Thursday, June 7, 2012

Graphic expression

Oli has always been into drawing. Which is good. Much of the year at his preschool they have focused on 'graphic expression' in the early years (which really translates as 'interpreting the scribbles'). But in the past few months his enthusiasm has really taken off. He's recently been channeling it into colouring photocopied pages of busytown from Max's Best Ever Rainy Day Book. Then he discovered tracing paper and returned to his well-loved copy of the Lego catalogue (so, so well-loved since Christmas and taped and stapled to keep it whole) and he began tracing Lego men and castles and horses.  Then last night I went into his bedroom to find this...
Your eyes might need to adjust to the light but I tell you, the pencil lines are all but faint when you see them on the wall. My jaw dropped. I was so shocked. Drawing on the walls? Isn't that the tipping point when supernanny is called in? Down the other end of the corridor Dom gave a yell.  Jack (increasingly verbal and rarely quiet) had climbed back into the bath, fully clothed in his zip-up pyjamas. His crying was not from falling in, no, he was having a fine time splashing with his brother, the tears came from being hauled out, dripping wet and several pounds heavier, in soggy clothes and a swollen double layer of cotton nappies.
Honestly if, a few years ago, you had told me my three year old would graffiti his bedroom while my one year old climbed into the bath with his clothes on I would have said you had the wrong house - no, no, no. There will be worse to come I'm sure (parents of teenagers - teenage boys - will be chuckling) but this is where I am - the summer holidays, just days away, stretch in front of me like the Marathon Des Sables.
At first Oli insisted that the artwork was 'an accident' (spot the signature tag on the right? ) then he fell into a despairing mantra of 'I did it on purpose, I'm bad.' The truth is, he's actually quite good. He's certainly good with a pencil. I love how he starts at the bottom, perhaps thinking, I'll just add some legs to this old circle here (the metal thing in the wall) and then maybe give this person some friends (the group of little circles with legs). Then he sees his own hand, leaning on the wall to steady himself and thinks, I'll trace round that. Then he has this great idea of drawing a person and adding his own hands to it. I love to think the top two images, the climax of it all, represent a genie coming out of a bottle to grant him any, any wish...even maybe hinting to him that he might really want to wish the pencil markings would fade before mummy comes into his bedroom...He actually says it's a house with two lights on the side and he's inside the house (well, I had to ask). I'll have to wash it off, I know, but looking at it does make me smile...

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