Thursday, January 20

Mixed Media: My Family Is Killing Me

My children do not have low self-esteem. They think that they are pretty wonderful, and they are confident that you will, too. I'm glad that they think highly of themselves (because I think that they are the most exceptional human beings that have ever walked this planet), but they tend to get carried away. This may be my fault, as I tend to get carried away, too.
When I was a child, if I had painted a pretty picture, Mum would put that picture on the fridge for a couple of days. And I was proud of myself. So when my kids started scribbling, I stuck their "art" on the fridge. The fridge became too full because I was never allowed to take anything down. So I moved to the kitchen walls. I covered every square inch of wall space with their artwork. It was silly, but the twinnies loved it.

Last year, Dan and I painted the kitchen. This involved taking down all of the twinnies art. What a relief! I had grown tired of random crap stuck to my walls. Dan bought 3 bulletin boards, one for each child. Art was to be displayed on their bulletin boards only. Well, that was the theory...

Of course, I have no control over my children. They do what they like. Apparently, Bethie likes to take banana and orange peels and sticky tape them to my walls. I don't always find them right away. Sigh.

I wrote on Facebook, "Why, oh why does Bethie feel the need to sticky tape orange and banana peels to the walls? Is this her way of telling me that my efforts to compost are not appreciated? Or is this her way of saving me from bending over and picking discarded peels up off the floor? Can someone PLEASE explain my 5 year old to me?????".

Aunt Carol responded, "Praise her for her artistic abilities. That gal is an emerging artistic genius. It's called "mixed media". :-) Actually, despite her obvious talents, it must drive you nuts. Give her a particular piece of wall space within which she may make her art. That way she won't be responding to negative attention and the "art" (read..mess) is confined. HA"

Aunt Carol lives in Toronto. She hasn't been in my house for about 2 years or so. Here's a guided tour:

The kitchen. See the 3 bulletin boards (above the toy kitchen)? See how those bulletin boards have failed to confine the crap?

You may have missed this, so here's a close-up. Bethie couldn't find any paper, so she coloured on painter's tape and stuck that to the wall.

Another wall in my kitchen. See the big empty space below the clock? That's where the latest orange peels were found taped to the wall. Above the clock is the bottom half of a Gap box that has been coloured. Most of the time, the children tape things to the wall. This time, Dan must have thought that I would really enjoy having my RECYCLING on display because he was the one who put it up there.

Moving into the hallway...we have two signs. Bethie made the one on the top left. I have no idea what she is banning, but whatever it is, it was really pissing her off. Katie's sign banned Sarah from peeing on the floor.

Here's the close-up. There's Sarah (the chick without the torso, duh). The "a" is actually an inverted "p" (Katie knows how to make letters but she has "issues" with the alphabet and refuses to abide by society's rules so she makes the letters the way she would like them to look...sigh....a story for another time!). And then a big honking "X" through it. Katie carefully explained the meaning of the sign to Sarah. Sarah, too, has a repulsion for authority and peed on the floor just to spite Katie. And that was just great.


The other half of the Gap box . And in case you're wondering, Dan hung those paintings on the wall. When I wasn't home. As a "surprise". I told him to take them down and do it again properly. He was most offended because he thought he had done a good job. His only criteria was that they didn't fall down. I wanted them to be hung nicely, and not as though a child has come and sporadically nailed paintings to the wall. And so I've looked at it for years. And it drives me bat-shit crazy! But now that the top of the Gap box is sticky taped next to the paintings, I feel more peaceful about the whole thing.

The front door. The picture just above the light switch was coloured by DAN. I kid you not. I guess he thought that he had done such a wonderful job that every person who comes to our home should see it. And that's why he taped it right at the front down and at adult eye level. You don't understand what an ass I feel like when I have to say "Yup, that one was coloured by my husband. He really did a good job, don't you think?".

And then there's the sporadic graffiti. Everywhere. Where you least expect it.

So, Aunt Carol and all of you, please forgive me when I lose my ever loving mind about banana peels being taped to my walls. Every mother must draw a line somewhere...mine is freakin' compost on the walls. Sorry. I forgot. Mine is freakin' "mixed media" on the walls!!!


3LittleMonkeys said...

HAHAHA...sorry to laugh, but you are just too funny! I guess I'll be thankful that my boys haven't figured out "mixed media" yet! I keep all of their "art" in a file in a drawer. Yep, I'm one of "those" moms!

Heidi said...

I love this post! Reminds me soooo much of my own home. I have slowly started recycling all the random crap tacked up everywhere. Drowning in it!

Bibliomama said...

Remember the Flesh Dress? Clearly she's a budding artistic genius. But go ahead and be repressive and crush her efforts -- suffering is good for the artistic soul. You can tell her I said that. :)

Gwen said...

3 Little Monkeys: What I would give to keep their art in a drawer!!!

Heidi: When the twinnies are at school, I secretly throw out some of their "art" and hope they don't notice. Any "compost art" is immediately thrown soon as I find it!

Bibliomama: I feel badly. JUST KIDDING. The child doesn't have to suffer forever. One day when she has a home of her own, she can sticky tape garbage to her walls!

Alicia said...

This is hilarious! Reminds me of growing up on a the farm and the things we would drag in the house on our adventures. My poor mother. I guess you have to draw a line somewhere. LOL - and the pictures hung by Hubby, wow can I relate!!!

Double the Giggles said...

I just pratcially peed on the floor laughing with this post. (Don't tell Katie!)

Gwen said...

Alicia: Great. My suburban life reminds you of your childhood on the FARM. Sigh. I guess you're right. I DO live with animals.

Double the Giggles: You do realise that your twins are getting bigger and this, too, shall be your life one day?! And I will laugh!

Double the Giggles said...

Sigh...and sadly, I know that you'll be laughing AT me, not with me.

Yabut said...

I love that Dan got in on the act. Hubbies are our biggest kids, after all. Right?
As for the kids art....This is the digital age. Scan it and keep it on the computer. At the end of the year, or for birthdays, etc. upload the stuff you like the best and get it printed as a book at the photo shop. Cool eh.
One year I even turned some of my grandson's original art into note cards for his mother. She loved that. You could do it for the grandparent.

Gwen said...

Yabut: Brilliant idea!!!! I really LOVE it! Thanks!