Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl

Those who know me know that our battles with Cate, our youngest, over drawing on the walls are numerous and frequent. No trick or reward or punishment or lecture or tears works. She draws on the walls (I say "draws"--she actually draws, colors, scribbles, stamps, places stickers, glues paper...) every chance she gets. (Here I am reminded of something she said in the doctor's office after drawing picture of herself and making sure to include a knot in her hair: "I knot my hair. Anywhere. Anytime." With a devilish grin she said this.) So Brian and I have given in (despite our strongly held parenting belief that given clear boundaries and ample opportunity for self-expression, children will not draw on the walls--clearly Cate was sent to us to poke holes in all of our strongly helf parenting beliefs) and lined her room with drawing paper. The picture above is Cate just after Brian finished the first part of her wall. She immediately grabbed a marker, jumped on her bed and started scribbling. "I'm making crazy art," she said. "When I'm done, it will make you smile." The hat came later because artists where hats. If you look to the left, you can see evidence of the wall art the paper is now covering up.

And here is a picture of the finished project. Cate is just out of frame, knotting her hair. We found her in bed that night looking at all she drew (pictures of all us, superheroes taking the bus home, a turtle, a meat bug, among other things) and trying to cover up the fact that, in addition to drawing on her new wall, she had also drawn all over legs, ears, and scalp. "I wanted to be fancy," she said. And so, having, hopefully, conquered one problem, we embark on another.


Alison said...

This is great! What a fantastic idea. She gets to make her room as beautiful as she wants, and you don't have to worry quite so much about the state of the walls. I love that you're documenting her art--I imagine you'll go through lots and lots of paper, so you should periodically take pictures so that you can show her when she's older.

kario said...

My second daughter is a "graphic artist" who also cannot refrain from drawing on walls, her bathroom sink, scratching things into the wood headboard of her bed, inking on the leather ottoman in the living room, etc. She is absolutely possessed by making art in all shapes and forms and while my husband and I have attempted to reform her of this, nothing has proven useful. She is completely remorseful after the fact, but I am loathe to actually stunt her creativity. Her teachers all praise her "thinking outside the box" and intelligence, so I love that you covered your daughter's walls with paper to let her embrace her inner artist.

Pick your battles. That's what I've decided to do as a parent. Good luck!

jody said...

this is too awesome