Friday, August 08, 2008

I May Not Know Art But I Know What I Prefer My Child To Paste.

We have visitors at the Big House.
Because there can never be enough Naughty Nephews under the one roof, we now also have the French/English cousins: Le Nephew(8) and...just to be completely wild...La Niece(6). I last saw these two three years ago, in the month before C and I began IVF. They lived in London then and were both cutely bilingual and still carrying the nightmares of the London train bombings.

Now they live in Bulgaria. They're taller. They're still cute.

On Friday Tricky and I accompanied Le Nephew and La Niece (and La Auntie V) to the museum. Here we had a fine time frolicking amidst the dinosaur bones and butterfly displays.

Tricky and La Niece settled down in the children's play area to make a picture of a wide mouthed frog out of paper plates which they were encouraged to paste over with coloured squares of paper.

Le Nephew frowned at this, knitted his half Gallic brows, and informed me that he was "much too old" to even be in this area which was for children. He went for a quick huffy walk around the space and glared at the dressup dinosaur tails and plastic starfish dotted here and there for childish amusement. Then he sat down and started pasting his frog with much dramatic sighing. This provided my own little childish amusement.

La Niece sat quietly and carefully stuck the correct coloured pieces of paper onto the correct areas of her frog picture. Blue for the water. Green for the frog, and so on. She even managed to curl up the red paper tongue that she had pasted inside the paper plate mouth.

Tricky meanwhile had discovered the pastepot. This pleased him far more than the actual frog. Despite my best efforts he gave all the love he had to the paste. Not to the actual frog. This puzzled me. Disturbed me even. I could almost hear his inner monologue as he worked steadily on his masterpiece.

What this sucker needs is a good coat of paste. Maybe two coats. Wait...what is the motherperson trying to do. Tongue? Why is she trying to stick a paper tongue into my frog. My frog needs no tongue. It needs paste. That's all. Leave it alone woman! Do you think Mrs Picasso kept hanging around her son, criticising? Being "helpful"? "oh Pablo...those eyes are pointing in the wrong direction, oh Pablo why must you make the woman weep like that. Make her smile, everyone loves a smile"....argh! Now she is taking the paste pot away. She's making me "share". Why must I share? Did Leonardo share? Did Modigliani share? I need paste! Give me the paste! It's not about the damn frog, I don't give a shit about the frog, the frog is merely a vehicle for the PASTE. Wait! Dear God in heaven! Now she is sticking COLOURED BITS OF PAPER OVER THE PASTE! MY PASTE! MY PASTE! MY BEAUTIFUL PASTE...

Yes, I did all those things.
I made him share.
I stuck on a tongue.
I tried to mop up the half inch layer of paste with bits of coloured paper.
The truth is that I was enviously watching La Niece and her calm quiet green frog in the blue water. I wanted my child to calmly paste a green frog in blue water.

I was tempted to leave the resultant monstrosity on the drying rack but French Auntie V would not have le bar of it and all three frogs came home to the Big House.

And even then I am ashamed to say I could not leave the thing alone. That night, quite absent mindedly I picked up a thick blue texta.


Mrs Picasso would be rolling in her grave.


Betty M said...

Excellent frog even if you ruined Tricky's pastework.

Anonymous said...

Every mother has at some time or other "helped" with a preschoolers art, haven't we? (Please? 'Cause otherwise I'm busted.)

Betty F said...

Paste work! It's beautiful.. and with mommy's changes it has an even better memory attached!

mig bardsley said...

Two minds with but a single art work.
And what a work of - um - well what a tremendous co-operative effort :)

granny p said...

So much more fun than a correctly pasted frog. And OF COURSE the paste was more fun. (Like the eyes. Go go go, Mrs P.)

Maggie May said...

It's brilliant!