Monday, November 25, 2013

The Artist Known as Abby

Among the various lovely things that Abby got for her birthday, she received some art supplies in the form of paper, paint, a drop cloth, and a smock. I've been holding off on making them available to her because the last thing I wanted in the middle of an already-messy activity was to have to deal with a potty mess that occurred because we didn't have the training down yet. However, as she proved herself more and more capable of keeping track of her own needs, I began to encourage her by talking about the "big girl" things that we could do together once we learned to use the potty.

On Sunday, she finally asked me, point-blank, if she could use her paints, and she's been doing so well lately that I couldn't say no. She requested the blue paint and the blue-handled paint brush, and was instantly mesmerized.

She didn't seem to know quite what to do with the paint, however, apart from totally coating the surface of the paper. When she got a chance to try her hand with purple later in the afternoon, she approached it in basically the same way. However, she did identify what she made that time: a purple cloud.

Today, she wanted brown, so while Michael was sleeping I got her set up.

I marveled at how quickly she seemed to have caught on as she rationed the paint more carefully this time. She started off with single strokes, attempting to make numbers. "This is a one," she said. "This is a two, a three." She managed the straight line required for one, but was only guessing at the others, so I guided her hand all the way through to ten. She loved it.

Then, she totally painted over what we did.

However, she didn't let the color saturation stop her from experimenting again. Over top of an overly-generous layer of paint, she drew a circle above a line. "Ten," she said. "Almost," I corrected. "The one should be before the zero. But, you know, that looks like a person."

"A person?" She was intrigued, then excited. As I watched in awe, she added an arm on either side. Then, before I could take a picture, she began scribbling again. I was momentarily disappointed, but let her do her thing. Then, she explained.

"Hair," she said.

And- wouldn't you know it- that's just what it looked like.