Maxi met me at the school gates and looked sad.

He looked right at me and said Mama I need new coloured pencils as I threw away all the ones I had.

I was livid. We were less than halfway through the first term, he had those coloured pencils in his pencil-case for two weeks max, why on earth did he throw them away.

Trying not to get angry at his actions, I endeavoured to ask him why did he throw them away. OK I may have failed and said it was totally unacceptable and wasteful to throw away perfectly good pencils and in a not too quiet voice, but I took a breath, counted to ten and asked him again why he did it.

He was apologising and asking me if I would forgive him when I asked again, why did he do this?

He looked at me and said Mama, they stopped working. They stopped working and I thought they were finished.

Poor thing, he had confused pens with pencils and forgot that all he needed to do was sharpen them and then they would be ready to go again.

I think it is because they are coloured. Coloured things tend to run out in our house fast! He knows to sharpen normal pencils. We have to actively discourage this activity as all the HB pencils would be shaved down to nubs.

The thing that surprised me, is that he is not a stupid child, he is normally very thoughtful and appreciates the importance of not wasting things. Also he was so upset once he realised his error, he retired to the car, sobbing uncontrollably.

I am pleased to update that he is now well aware of the perpetual properties of pencils, and is often known to ask me how long a pencil needs to be to be classed as “finished” AND he now has earned a new packet of pencils, which I have ascertained he essentially uses to draw pictures for the girls in his class when the weather is bad and they need to spend playtime inside.

Coloured Pencil Image