Little victories

Over the past seven days we managed to make or do four crafts. This is a record, friends. And most of them were surprisingly somewhat successful. It would help to point out that I define success as, “no one ended up in tears at the end.” Yes, things never turn out quite like I imagine they will, but for the most part, we had fun, and that’s what this whole effort is all about.

One of our scores at the library last week was this book:

I picked it up on a whim, thinking my oldest might like to attempt a few of the drawings. I’m never sure how he’s going to react to ideas like this. He either loves it (which is not very likely), or he decides that I’m trying to tell him how to do something in which he fancies himself an expert (which is highly likely). I figured, hey, it’s a free book from the library. If he hates this idea, or it frustrates the snot out of him, then I’ll simply return it and we’ll move on to something else.

With my oldest, I’m learning how to cultivate the fine art of making him think something I thought up was actually his idea. In most cases, if I push something on him (or beg/bribe/negotiate with him), he won’t do it. Victory with him often comes from little nudges and hints, or non-chalant suggestions. And I’m learning that I can’t ever, ever act too excited about something (which is soooooo hard for me). When that happens, you can just  fuggedaboutit. He ain’t moving.

After the book being under our roof a day or two, I slyly suggested to him (in the form of a question — another trick I find works well), “Hey, where’s that book from the library about drawing cars and stuff?” He went and found it, flipped open the pages and after a few minutes said, “Hey, there’s a fire truck in here. I want to make it!”

(Dearest Reader: You realize that the above scene would never have occurred if I would have gone to him, opened up the page with the fire truck on it and said, with LOTS OF ENTHUSIAM, “Buddy, let’s go draw this fire truck!!” Parenting ain’t easy, my friends.)

Bottom line, I truly underestimated how much fun he would have with this book.

It breaks down each vehicle into simple shapes. If your kid can even remotely draw a circle, triangle, rectangle and square, then he/she can draw these simple cars and trucks.

The first day he did the fire truck and train.

Over the next several days, he spent time at the kitchen table attempting new vehicles, loving every minute of it.

He cranked out a race car:

An ice cream truck:

And a dump truck (complete with dirt in the back):

I even got into the act and made a police car:

The best part of this whole experience was from earlier today. It’s Tuesday, and library day, which means normally this book would’ve been returned with our others from last week’s visit. This morning when we were gathering up our books and movies, I found the “You Can Draw…” book on the kitchen table. My son saw me pick it up and said, “Can we keep it? I still want to draw the semi-truck and the front loader.”

I just smiled and said, “Of course, buddy. That’s a great idea.”

With 77 days to go,

Leslee, the SurvivorMom

(P.S. The “You Can Draw” books have other great titles in their series, including You Can Draw DinosaursYou Can Draw FlowersYou Can Draw MonstersYou Can Draw Pets, and You Can Draw Zoo Animals.)