Monday, December 1, 2008


When my son was in kindergarten, we had school conferences that focused on his drawing ability. It was weak. We were concerned. Well, at least we feigned concern, because we didn’t want to be those parents who don’t give a shit when the school is flagging an issue. But really, who cares? It’s not like my fingers were crossed that my son would become a starving artist or anything. And besides, I was relieved that he wasn't biting his classmates. Anything this side of cannibalism was ok with me.
What I liked about his attitude, however, was that although his drawings sucked, he never relented and kept drawing away.  There's something about beating one's head against the wall that I really admire.  When he presented me with his drawings, and I’m using the term loosely, we had many conversations that went like this:

“This is lovely, thank you.”
“Do you like it?”
“I do.”
“Do you know what it is?”
“Oh, honey, who knows what anything is?  Not me! I’m not into labeling things.”
“It’s a circle.”
"Is it a good circle?”
"Well, yes. It’s a very pointy circle, but that doesn’t make it not good. You like sports, right?”

Recently, however, he had a breakthrough and his drawings improved dramatically. I started to swell with pride (or maybe turkey) imagining many gallery openings that I would be attending, because what mother doesn’t want her son to be a famous artist?

Over Thanksgiving weekend, he created this masterpiece:

It’s a winning Mets guy. Great, right?  Except my mama scrutinized it and said “is he missing a nose or a mouth?” And my son said, “A nose. I don’t draw noses because they make people look stupid. I also don’t do ears.” That’s not weird, right? It’s an artistic choice. And I figure that he could charge extra for those features. Place your orders now, while the getting is good. And if you're anything like me, lack-o-nose is a big plus. And I mean BIG.



Blogger Lucy Filet said...

I'm all about artistic expression! It's whatever you think it means and people pay good money for that. This is why I am now changing my career from "Life Artist" to Jewelry artist.

That and Life Artist didn't make me any money. We'll see how jewelry works out for me. Writing sure doesn't.

December 1, 2008 at 5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as far as I am concerned, my kids can draw potato people forever and I am cool with it.

December 1, 2008 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Ann Imig said...

THAT is an awesome drawing and it made me happy to even look at it. I love all the detail in the background and that he used the whole page--the legs of the fans and skyline rock, as well as the "won" appendage coming out of his ear.

December 1, 2008 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger jmt said...

That pic is great! :) My kid gets the facial features, but we sometimes lack in a body....just head, arms, legs...but we always get the hair!!

December 1, 2008 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Fabulous! Maya often has to be reminded to add missing features but for her it's a developmental thing - if he's leaving them off on purpose then that's simply The Artist Expressing His Vision. (Like how it sounds all serious and shit because I put it in caps?)

December 1, 2008 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

That is FANTASTIC! And, I AM an expert on these matters.

December 1, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

The problem I have with that picture is the Mets guy is WINNING. Did he win by killing the opposing team with that giant hot dog he's holding?

xoxo, SG (who happens to be a Yankees fam)

December 1, 2008 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger The Grandpa said...

An artist who knows what he likes. Good start.

December 1, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that he already knows that he doesn't draw certain things.

My younger girl is really into art. Really really really really really into it. Unfortunately, she has some dexterity issues and her handwriting and drawing are a little delayed. Consequently, even though she pours herself into her art at school, her work is never chosen for the big all-city art show every spring and it breaks her heart. Apparently, the schools want Monets, not Picassos.

December 1, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Everyday Goddess said...

After seeing the Calder exhibit at the Whitney, I would say your son has a very good chance at becoming an income producing artist. I wouldn't expose him to any more art classes, they will ruin him.

December 1, 2008 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Green said...

I would display it on my 'fridge. Not being good in art, just means he'll be good in something else..

December 1, 2008 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Andy - Instafather said...

So did the school officials show you any examples of good kindergarten art? What the hell do they expect, "Starry Night"?

December 1, 2008 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger 2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs said...

OMG! Apparently I don't draw noses either. I just checked my stick figure family on my blog! All I can say is "a boy after my own heart".

December 1, 2008 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for a little Harry Chapin, I think.

December 1, 2008 at 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a cool drawing! My son also has a healthy disregard for all that is "expected" ... But I don't think modern art would be modern art with noses or ears (unless cut off and displayed in brine, of course) so hurray for our sons! They appear to be on the path to riches!

I am ashamed to admit that I do not know what the Mets do (Is it football? Well, I guess I will get hate mail now...) My first thought was that he was celebrating a future job at McDonalds. Relieved to see that a McJob is not major career aspiration :-)

December 1, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

At almost 35, I still don't do noses and ears. There's nothing strange about that at all!

December 1, 2008 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Funny - I immediately knew that the drawing was a winning Mets guy. I wonder what that says about me?

December 1, 2008 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Pseudo said...

It's awesome. What is up with elementary school these day? My son got a D in art in 4th grade. I can't remember his teacher's explanation for why she would crush a kid like that.

December 1, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now we get a lot of art that Landon supposedly did at school. I have a feeling that once his teachers stop doing it for him that his skills are going to go to shit.

December 1, 2008 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Sprite's Keeper said...

Three cheers for artistic license!

December 1, 2008 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

The real question is whether or not this blog will exist when he's old enough to read it...maybe you should put a URL block on your family PC.

December 1, 2008 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger SassyTwoSocks said...

This seriously just made my day. I think I like this little place called Motherhood in NYC, particularly because I live here too! I'm eying the next post "Whine and Roses" and wondering if it has anything to do with the winebar on Columbus. Here's hoping!

December 1, 2008 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Temple said...

Sounds like you have a little Picasso (who was also averse to noses...and ears...and generally placing any body parts where they are typically expected to be) or a young Jackson Pollock (circle, smirckle!) on your hands! Let him go with it...the world is too Wal-Mart cookie cutter these days!

December 1, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

A winning Mets guy ... that's some imagination! Sigh.

December 1, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


December 1, 2008 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Scary Mommy said...

That is too freaking cute. (And noses are stupid.)

December 1, 2008 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger shrink on the couch said...

Noses are tough, and ears run the risk of turning every rendition into Alfred E Newman. So I'd say your son is ahead of the game. Conserving his drawing resources for those details he is so good at, like cheek tags ("Won").

December 1, 2008 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Yolanda said...

he has standards. that's good.

but where'd he get them from?

December 1, 2008 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger La Belette Rouge said...

Noses make people look stupid! LOVE it!!!:-)

December 1, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

Dude. Your kid has more artistic ability than I do. And my ability to draw was never, ever questioned, like it probably should have been.

December 1, 2008 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's a great drawing. Noseless is great for kids too..nothing to pick.

December 1, 2008 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

I like your parenting style. You should write a book. Chill Out: they will figure it out.

Just find someone that is more creative in finding a title. I have nothing.

December 1, 2008 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

I also think noses make people look stupid. And I know at least one other pop star with the initials MJ who would agree...

December 1, 2008 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Ok i'm still laughing. Hilarious Post. And your son is brilliant!!

December 1, 2008 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Julia@SometimesLucid said...

American grandma - everything you do is beautiful
Russian grandma - he/she is my grandchild. They should be perfect so I will tell you when they are not.

December 1, 2008 at 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the fact that he drew a winning Met is more news worthy. The kid's got imagination.

:0) Ha.

December 2, 2008 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Grumpy but sweet said...

i like the artistic choices. very good. there's a boy who knows where it's at.

December 3, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Z said...

what I'm more concerned with is those wavy fingery things off to the right of the page. for some reason, those scare me. are they tentacles coming to eat the winning mets guy? or what?

December 3, 2008 at 1:24 PM  

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