It’s Sunday morning, and The Girl and I are sitting at the kitchen table. I’m writing a blog post. She’s being artistic, drawing with a cheap set of acrylic paints, swirls of brownish-gray (the paints mixed beyond reconciliation) into images that are one-of-a-kind reproduction portraits of every single person she can think of as she sits there painting.
One person per page.
Circles with legs, arms, and eyes.
“This is mommy. This is you, daddy. This is my cousin. This is grandma. This is grandpa.” She informs me.
They all look pretty much the same to me — at least at first glance — but really, every single one is unique, each splashed against a stark, white sheet of art paper. (Proud dad warning: I should scan some and post them.)
Unrelated, the wife and I had a discussion about the vague, high-level, seeming emergence of personalities in all the little kids we know. And how (completely anecdotally) those kids personalities seem correlated to all sorts of little behaviors, for example, linked in some way to how they colour. In this example: do they stay in the lines or not even bother. The Girl seems to be able to colour in the lines, but often chooses to draw her own doodles around the printed images. Our assertion: I doubt there is anything significant that could be said about that, really. In fact, it reminded me of some sort of business-related, bunkish-metaphor. Creative thought, it might say, is linked to one’s adherence to fixed boundaries, no matter how artificial. Thinking outside the box. Rule-followers versus rule-makers.
Psychobabble, I’m sure.
I mean I could recite a dozen examples of rule-thwarting. Then I could recite a dozen examples where the girl is such a stickler for routine and boundaries it would make heads spin.
Of course we see patterns in quasi-abstract behaviors. It brings us comfort, thinking we can categorize people so young, and thinking we can understand them by some vague scribbles on a page.
People are more complex than that, I think.
But it’s still interesting, sitting here watching my daughter draw swirl after swirl, how right at this moment she doesn’t seem to mind the lack of lines. She just paints. And paints. And then asks me a left-field question about the size of my eyelashes. And then paints some more.
Now, if only I could get her to clean up after herself.