grumpy about my child’s art

Some time ago I admitted that one of the great joys of parenthood is hanging awful art on my living room walls. I usually can find my way to enjoying my kids’ crappy productions, but to my great delight lately Jesse has shown talent — i.e., some of her recent art not only doesn’t suck; it’s actually really good. But she likes to work with pencil these days and she’s stretching her chops, trying new things, exploring different ways to use lines and scribbles to build forms and compositions. Which means she’s back to sort of sucking. Or, from another perspective, she’s gone, uh… abstract.

Last week she came home with an enormous origami fortune teller. I remember making them as a kid out of a piece of 8×11 paper. My friends and I would put numbers on the outside and the inside, and tawdry little messages fit for a fortune cookie on the undersides of the inner flaps. We’d play with them at recess, and much girlie giggling would ensue.

Jesse’s must have been made out of a piece of poster board. I held it up and eyed it.


What the heck did she draw all over it?? Jesse doesn’t do random scribbles. She’s always trying to draw something. So I took a closer look at each of the four panels.

Panel 1:


Hmm. Butterflies?

Panel 2:


What’s that yellow thing? What’s the blue and red coming from off-screen? Maybe… a bunny rabbit being attacked by an arrow…?

Panel 3:


Huh. That could be a lot of things, like a flower, or a telescope, or, well… a boob?

Panel 4:


Yup. Definitely boobs.

Jesse drew two boobs, a rabbit about to be stabbed by an arrow, and butterflies.


I tried to be nonchalant when I asked Jesse what was up with her fortune teller. She explained it to me, orienting it correctly.


Those are eyeballs, and it’s a creature.


It’s opening it’s mouth now. Jesse demonstrated.

The eyeballs still look like boobs to me.

I’m thinking maybe Jesse could do with some art lessons.