The one about arts and crafts

25 Mar

There are two phrases that drive me into a bathroom cubicle, stationary cupboard or even receptacle for the storage of cleaning equipment in order to compose myself and return to a state of normality.

The first is “The invitation to tender has just been received”.  The second is “Mummy, can we do some painting”.

Painting occupies the Ls for approximately 10 minutes.  At this point a minimalist approach to the rinsing of the brushes makes every colour dank grey, interest is lost, and the project abandoned.

Unlike what seems to happen every time zoos leave paintbrushes in the hands of primates, we don’t get something to be flogged for £5,000 on Amazon after the event, and the process inevitably leaves me with a scene reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous ‘Vision of Hell’ painting with way more than 10 minutes clean-up to return the scene to normal.

I feel bad about this reaction, really I do.  As per usual it is fundamentally selfishness that drives me to try and prevent painting.  Something else that I need to ‘deal with’ domestically after the event.  I know that creative expression is a critical part of children’s development and believe me, we come up with entire imaginary worlds in plenty of other media.

But this particular avenue of creative expression seems like maximum effort for minimum gain.  They don’t even, particularly, appear to enjoy it.  A needling part of me suspects that they only ask to do painting because they know that the concept and the execution and particularly the aftermath all conspire to wind me up to fever pitch.

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