I am no art critic but since having kids I have had to give me opinion on a vast array of paintings, sculptures and photographs. The pressure I feel when faced with the latest creation by my five or two year old is immense! “That’s lovely” just doesn’t cut it they want me to tell them what it is they have drawn, splodged or stuck together. “Is it Elsa and Anna?” I ask my daughter – usually a safe bet that anything she’s created will have a Frozen theme… “No mummy it’s a pirate spaceship” she’ll reply, rolling her eyes! Of course, silly me! My two-year-old’s paint daubs are obviously a lion whilst my daughter reliably informed me that the loo rolls taped to a cereal box that came home from school last week was a chocolate factory!
I love the fact that my kids enjoy getting arty and messy with paint and glue, especially as I have no artistic talent at all, but am I such a bad mummy that I find it hard to sound enthusiastic about every line that is drawn and every bit of glitter that’s stuck down? And when the latest prized piece of artwork comes home there’s the problem of what to do with it!
When we had our second child we bought a massive fridge (little realising the space on the outside would be as valuable at that on the inside) but even our monster chiller is too small to display our ever growing collection of mini masterpieces. Like something out of Sophie’s Choice I have to decide which pieces of paper to keep and which to sneak into the recycling bin. Sadly my subterfuge has sometimes been discovered, cue wails of “why is my painting in the bin? I love this picture!” as I feign ignorance and desperately try to iron out the creases. What can’t be stuck on the fridge or displayed on the mantelpiece ends up in their bedrooms – why else would my son have an old with one googly eye stuck on it hanging above this bed? My daughter’s bedroom is strewn with empty shoeboxes (aka treasures chests) which lost their fake jewels and silver foil locks a long time ago but woe betide anyone who doesn’t appreciate their artists genius and tried to ‘tidy them away’!
So as my eldest struggles to find her bed amongst the discarded pictures, boxes and yoghurt pots, I can only hope I am doing my bit in cultivating a Banksy, Van Gogh or even my very own Tracey Emin (well she never makes her bed so we’re half way there!)