June 15th, 2009

Did Monet’s Mom have Cotton Ball Santa Faces?


“Mommy, I made this for you.” Six words that strike fear in my heart.

I look up momentarily and see, in her shining 7-year-old glory, my daughter looking upon me with a toothy grin. She holds before her an offering— to others what must look like a nonsensical assortment (of what? Is that macaroni? dog hair? some glue? maybe some tissue? was that Kleenex used?) A masterpiece that she has poured her soul into, and it is the very symbol of her love for me.

Damn it.

Before you write me off as heartless please understand—the problem is not my lack of appreciation for my children’s efforts. Our walls are plastered with tadpole-like renderings of our family, tissue paper pumpkins, and the occasional “nature collage” of dried leaves and what I think used to be worms. Not only are our walls covered, but our drawers and closets overflow with the stuff. Therein lies the problem. We want to keep every token of their artistic expression, but we also want to keep our sanity. 

We’ve been reduced to shameless preventative tactics.

“What a lovely mobile, sweetie! You know who would REALLY love that? Nana. She was just telling me the other day how she wished she had more art depicting the lifecycle of a dragonfly.”

For now, we accept each piece with academy-award-deserving gratitude. From time to time, in the dead of night, we purge a piece here and there, trying to keep those items that best represent the phase of our children’s lives at the time. (A particular favorite is our daughter’s “poop” phase where she painted page after page with brown finger paint…at least, I think it was finger paint…)

Anyway, I know that there will come a time when there will be no more scarecrows and groundhog puppets that pop-up out of toilet paper tubes, and I know I’ll be glad we kept these tokens.

I’ll put them up on the wall in my room at the insane asylum.

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This Weeks Tip

When, like Becca, you make a week’s worth of “HotDish” (pasta bake) you’re going to need someplace to store it. But we all know what that red sauce will do to your plastic containers. We assume that if you wanted orange containers, you would have bought them that way. So try this: spray your containers with cooking spray before you load up the leftovers. No more stains!