My online journal.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's hard being a grownup!


You're Asking Too Much of Me.

I just can't keep up. There is not enough time in the world to complete all the tasks I am being asked to complete -- to research all the issues and all the concerns I have -- to implement all the advice and ideas and suggestions and recommendations that are being fired at me from every direction.

Today at ECFE I got a very nice yet very serious talking-to about how when I sit down to draw next to Lucy, and she asks me to "draw a princess" or "draw me" I should NOT draw those things for her, but only draw in the same manner she is capable of drawing. Essentially, scribbles and curves and the occasional almost-circle.

I get it. I get why I am being asked to do this. I get that she's going to think she "can't draw as well as Mommy can" and grow up to think she "can't draw," period, and that somehow that's going to screw her up for life.

But WHEN DO I GET TO DRAW?!?! What am I supposed to do, draw in secret and then hide all my drawings from the children so they don't think I'm holding them up to an impossible standard? Should I also never ever sing or dance with the children, lest they think they can't sing or dance as well as I can? Should I never take the kids to an art museum because it's going to ruin their self-confidence? Or is that OK, because I'm "leaving art to the professionals"? I am having serious problems with this and this is where I think there may have been some misunderstanding: Lucy was drawing her own picture, and I was drawing MY own picture. I wasn't drawing a picture for Lucy, so she could get out of drawing her own picture. I was drawing, and Lucy was drawing, and we were both making perfectly good drawings. I'm no Rembrandt. But I like to draw, so that's what we were doing. Together. And if she grows up and thinks she can't draw then that is something she is going to have to deal with on her own. I grew up, and when I draw something I can look at it and say "Yup, it actually does look like a house/dog/dolphin/cat/whatever. I am not the worst drawer ever." Because I overall think I'm good enough in this life. And I don't think sitting next to Lucy and scribbling, because she's at a developmental stage where she scribbles, is going to help her in any way realize that she's good enough. I have a lot of other ways I'm going to help her realize that she's good enough. Well, I hope.


Molly said...

Wow!!! This really burns me!! I just can't believe that someone would say that. It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Sometimes people take it too far. I am sure that people drew next to you when you were little, I know that people did with me. And yet somehow you and I survived! So, like you said should you not read your children anymore books because you know that you read better than they do! Silly! I have done things with my boys for years and I have been better than them at times. What they learned was how to compliment someone or that they were not always going to be the best in life. That too is a good life lesson that many parents forget to teach their children. Sometimes it was another lesson b/c they would ask how I did what I did and I would gladly teach them. Now that they are older they are teaching me things! It all turns around. Someday Lucy will be better than you at something, say the computer. Should she not do it!

I always think of Nana! She didn't do any of this mambi-pambi (sp?) parenting and all ELEVEN of her kids turned out to be wonderful, productive people!! Keep doing what you are doing and follow your gut more than other peoples' opinions! You are her mom, no one else. The only other opinion you have to listen to is Joel's!

So, go and draw a princess!

P.S. Sorry about the rant! Will I be seeing you on Saturday?

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Um....that's ridiculous. This person probably also thinks all the entrants to a contest should "win" so no one feels bad.

Meg said...

ARGH! Blogger ate my comment. OK, what I was GOING to say was that usually this gal is RIGHT ON when it comes to things like this. I think she's actually spoken out more than once against things like the "everyone's a winner" mentality.

Molly, I think you forgot about Bink. Just kidding!! I am not coming into town this weekend -- wayy too much painting and cleaning left to do. Have an awesome time at Jersey Boys!!

bridget said...

Meg-I totally agree with you, in fact I could and will argue the exact opposite. I am frequently telling parents of my students that their children need to hear/see a good model so they can learn FROM them. I often stress to them the importance of not talking down or using babytalk to the children (young children, not babies). Children need good models to learn from, and I think Lucy will learn far more by watching how her mommy draws a princess, than how well mommy can scribble like her!
And if I know you like I am pretty sure I do, Lucy's self-esteem is in no danger!

Rebecca said...

Right now, on Vivian's drawing pad, there are MANY drawings of very life-like animals...and people. And in the summertime, we have very intricate works of art drawn in sidewalk chalk.

What Vivian will learn from that is an appreciation for the beauty of art and that all art is different. Right next to our professional painting done by Adam's grandma is a framed 8x11 of Vivian's scribble art.