Daddy Beats Eyeball and Budding Cartographer

Something happened about one week ago.

A switch went off in The Tackler.

It began innocently enough.

His sister wanted to color, so I hauled out the crayons.

He naturally wished to do whatever it was she was doing. He pulled out his crayons, then his markers.

My friend Bobbi also joined in with her booklet of drawing paper.

And the switch flipped.

The Tackler is completely enthralled with drawing.

The same child who six months ago thought art and craft projects were a race for who would finish first.

My two children went from not drawing, to loving it.

The best thing: this entertained them for thirty blessedly quiet minutes. And I have no idea why my daughter is wearing reindeer antlers in most of the photos...

The same child who wouldn’t draw on his Magnadoodle but insisted CG and I do it for him – which had the unplanned benefit of him learning all of his letters and shapes before the age of two.

I could actually decipher these drawings without help.

Is it a good thing or bad thing my son sees Elmo for the demonic monster he is?

Perhaps it is a phase, but I love it.

My 4.5 year old is obsessed with making and viewing maps.

These might not look like much, but they are actually very good map representations of the various parks/play places we visit. The Texas drawing pictured here was one deemed "successful". He is actually quite good at drawing Texas, it is when he tries to fit in 50 other states correctly the issues arise.

The only flaw is the same issue he had as a baby: perfectionism.

He combines his love of maps and tries to draw the United States.

I cannot draw the United States, and in childhood, if it didn’t involve tracing or the state of Colorado, none of my states ever looked right.

If his doesn’t look right, he dissolves into tears and eventually melts down.

I’m trying to show him there is never a wrong answer in art.

Meanwhile, I am impressed with his talent, which I think is close to what mine was around age seven.

My son has improved in a short amount of time on his drawing skills.

My 4.5 year old draws the Justice League... better than I can. It should also be noted: every picture you see here also has a drawing on the other side. All of these done were within the last week. This is but a small sample....

Which ironically isn’t much different from what it is now. Words are my chosen form of artistic expression.

As with his other learning obsessions (space, the human body, counting), I try to do all I can to encourage it.

And continue the lesson that nobody is perfect, nor do they have to be.

Not too bad of an artist for 4.5 years olds.

The Tackler was very proud of his Superman costume rendering - one of the first drawings he used correct coloring in and I had no problem recognizing the subject.

Do you or your child have a task that has to be “perfect” or meltdown might ensue?

* * *

Tackler quote of the week:

“I love Daddy more than I love my eyeball.”

My son's favorite Halloween prize is The Eyeball.

UPDATED: My son found The Eyeball about 12 hours after I posted about it, so finally have a photo of it.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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14 Responses to Daddy Beats Eyeball and Budding Cartographer

  1. Jackie says:

    One of my daughters has always been one to sit and color or draw for hours on end and to the day (she’s 12 now) she still does it. And each year that passes her drawings get better and better.

    • I find it fascinating how different children are drawn to different things. Art was never really something I did for fun. I was much more of a reader and a writer as a child.

      I am completely in awe of those who can draw, because even if I try to imitate it, my fingers fail to produce.

      I love you’ve encouraged this in your daughter.

  2. John says:

    Ok, that’s a pretty damn awesome switch to flip . . . and I’d worry about my kids becoming art perfectionists, too (because daddy has absolutely no visual-artistic talent). yes, cultivate.

    My son & his Star Wars fanaticism got a little crazier this past weekend, when he was given not one, but two plastic light sabers. He loves playing with them (although he’s very careful to aim for the other light saber and not someone else . . . related? I’m doing a lot of holding up of a light saber).

    When he’s trying to mimic some move (and I don’t know what), he does this kick and then he raises his free fist (I think he’s trying a force push) and then beats the light saber that I’m holding. But, every time he does this, something isn’t right (it’s probably my doing) and he throws his light saber down & throws a fit . . . getting up two seconds later and trying it again.

    I’m raising an OCD geek.

    • I must object to the term “OCD geek”. I had a bit of rant about the tossing around of “OCD” when it really isn’t OCD and how such casual usage makes light of how severe “real” OCD is. Perfection can exist with having OCD.

      Sorry, I don’t mean to lecture, especially because I hold you in such high regard. Blame it on a hot button.

      That being said, my son does the exact same thing. Now it’s drawing. Sometimes it’s because he can’t get a train track built just right. Other times it’s because his block tower isn’t correct. Sometimes it’s because I failed to properly respond to a question that he deemed he knew the answer to. He’s also done it with re-enactments, but as he hasn’t seen Star Wars yet (with his mimicry I shudder to think what he’d do to his sister), we haven’t had the light saber meltdown.

      My son also couldn’t stand to have his hands dirty when he was under the age two. Now I have a hard time getting him to wash his hands….

      Until the last year, he rarely ever drew. He couldn’t never do it “right”, so if we dared get out the crayons, he’d make me or my husband draw (neither of us are artists either). I credit the art component of his mother’s day out programs with releasing this part of his creativity, and I have to say I love it.

      Only now I have piles of paper all over my kitchen, because he’s gone through an entire booklet of paper in two weeks, and I can’t bring myself to throw them away….

  3. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    I love the Justice League pic and the one where he has you jumping over a rainbow. (Cause that’s what moms do, right?) So cute!

    • Yes, I forgot why the rainbow was there.

      I was more concerned why I was the big, blobby thing and everyone else were tiny figures.

      He must be transitioning from the drawing-people-as-stick-figures-with-wolverine-hands phase to the drawing-people-like-demented-gingerbread men phase.

      I love to watch the change.

  4. christicorbett says:

    My six-year-old twins have a favorite phrase…”Can I use one of your papers?” 🙂

    Here’s a tip to show off the mountain of artwork that will accumilate in less than 10 minutes of drawing. You can buy 12 by 12 inch cork boards to display everything they make. The boards come in packs of four, and attach to any wall/closet door/etc… with peel and stick adhesive. Buy a few, install, and then you’ll have a place to showcase their artwork.

    As for the stuff your kids deem “not for the wall but too good to recycle” you can store their art in a pizza box. It’s the perfect size and is easy for them to open.

    Christi Corbett

    • You are a genius!

      I was just wondering what the heck to do with the entire pile of artwork created in two weeks. I cannot toss it, because really, it’s just too amazing to me. I’m trying to take photos of it all so when it does get tossed (or crumpled by Lil Diva), I have a digital record.

      Thank you for the suggestion!

  5. I like the Woody and Mike drawings!

  6. mommysaidaswearword says:

    He is, in fact, quite good. Especially Mike Wazowski and Texas.

    • I thought so too!

      I remember being in 5th grade and wishing I lived in Colorado because we had to draw our state, and I could never get Iowa correct. And the state flag (shudder) was pure evil to replicate.

      He’s started recreating Texas with blocks on the floor, and is also quite good at it. It goes well with his map obsession.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Great post. Love the drawings. Art is so important.

    Oh I bet the red figure in the Justice League picture is probably The Flash. (comic geek here) 🙂

  8. Pingback: Not Your Typical “Being Thankful” Post | Dances with Chaos

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