My children are not the next Da Vinci or Van Gogh. Sounds harsh, but it's true. My 10-year-old daughter and 5-year old son bring home a lot of crap they've made in school and some of it's, well, not great. I get that my kids are little and it's "cute," or whatever, but I have some perfectly good reasons I didn't put their artwork on my fridge, and I can't apologize for them. Though, I'll probably have a prepared speech full of excuses and lies to make my children feel better about it. #motherhood
When my oldest was in her first year of pre-kindergarten, she used to bring home the most adorably awful drawings and crafts. Back then, it really was cute because we'd never had the experience of a child going to school before. I kept everything she made and displayed it all proudly on every last bit of spare space on the refrigerator and walls. I even framed some of her "pieces," you guys. I wanted to encourage her creativity and show her how proud we were because when it's your kid, it's just what you do.
Five years later (to the exact day), enter my son and his first year of pre-kindergarten. To say we were less enthused is an understatement. Sure, the first couple of weeks I was thrilled to see him make any progress. He went from never holding a pencil to writing his first and last name faster than my daughter had, and his little smiley faces were, and continue to be, blobs of weirdness I quite enjoy. But as the days and weeks drag on into his 2nd year of pre-k, I'm sort of, mostly, totally over it. Every day it's a new thing, none much better than the ones prior. It's not they aren't spectacular, it's just that they're all kind of the same and none if it is viral-worthy. However, it's my duty to display whatever they bring home, right? Ugh. Lately, I just don't want to unless it "wows" me. Is that so wrong (don't answer that)? Also, remind me to delete this once my kids are big enough to see it (just in case: mommy loves you!).
It's Unknowingly Sexual
Ever have one of your kids come home with two figures in a compromising position? I have. While I wouldn't need the sex talk right then and there, and it was explained the two were "hugging," my eyes can't un-see what I saw. If I can save your eyes from more of the same or, at the very least an awkward conversation where I have to explain what is actually happening, I'll do it by keeping this special piece far, far away in the farthest room from everyone (or I hear the trash can has some room left).
The Typos Make For An Awkward Display
Spelling is hard, especially when phonetically some words just don't make sense. Kids spell the words the way they hear them. Makes sense to me, but I have a few types of "art" where my darling children have tried to spell something only to get it way off the mark. When "whole" family is changed to "whore" family or "truck" somehow morphs into something resembling the "F" word, I'm going to have to put those away for a bit.
Yes, they make me laugh but if my kids know this, they might start trying to misspell words on purpose, and I don't want another incident of "count" missing the "o" for my reaction. (To be clear, my reaction was horror.)
The Main Design Is Too Phallic
What is it with kids and penises? My son randomly shouts it when we're in public, just because. I think, somehow, it's ingrained in them to want to talk about things like I could potentially be shocked or embarrassed by. Even if they don't realize they're drawing all the trees in a familiar shape, it's there and I see it and I can't hang a bunch of phallic-shaped items on the fridge. I'm sorry, but I have to draw the line somewhere and I just can't, no matter how colorful that big one one with the "stems" is.
It's Too Honest
There's plenty of times I've asked my kids to draw pictures for people or write thank-you notes to some extent (that I help with) only to see the final version is, uh, kind of mean. While I want to emphasize they are grateful for a gift received, it's not cool for their picture to say, "Thanks for the crappy gift." Likewise, if drawing a portrait for a family member, I'd rather my daughter not draw my partner eating piles of food with the words, "Daddy when he was big."
It's Too Judgemental
Along the same lines, if my kids come home with drawings of other students or family and certain traits are pointed out in bright, red crayon, I'm most likely to hide (or trash) it. I understand my son notices when a person is big-busted or when my daughter draws a large nose to horrifying proportions, but we don't need it on display for everyone to potentially feel insecure about themselves. Although, if I'm drawn in a flattering light, that baby's getting the gold frame treatment. Duh.
It's Literally Falling A Part
Oh, the joys of receiving the crap with the Cheerios and buttons hanging off — they're the actual worst. Just last week, my son brought home a cereal-glued caterpillar with the half-end missing on arrival. What the hell, man? And don't even get me started on glitter. If it has glitter, it's going in the contamination bin before it saturates everything we own. So, no to all of this.
The Image Doesn't Remotely Capture Me
I've had some proud moments in my years of raising my babies. but receiving a drawing meant for me of me in which I'm a glob of unsightly proportions with thought bubbles that sound nothing like me (or everything like me), isn't one of them. It's also really fun when the teacher encourages my children to write something next to the drawing, for context. One in particular I have stashed somewhere asks my daughter to write one thing I say the most. My daughter quoted me with, "NO!" Another asked when I'm "prettiest," and she said, "When she wears lipstick." Uh, considering I don't wear it much, that one stung a bit. Funny, sure, but going on the fridge? Nope. Next time, please write about how gloriously funny, insightful, and awe-inspiring I am and maybe I'll consider it.
Of course I'm being (mostly) facetious because everything my kids make is wonderful and deserving of display. They are creative geniuses in their own right and I'm not worthy of all they've given me. Also, I was told I'm supposed to say that.