Technically I can’t count the number of times on one hand that Little Man drew on something he wasn’t supposed to, because that never happened. He was the most responsible toddler ever — he would never touch an outlet, climb on things that he shouldn’t climb on, put things in his mouth, or draw on things not intended to be drawn on. (I can’t say all of those things are true now, though.) He was basically Benjamin Button without the wrinkles.
Baby Girl is a different story. She is Little Man’s opposite in every way, which — aside from making for an interesting parenting experience — has given me a few gray hairs. I always expected for the second child to be different and have her own personality, of course, but not to be that different. Like most toddlers, she needs every single child proofing gadget, all markers stashed way out of reach, and a
leash harness screw it, leash. She’s shoved things in her nose, tasted things she had no business tasting, and can throw a temper tantrum that rivals those of the current president’s.
Back to the art. Baby Girl’s drawings have appeared all over the house. No matter how many times we tell her that crayons should only be used on scrap paper/coloring pages, she continues to pursue her dream of instilling a little culture in us with her art. The door to her room, walls, and the floor have all been decorated. Books — including the parenting book on discipline — now have extra illustrations. While taking a break from writing this post, I noticed that she had personalized the ice cream cart she got for her birthday. (“It say ‘Ice cream cart!'” she told me.)
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Put the crayons out of her reach!” but she hides the damn things around the house. For the longest time, we kept finding blue scribbles on things, but couldn’t find the blue crayon. Whenever we were busy with cooking, laundry, or phone calls and couldn’t have 100 percent of our focus on Baby Girl, she’d take the blue crayon from its hiding place and get to work. The only difference between her and Banksy was her lack of political statement.
Baby Girl had been doing a little bit better about drawing on things lately. Had been. Last week before I started cooking supper, I printed off a few coloring sheets to keep her occupied. It worked, or so I thought — she was very quiet and didn’t go terrorist mode by interrupting me with her list of demands while I was cooking. Shouldn’t I have learned by now that quiet is never, ever a good thing when it comes to kids?
Later I found out why she had been so quiet, and it had nothing to do with her coloring sheets.
“Oh my god, what did you do to your car?!” And how did your short little self color on the top?!
Was she rebelling against my skipping past the “screw gender stereotypes” thing and getting her a pink car? Because the only reason I did that is that it was on sale for $20 less than the standard version. I can be “Screw princesses and pink and flowers for girls” all day long until money comes into play. And then my principles are out the window faster than Donald Trump clicks the Tweet button. Maybe she truly had a little Banksy in her after all?
Maybe not. Her explanation —
Was/is your kid a budding artist, too? Any funny stories to share?