Truman was a surprise. A happy surprise. I am working on the story that explains the interim between The Middle Child and Truman, but there are 6 years between The Middle Child and Truman and 10 years between Mini Me and Truman. Truman is really and truly “The Baby” in every sense of the word baby. Mini Me and The Middle Child were absolutely thrilled when Truman came into our lives. They were not so thrilled when he cried and they would do whatever it took to shut him up. When he started interacting with them, they were ecstatic. They loved to make him smile and laugh. Mini Me and The Middle Child hated to have to go to school and leave Truman at home. I have never figured that one out. He was at home with ME. I guess they just wanted to play with him 24/7. Truman was born on February 29, 2008. He is our Leapling. We moved into our new house when he was 2 months old. I know that Facebook had been around for several years before that, but I had recently discovered it–being 37 and all. I was old. Hell, I had only recently gotten on MySpace and figured all of that shit out. This was around November. Truman was 9 months old. He was crawling. My daily routine was to get JC, Mini Me, and The Middle Child out of here in the morning so that Truman and I could get into our schedule of coffee, making the beds, starting the laundry, and seeing what was happening on Facebook. I would turn on The WonderPets or The BackYardigans on TV for background noise and put some toys out on the floor, and then I would sit down on the couch with the MacBook and go straight to my Facebook. I suppose I should backtrack a bit and tell you that JC and I had never bought a single new piece of furniture, ever, until we bought our couch and matching loveseat 2 years earlier. Every single thing we had was handed down to us by my parents or his, or I had picked it up at a garage sale and refinished it. Our previous couches had belonged to my dad and stepmother. We had used them until they absolutely could not be used any more. They had suckers stuck to them, petrified chicken nuggets lost in them, drinks spilled all over them, been pee’d on, puked on, God know’s what on… You get the picture. We had finally just dumped the damn things and gone to Rooms to Go and bought a couch and matching love seat in red microfiber. The selling point had been when the salesperson had poured a Coca Cola on the floor model and then just wiped it off with a cloth and there was no stain. Signed, sealed, delivered. SOLD. We bought them in red at my insistence because red is my favorite color and I always win those arguments. SO…..back to the November day…..we had owned the couches about 2 years. We had lived in our new house 7 months. I was sitting there, lost in Facebook Land….probably trying to think up something clever to write as a status update……Truman was playing. I had noticed earlier that he had a piece of sidewalk chalk in his hand. I wasn’t really sure where he had picked that up, but hey–the third child, and especially the much, much younger third child can find stuff like that and the parents just don’t really worry about it. It’s not like it’s a Sharpie! Anyway…..back to Facebook. Truman was on the left end of the couch, making these big, long strokes with that chalk. I thought to myself, I will just get the vacuum out and vacuum the chalk off the couch when I am finished doing what I am doing. Now, let me tell you. If this had been 10 years earlier, and Mini Me had been drawing on the old pee’d on, puked on, God knows what on couches, I probably would have completely lost my shit. Seriously. This is one of those things that changes with age. I went back to my status updating and my friend stalking and whatever else I was doing. I have no idea how long I was doing it, either, but it was long enough. Something black caught the corner of my eye. I turned my head. I screamed. Truman looked up at me and grinned. I will never forget it. I put the MacBook on the ottoman and jumped up. I ran to the end of the couch. Truman did not have sidewalk chalk. Truman had a SHARPIE! Oh. My. God. I jerked that thing out of his little fat baby hand. Where the hell had he gotten a Sharpie?! I don’t know why I even bothered wondering that. I kept Sharpie’s all over the house. I used them all the time-still do. Truman had drawn all over the left end of the couch with black Sharpie! There was no way I could vacuum that off. In fact, there was no way I could get that off with anything that I knew of. Shit. WHAT was I going to tell JC? That I was sitting around playing on Facebook and did not notice that the baby had a fucking SHARPIE and was drawing all over the couch? I think NOT! I got the upholstery cleaner out that Rooms To Go had given us. It did not even dull the Sharpie. I got every other cleaner out that I had under the kitchen sink. Nothing dulled the Sharpie. I was totally screwed. I was mad at myself. This was the only new furniture we had ever had, and I had just allowed the baby to ruin it–for a stupid reason. And to make matters worse, I did not want to be honest about it, simply because I knew that I had been lazy and fell down on my job! So…..I decided to email JC at work so that he would be prepared before he came home. Yes! That would be much better than him just walking in to black Sharpie all over the couch. So…..I crafted a lovely email that said something like I had been in the bathroom and somehow Truman had gotten hold of a Sharpie that I had thought I had put away, but had somehow dropped….blah blah blah……I was sure to make it sound like it really was in no way my fault. Of course. It was an accident. I hit send. He responded at some point not to worry about it-that we would deal with it. He is the most easy going man on the planet. There was just one little problem with all of this. The guilt. I felt so terribly guilty. JC worked and still does work really hard so that I can stay at home. The very idea that I was sitting around, playing on Facebook and allowing the baby to find a Sharpie and draw all over the couch while I wasn’t paying attention was just too much for me. It ate at me. I had to tell him the truth. He forgave me. Like I have said before, he truly is my much better half. He doesn’t get mad about stuff like that. He would not have gotten mad if I had said, “Hey, I was on Facebook and the baby drew all over the couch with a Sharpie”, but there is something about that sentence that still makes me sick to my stomach….perhaps because it shows a side of me that I don’t like for others to see…..