Drawing Conclusions

August 13, 2008

Yesterday when it was time to go to the park, it was raining, so I decided to give the kids crayons instead. Previous crayons sessions have not been very successful: the twins know how to scribble, but prefer to stock and trade the crayons, and tear the sketch book.

First, I was impressed to see that as soon as I asked them if they would like the crayons, they both headed off towards the cupboard where the crayons are kept, as though they knew exactly what I was talking about. They could hardly contain their excitement when I handed them the tattered and torn box of crayons and the sketchbook. Mrini even pointed out that she would rather sit on the carpet than the cold floor.

Having settled themselves, Tara grabbed the sketchbook, while Mrini cornered the crayon box and tried to extract a crayon from it. She was trying to pry it out with her fingers, so I suggested that she just upturn the box. She tried, but not enough, so I upturned it for her and the crayons all came tumbling out. Surprise, surprise: that was not what she wanted. She meticulously picked up each one of the 16 crayons and put them back in the box.

Tara, meanwhile, had been turning the pages of the sketchbook. Most of the pages were either blank, or full of meaningless scribbles, so it wasn’t until she reached the very end that she found a page with some text and pictures on it – insructions on how to draw a face, if you please. It was upside down. She looked at it for a minute. Then she said “ulta” and turned the book the right way round! How on earth did she know?

Mrini fished out a few crayons and gave them to Tara, who scribbled for a bit. Mrini was trying to get a particular colour out of the box and it wasn’t coming. I said, “What colour do you want?” and she said, “Yellow.” I was mighty impressed. They have been saying the word colour, but I didn’t think they knew what it meant. And I have been trying to tell them names of different colours, but I didn’t think they had learnt.

Anyway, so then I asked her, “Shall I help you?” and she replied with a resounding “no” and scurried off.

A few minutes later, she got frustrated, flung the whole lot of crayons far and wide, and threw herself into my lap wailing loudly. Once the wailing subsided, she got up, gathered all the crayons in her fist, found she couldn’t hold all sixteen at once, flung them far and wide and… you guessed it… threw herself into my lap wailing loudly. This went on for several iterations, till she decided to gather the crayons and put them in my hand instead. Then she started picking them out of my hand and… sigh… back to step one above.

At the end of a 20 minute session, there were crayons all over the floor and under the furniture, the crayon box had been further wrecked, the sketchbook had been largely ignored, and Mrini had used up about half a dozen of her stock of tantrums. Naturally, nobody had done much drawing. Doesn’t look like there’s a budding artist amongst these two, does it?

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