Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Artist

 I have, for obvious reasons, wanted to start fostering Reilly creative genes as early as possible.  Since probably conception, I have had dreams of the beautiful creations we would make together.  Finger paint, massive canvases that require us to cover the entire floor in newspaper, markers, crayons, pastels, colored pencils, charcoal - no medium would be foreign to my girl by the time she was, well, five.

But then she ate crayons.  Every time she used them.  Although she stopped putting every single thing that crossed her path in her mouth, she still would put crayons her her mouth.  And chomp, and chew, and her mouth would turn color.  Which made me really appreciate the once-ignored-by-me phrase that has graced the cover of my beloved crayolas since I was a child - Non-Toxic.  This is going back to when she was about a year old, and I would tape the paper to the floor so she could color freely.

I would try every so often, with the same result.  Then we had a brief period where I tried colored pencils.  She did really well with them, but they posed as a hazard because she loved running around the house with the grasped in each fist.  I'm sure you are cringing at the possibility of danger there as well.  And so, colored pencils went away until she was a bit older as well.

And then, Reilly's persistence to create pushed through.  I began noticing her sitting over by the window in the kitchen - and sifting through Daddy's mail/bills basket.  For a few days in a row, I would find her over in there, leaning over something on the floor.  And then I saw what she was doing.  She was taking a pencil and deposit slips, and "coloring" as she called it.  Every day, the same thing.  And she would hold down the tiny deposit slip with her little hand, scribbling away with the other.  I couldn't believe it.  My baby is this desperate to create, that she thinks a pencil and deposit slips is COLORING?  This was astonishing.  I didn't care about eating crayons anymore, we were breaking out the big guns.  She was ready to learn to color.

So we got out giant banner paper, pretty much the opposite of deposit slips.  And took her clothes off, she could get messy.   And Reilly was introduced to her new love - MARKERS.  Look how adorable she is holding the paper with her left hand, and coloring with her right!  And I'm a little freaked out by how well she holds the marker, as it's even better than I can.

 She would use one color, then hand it to me and say "Close it.", then find a new color, hand it to me and say "Open it, please." And continue on this way using one color at a time.

 Due to the glory of the Magic Eraser, I never care if anything gets on the floors.  And I let her get as messy as she wanted, without intentional coloring-on-the skin.  I was astonished at how much marker could end up on a person unintentionally!  Even I was covered.

 She laid on her belly for a while, which I suppose is a child's coloring instinct.

Scribble, scribble, scribble!  That full diaper was not going to stop her. :)

 Here she is, all proud of her new activity.

 And showing me her hands, all covered in marker.

 The she decided to check out those hands for herself.  What the heck is this??

 I'm not sure if you can tell, but her legs and t shirt were also covered.  It was hilarious, she was a little walking rainbow.

 Then she decided her project deserved a kiss.  Because everyone deserves Reilly kisses.

 And here is our finished product!!  We obviously have it saved for framing.  I am so proud of her!
Since then, she has become a pro.  We have broken out mommy's box of 96 crayons, which get totally dumped all over the kitchen every time they are used.  But the joy is unparalleled.  And I remember it like it was yesterday, they joy that 96 different colors can bring, so it never ceases to make me smile.

I love wondering what she will be, what she will become.  I love helping to shape what she will be, and teaching her new things every day - fun things, silly things, educational things.  Watching her learn it all is so much fun.  We have "painted" before, but only to do hand/foot prints.  The day when finger painting descends upon the home will be epic - it's not far away.  I'm beyond excited to have a little art partner!

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