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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Drawing conclusions about your kid

For decades, if not hundreds of years, there’ve been people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the mind of a child.  (I cannot imagine the horror or frustration of this line of work.)  One of their findings is that a child’s early drawings speak volumes about how they view their parents. 

Sometimes the mommy is drawn much larger than everyone else in the family indicating a stronger presence in the child’s life (i.e., Mommy wears the pants).

I guess the hope is that you don’t get drawn with an angry face or wild and crazy hair indicating your kid sees you as mad all the time or in need of a makeover.

This is how Jake drew the two of us.

So here’s what I can glean from this I suppose.  In Jake’s mind, we are equals.  I have no more power, authority or physical strength over him than he has over me.  He does not look to me for guidance, knowledge or skill because he possesses every bit that I have.  We are an even match on a level playing field with no advantage over the other.

Yeaaaaah-- this sort of explains a lot about events in our household when I flex my muscle and tell him no.

I guess I should consider myself lucky that he didn’t draw us like this.

Of course, the other theory is that at Jake’s age, equal size stick figures are the only size he’s capable of drawing.  

But you know what?  I kinda doubt that.


Here's the drawing, which is actually a painting.  But at least I know he loves me given the hearts that float above our heads - even though I helped him draw the hearts and it was my suggestion to begin with.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Resolving problems with Parental Correctness

Each day I pick up Jake from school, I ask what was good about his day.  And also if there was anything bad.  (There’s always bad.)

Today, he starts telling me about the good part -- he played football with his friends in the play yard and his team won.  I’m not sure what qualifies as “won” for 4-year-olds who play football but I’m guessing it probably involves one kid illegally stealing the ball from another kid and running a few feet before falling down.  I’m also happy to report that there was at least one girl on each team of three. 

Then Jake starts to tell me about the bad thing that happened today.

For a moment I get confused.  I start to wonder if this is a separate bad thing or if it’s connected to the football game.  

Glad we settled that.

It’s my experience, however, that when Jake is, ahem, fabricating a story, his eyes dart away momentarily.  (Window to the soul.)  By reviewing the above drawings you’ll conclude, as I did, that his “beautiful” Jingle Bells rendition probably went down like this:

On the plus side, it must be true that he scores points during games.  Or at least he thinks he does.

I have no evidence that Jake nearly impaired a kid’s hearing at school today.  It’s a hunch.  But if true, I feel for Zachary.  A kid screaming Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs in your face a month after Christmas?  If that’s not a solid ten on the annoying scale, I’m not sure what is.  But without proof, I keep it all to myself.

I have just resolved my preschooler’s problem while maintaining Parental Correctness.  I think I’m going to drop a line to Parents Magazine.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Last stop before Dreamland

My favorite time of the day is Jake’s bedtime.  Not because it means my job is over and I’m about to get ten minutes to myself (although that's a huge perk) but because it means that Jake has reached the point when he’s too tired to resist my bear hugs, kisses and cuddles.  Not that he's anti-affection during the day.  Those .05 second hugs are great but I need more than that.  

Jake goes down for bedtime very easily.  No struggles, yelling or resisting.  He saves that for other key points during the day: teeth-brushing, getting dressed, giving up the iPad.

So we snuggle up in his bed and cuddle and within minutes he’s asleep… but not before he gets one last thought off his chest while drifting between worlds of consciousness.  It might be a question.  An observation.  Or a preschool pearl of wisdom.  But whatever it is, once said-- it’s off to Dreamland.

Here are several of these gems, each on a different night.  You might want to catalog a few for future reference.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another holiday season grinds down

Turn out the lights, the holidays are o-vah.  That means I can check a few things off my To-Do List.

1. Set budget for presents then totally ignore it during huge “sale” at Toys r Us.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A new Christmas tradition

Last night while Jake's grandparents were in town for Christmas, we decide to go drive around and look at Christmas lights.  (You can only watch "The Polar Express" so many times.)  I have this great idea to go out to Woodland Hills and see "Candy Cane Lane" - a neighborhood with holiday lights on steroids.  What perhaps started with one neighbor trying to outglow another neighbor has become an annual multiple-block festival of lights that thousands caravan through every year.

We start our journey with a different festival of lights - brake lights - because even though it's December 26th, everyone in L.A is apparently sick of watching holiday movies and has taken to the road.

What should be a 15-minute jaunt turns into a 35-minute snarly commute.  But we press on.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Getting carded holiday style

Sometimes when you work in the Entertainment industry, the holiday card you send out every December is not just a holiday card, it's your calling card.  Your resume.  Your portfolio.  You're ticket to employment.  That is, if it's funny.

That's what my friend Katy McCaffrey (who's definitely funny) at If You Must Know has been dealing with as she carefully plans each year's card.  Because she doesn't like to show her family's faces on her blog, she asked me to draw her holiday cards from the past few years for her blog post because with my rudimentary drawings, Katy's family's anonymity is 100% guaranteed.

Here's one of her cards.   Click over to her blog to read the full post.

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