So, as parents we have our good days and our bad days, and we have our great moments and our not so great moments. (Here at Chronicles of a New Dad the scale is weighted much too far on the later). I know there’s a lot of talk on this blog about the funny and stupid things that happen day to day… but we really are trying to bring this kid up right. We read to him and take him to music classes and try to expose him to the arts.
Being that I work at an “Arts” themed elementary school I figured I have the inside track on getting Jax to appreciate the finer things in life, IE: Painting, classical music,
writing blogs about baby poop creative writing. So yesterday I thought I would enlist Jax to help me create the artwork that all staff members have hanging outside their rooms.
This seemed like a totally appropriate and “good” parent thing to do. Toddler painting is easy right? They love to get dirty, they love to throw things and use their hands to make a mess. I mean Jackson’s highchair tray looks like a Picasso after every meal, so this should be easy, right?
Stupid dad… not something you hear me say often right? This was one of the worst planned events to ever come from my brain… (and your talking to the guy who planned a birthday party for his wife and didn’t order food, tell people what time to show up or get a baby sitter for the kid). For an educator, you would think that I would have had some plan here… Just a reminder there was no plan what so ever.
Just a naked baby, a blank canvas and some paint…
We got off to a great start… he wanted nothing to do with a paint brush (again, my son is 15 months old and cant hold a sippy cup for longer than three seconds without launching it across the room, but for some reason I thought he would use a paintbrush?!!!). Once he dipped his hand in the paint it was all over… he wanted nothing to do with it.
There was crying and drooling and hand over hand painting. There was a green footprint on my shorts and half of one on the canvas and a smearing of paint on legs, arms, eyebrows and the garage floor. There is a good chance this child will never look at paint the same way again.
But as I write this, I wonder if that is what made this painting such a success. When all was said and done it looks like someone who had no idea what they were doing and didn’t try to be creative painted it… like that’s because someone who had no idea what they were doing and didn’t try to be creative painted it. I think that is what creativity is… no rules or guidelines or structure… just a mess.
At least you can count on that… if being/creating mess is what it takes to foster Jackson’s creativity then we may have another Monet on our hands!
FYI: You learn a lot about yourself when you’re a parent… I’ve always worked with other parents who brag about their kid’s artwork; I mean I work in an elementary school… I’ve seen thousands… no millions of pictures drawn by children. The pictures are always of some polka-dotted flower or a gigantic cat with three legs. But for some reason these pictures always are a 100x better than anything I could ever draw. Now, even worse, I know my son can draw/paint better me too. But you know what Jax… I’m a competitive guy… and I may not be an artist like you but guess what… I can spelI… In fact, I can add and run faster than you too. So clearly you may have won this battle… but I win the war!