That's an X. A red X that Addison scrawled on a piece of paper and taped onto his door. It is quite possibly my favorite artwork of Addison's.
It isn't the best X ever made. It's not even the best X Addison's ever made. The one he made directly on the door just five minutes prior to this one was pristine. And if I hadn't been asked to take the Mr. Clean miracle sponge to it, the original X would have been my favorite. There is, of course, a story behind it.
A couple weeks ago, Addison attended a birthday party that featured an indoor scavenger hunt. The mother giving the party had quite astutely hung small makeshift signs emblazoned with red X's on the doors of rooms in which nothing was to be scavenged. Addison liked the idea. So he copied it.
One night last week, Addison had one of his small disputes with Heather. The kind where Addison wants something, Heather doesn't want him to have it, and Addison calls the ACLU. It happened right about the time I was taking my turn in the putting-Addison-to-bed ritual. When Heather left, Addison was still a bit . . . insane with rage, so he said, "I don't want Mommy in my room ever again." That would show her to deny him candy at 8:30 at night. The moment demanded a certain stoic silence, but that was spoiled by my giggles when Addison added, "I'm gonna put a red X on my door." I got it. It was funny. It cracked me up that he had analyzed this tidbit of house-visit etiquette and synthesized it into the foreign policy of his domain. Then it passed.
The next day, right before lunch, he just got up from his seat at the table, grabbed a red marker (sneakily enough, I should add), came back a few seconds later (at this point I noticed the marker), and said, "I want to show Mommy what I did." You know what he did. You know I erased it. You know we helped him hang a proper, less destructive sign. The only blank left to be filled in is the conversation.
Addison: No girls allowed.
Me: Not even your friend Allie? Or Emma? Or cousin Maddie? Or Macintyre? Or Mackenzie?
Addison: (thoughtful pause) No, they can come in.
Me: So it's just, "No mommies allowed" then?
And he never once tried to enforce it. But he does go in there and close the door, and we pretty much leave him alone, unless it gets too loud . . . or too quiet.