Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mama's Little Art Industry

Mama’s Little Artist

I am not a perfect mom. I am not a Type A personality, who creates a curriculum and fills my children’s days with enrichment activities…although I could, one of my specialties when teaching was creating curriculum that integrated the arts into academics. Of course, that I COULD do it, but don’t makes me even less marvelous in my mommyhood. It makes me feel bad sometimes that I don't do all I could do.

But I would like to put forth a cheer for all the slacker moms out there. Just because we aren’t getting down there in our knee pads flipping flash cards of Impressionist Painters does not mean we are doing a bad job. No one really knows what makes one kid turn out to be a wonderful person whose life enriches the world. So I’m going to pat myself on the back a little and hi-light one of my slacker mom accomplishments.

Sometimes I check my googlereader while the kids are watching Little Bear. Yes it’s true. TV is my babysitter. Sometimes, the baby will sit on my lap and play with her toy computer while I do this. Sometimes, we will take out the Crayola Color Wonder finger paints and she will smoosh around on the tv table while I type comments on my favorite blogs with one hand.

She did so yesterday. And then toddled off to find some trouble to get into. But when the Little Bear dvd ended, G wandered back to my impromptu desk to check out the what’s what, and he came upon this:

Orignal Art, by Ivy

This was the baby’s painting. The red circle was mine, but everything else was hers. Gosh, G started smiling when he saw it. “Mmm,” he said, “Good. G likes!” and he would not rest until I displayed it on the refrigerator. I see what he means about this scribble drawing. It almost looks like a bird flying above the trees to the setting sun.

My boy Gman has very developed artistic tastes. I don’t know if I made it happen. I didn’t have those flash cards of Monet and Cezanne… although I must admit I sat with him and looked through some of my old art books. I didn’t force it on him, I just noticed his interests. He liked paintings. So we’d read the art books he picked out, along with “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Moo Baa La La La.”

He still likes paintings, although I can see he gets frustrated with not being able to draw what he wants to. Lately, he has been focusing on drawing bad guys. But even when he can’t draw Spider Man and the Green Goblin, he can appreciate artistic beauty when he sees it.

Art and the Collector The Collector and his Gallery

(reprinted from


Anonymous said...

When my son was one, I played with him and read the latest Harry Potter at the same time. And yes, I'm let him watch a movie while I've gotten some writing done.

I excuse myself by saying that he sees his mother as a person with interests other than him. Isn't that good? I don't want an egomaniac on my hands!

Nice art too.

D'Arcy said...

I love that art work. You child has the eye! I think everyone is just doing the best that they can, and that that is enough and remarkable in and of itself. I admire your ventures in mommyhood and know that your children realize how much you love them and how much you are teaching them (though I hear they forget this all from about 12-22).

I can sympathize with G's desire to capture something and his frustration when it doesn't turn out like he wants.

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