Friday, June 1, 2012

Color Them Bad

As cliché as I know myself to be at times, my kids often can't get on board with the traditional childhood staples.  They don't like the summer heat, it's like pulling teeth to read them a book, and splashing in a pool?  Keep wishing.  Cael thinks he'll drown in a wet washcloth.

And what's more traditional than sidewalk chalk?  We've been down the road before, of course, and it always ends the same way.  Cael refuses to participate but gets severely agitated when I tire of drawing planes, trains and automobiles, Graham loves the chalk but manages to ink every surface but the actual sidewalk, and Oscar spends the rest of the night with a blue rear end.


So why do I keep trying?  Honestly, I'm not sure.  But when I do, it always promises to be interesting.

Since I was watching two neighbor kids on Tuesday, one being a girl and finally providing me with a decent drawing partner, we started off innocently enough by decorating our names across the faded basketball court.


Soon, the lure of the chalk was too much for the other kids, and one by one, they joined us by scribbling across the patio.  As usual, I put way too much effort into the rainbow I was drawing, and even more predictably, Cael and Graham's artwork started to get weird.  Really weird.


My attention was first captured by Cael's unusual and anatomically-incorrect stick figure.  As he drew it, I subconsciously counted the limbs.  One, two, three, four..... five?


"Cael, there's something a little strange about your guy.  What is that?"

"What is what?"

"That line between his legs?"  I'm treading in dangerous territory, here.

"Oh, that's his tail."

"Why does a man have a tail?"

"Because he's a dog-man."

I breathed a sigh of relief.  I didn't want to send other people's children home knowing any new body parts, but I can accept responsibility for dog-man nightmares.  Those won't send me to prison.

I made the rounds, checking out everyone's artwork and complimenting what was surely an intentional effort to make asymmetrical hearts and faces executed in textbook Cubism.


Earlier I had just begun to draw Cael and Graham's blue eyes when I was enlisted to break up a hair-pulling altercation, so I headed back to finish what I'd started.  What I found, however, was that the small blue circle I'd drawn was crudely crossed out.

"Hey, you guys scribbled on my picture!"

"But Mommy, it was a erf."

"What is an 'erf'?"

"You know, like our planet."


"Oh, it was Earth?"

"Yeah, Erf."

"So why is Earth all crossed out?"

"Because it 'sploded.  It broke up and it was full of candy."

Whatever happened to drawing a sunshine?  Or a smiley face?  Maybe a car, or a flower?  Nope, it's fun to decimate society.  It's also far more emotionally scarring to lethally wound dog-man.

"What happened to this guy?"


"He has blood."

"Why is it all over him?"

"Because he 'sploded."  

"He exploded, too?!"

"Yup.  He had a bomb and he 'sploded everywhere and there was candy inside him too."

Freaky.  Unoriginal, but freaky nonetheless.

I guess that's just the way it goes at our house.  Even the classics are twisted, but always in surprising new ways, like candy-filled bombs and inappropriate body parts.  At least they got it out of their systems.

"Bubba, what in the world are you drawing?"


  1. Ha ha!!! My boys destroy every innocent thing with explosions too.

  2. can definitely tell "boy art" when you see it!

    And I seriously laughed out loud at the whole cael drowning in a wet washcloth thing!!!

    1. The kid is terrified of water, and I have no idea why! I hope he gets over it soon...


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.