing rodents? That you would have agressive rodents in your house? If ever there were a recipie for night terrors. But nonetheless, there we sat side by side in his rocking chair reading about one boy playing with fire and another running through the town, alone and after dark, in his pajamas.

(Unrelated side note: I will be really sad when we can no longer fit in that chair side by side because one of us has grown too much.)

Anyway, I read “Jack and Jill went up the hill,” and he followed “to catch a pail of watt-ee.” I continued, “Jack fell down” and Sean piped up “and boke his cray-own. They’re better that way.”

Jack with a broken crayon is a much better image than Jack with a concussion, don’t you think? And they say you can’t improve upon the classics.

Originally published May 2006.

21 thoughts on “In The South, You Can Wear A Crayon On Your Head Or Color With One

  1. That’s GREAT! We have many broken crayons here, too… but it makes me crazy. Maybe I ought to relax about it 🙂
    I want to know, can you still fit in the chair side-by-side?? *sniff*

  2. I was at a playdate the other week and saw the most fabulous crayon idea. She saves all the tiny bits that are too small to really color with anymore, and puts them in muffin tins (WITH muffin papers)… several leftover crayons in each spot, and puts the pan in a low-temp oven (keep watching them)… they bake into the shape of a Reese’s cup and wala! New crayons! They’re even a better size for chubby toddler hands… And the colors are all swirly and pretty.

  3. A little broken crayon trivia for ya. Occupational therapists actually say that the shorter broken crayons or pencils are better for children still developing fine motor control. Just think how much they’ll start charging for broken mini pencils and crayons if they get classified as “therapy tools.”

  4. Totally unrelated, but if “Zoom” is still reading, “Louie, Louie” does TOO have real words for lyrics, they just sing thing all mushily so it’s hard to understand:


    Louie Louie, oh no
    Me gotta go
    Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
    Louie Louie, oh baby
    Me gotta go

    Fine little girl waits for me
    Catch a ship across the sea
    Sail that ship about, all alone
    Never know if I make it home


    Three nights and days I sail the sea
    Think of girl, constantly
    On that ship, I dream she’s there
    I smell the rose in her hair.


    Okay, let’s give it to ’em, right now!


    See Jamaica, the moon above
    It won’t be long, me see me love
    Take her in my arms again
    Tell her I’ll never leave again


    Let’s take it on outa here now
    Let’s go!!

  5. Brigitte: didn’t they forget the words while they were singing?

    AM: crown=crow-yun=crayon…I know what an East Texas accent sounds like…

  6. My son was just like that when he was 2! He had every book memorized. I could stop anywhere on a page and he would fill in the rest of the words. Now, at age 10, he easily memorizes long passages of Scripture for Junior Bible Quiz. What a gift — reading and coloring with your son. Those times are precious.

  7. JD Green has discovered all his friends at school call them “cray owns” too.

    I need to remember what you said about broken crayons working better. I’m afraid I’m too caught up in my box of 96 staying pretty rather than getting all broken and stubbly.

    I actually asked for a new box just for me for Easter, because I just relinquished my box to the kids for the 50-leventh time. I think we’ve been through about 5 million crayons in the past 12 yrs.

    Thanks for running the repeat. I missed it the first time.

  8. Great post!
    I just colored with my niece’s crayons yesterday… a brand new box of 64 with the sharpener on the side of the box. I know. We live it up around these parts.

  9. I like my crayons as close to new (unbroken) as possible with the paper still on. I am particular about many of my office supplies and, especially, my crayons. I have my own personal box that the children don’t know about!

  10. Crayons these days are different. Have you noticed that? The colors are not as vibrant, the texure is not as rich. It’s as if all the crayons in the world have been lying around with the color bleeding out of them. I bought Diminutive One these wonderful, wonderful crayons called “Silky Crayons” which are much more like crayons used to be. He has used about three sets so far.

  11. “I will be really sad when we can no longer fit in that chair side by side because one of us has grown too much.”
    Oh, that comment brings back memories of when my girls were little and could snuggle beside me in a chair and I would read to them. Seems so long ago now that they are both teenagers… almost-18-year-old sat on my lap the other day just for fun… hurt!!!

  12. Awww! Thanks for the link, AM! I’ve done a fair amount of shading with the flat side of a crayon. Something that can only be achieved if the paper has been peeled off and the crayon is being used in a horizontal fashion. Writing this and reading everyone’s comments has made me determined to go and purchase two 64 Packs. One to use and one to keep…for posterity.

  13. New to your blog, so wanted to say hi. I found you over at Live and Let Di (*i think). I’m totally with you on the creepy nursery rhymes.

  14. When my oldest daughter was in preschool, one of her favorite songs was Twila Paris’ rendition of “Let No Man Take Your Crown”. She was sure that the application of the song had to do with her preschool struggles at the coloring table and certain people who would not share! (And we lived in Kansas- who would’ve thought we were so “southern”?)

  15. I love crayons. I love the smell and the *potential* of a new box when I open it, but I agree with Antique Mommy that the broken ones have better creative ju-ju. Like Blog Antagonist, I also have noticed that crayons have changed. They’re not as saturated as they used to be, and some of the neon colors don’t sing to me like the old crayons. Midnight Blue is still my favorite crayon color. I love it when I discover the night sky or a ball of yarn in exactly that color.

  16. I have to agree with you on those nursery rhymes. “Jack fell down and broke his cray-own” does sound better than a “broken crown”! Great blog!

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