The mind of a child is a very interesting place, and as a stay-at-home dad, you have the unique opportunity to get in there and look around quite often. As winter keeps us Minnesotans in a headlock, dads should consider a little artwork to pass the time.
Before you put too much energy into this, I have two pieces of advice: Don’t try to understand everything they draw because you’ll probably loose sleep, and don’t read too much into anything you learn because you might get scared.
Yesterday my 4-year-old son Jack and I sat down to do a little drawing of our family, and he drew his little brother with horns on his head. Granted, Sam is a bit impish in just about everything he does, but horns?
I asked Jack why Sammy had horns. He gave a wry smile and said, “He just needed horns, daddy.” Fair enough, I guess. I had to resist the urge to inquire whether Jack thought Sam was evil because it’s very possible Jack doesn’t know our societal stigma of horns.
Then we drew pictures of his favorite animals. I expected a puppy, a kitty, or even a whale since he’s been really into fishing lately. But Jack drew a cow “because it has spots,” a camel “because it has a hump,” and a pig “because it has a wiggly tail.”
He also drew his favorite food (a bunch of colored circles that represented fruit snacks), and an entire page of orange scribbles for his favorite color.
Throughout this exercise, I learned that my son is a very creative and expressive child. He’s not the best artist, but that’s not the point. We giggled the entire time we drew together, except when we were both trying to keep Sam from eating the crayons.
I like to have Jack draw at least once a week because a child’s memory is fickle, and what he or she draws one day will probably be very different the next. For example, Jack’s favorite color last week was green, and he’s also been fond of blue and red in the past.
If nothing else, doing artwork regularly with your child will give mom something to put on her office wall.