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Thursday, May 25, 2006  

Color My World

M. Small loves to color. "KA-whoa," he says when he's in an artistic mood, and either goes to the kitchen table or the front door.

Perhaps I should explain. These are the two places where M. Small does most of his coloring. On the kitchen table, he uses his big-old crayons and, under extremely close supervision, the occasional ballpoint pen. We don't really worry about him coloring inside the lines. Not least of all because the paper he likes to color on doesn't have lines. He prefers the blank canvas of cheap-ass typing paper. But as unconcerned as we are about keeping him inside the lines, it sometimes does become a challenge to keep him coloring inside the room. Fortunately, the crayons we give him to use are specially formulated to wipe easily off of walls, tables, chairs, cats, and ceiling fans.

The other place he likes to color is a little more unconventional. The last big home-improvement project we did before our adoption home-study was to have the fugly yellow linoleum in our entryway replaced with a striking, dark-gray stone tile. You might almost call the color "slate." But M. Small likes to take his colored sidewalk chalk and act on an entirely different interpretation of the word "slate." This is perfectly fine with us, because it turns out that chalk erases off the entryway floor just like off of a blackboard. In fact, more easily than a blackboard, because if one were to try erasing a blackboard by walking on it in one's stocking feet, an injury would likely ensue.

The only challenge there is to discourage him from coloring on the walls and the front door. So Trash tries to distract him from that by joining him on the floor and coloring with him.

Now, I'm not saying that Trash is worse at drawing than M. Small is. However, it is fair to say that her artistic skills are on the "picked-last-at-Pictionary" level. And yet M. Small is able to recognize most of her drawings. For instance, a solid yellow crescent is identified as "moon." An animal face with pointy ears is "kitty," while an animal face with round ears is "puppy." Which really isn't that much of an achievement any more, since she draws it the same way every time.

"He can recognize 'puppy' from just the ears now," Trash told me tonight.

"Maybe you should learn to draw a different puppy," I suggested.

"Maybe you should shut it," she suggested right back.

But together they're branching out of their respective comfort zones. Trash figured out how to draw one of M. Small's favorite words, "car." And in turn, she's trying to teach him to say one of the few other things she can draw, which is "house."

"He can say 'purple,'" I remarked. "You should see if you can draw that."

Again, my suggestion was not received in the spirit it was intended.

He's learning more words every day, of course. The vacuum cleaner, for instance, is no longer "AAAAAA." Now it's "BAKyumeen," as in "vacuuming." "Aw, honey," I said proudly. "His first gerund!"

Trash didn't really appreciate the significance the same way I did. But maybe that was because she was busy trying to draw "please" and "thank you." Or maybe washing crayon off our walls, furniture, and feet. He seems to be entering a kind of Harold phase where just having a crayon in his hand turns him into a graffiti artist. We're quickly learning which surfaces are and aren't easy to clean Crayola off of.

"Mayby we should give him a break from crayons," I suggested. "Just for a few years."

posted by M. Giant 5:37 PM 2 comments

2 Comments:

Dude, quit it. For real. I'm not old enough to have a baby. But I read your M. Small entries, and all I want is to get knocked up.

By Anonymous elizabell, at May 26, 2006 at 3:39 AM  

Two things (from the mom of 4 kids) 1) Never never never allow cheap crayons into the house. They are a bitch and a half to clean up. 2) WD40 will get crayon off of just about any surface. Follow up with a soapy wash, and presto, good as new.

By Blogger ElleStarr, at June 1, 2006 at 9:38 AM  

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