C and I had a colorful morning. We paper-machéd a jar to make a lantern (thanks to the directions of Be*mused) and then, while our jar sat to dry, we pulled out the magic markers. These are much fun and many colors and have I mentioned French, so their allure is strong and I was pretty quick about getting Caroline set to color a playground scene I’d drawn for her. Then I got absorbed into my own world of pens and paper. When I looked up again I realized she had colored in a one inch by half inch swing set - yellow, and quite thoroughly, but that was it. She was prepared to rework that swing and already the paper was nearly see through. I persuaded her to switch to a coloring book, to a picture of a train, and she took her yellow pen in hand, and then stopped.
She stopped because the picture had no yellow in it. Of course it didn’t, you might say, she hadn’t colored it yet, but what I mean is this - a lot of Czech coloring books have the picture on one page already illustrated, right next to the page waiting to be colored. Her illustrated train was blue, with pink wheels, and a black smoke stack. Yellow? No.
Czech kindergartens and her babysitters seem to put a lot of emphasis on coloring in the lines, and of not getting too loosie goosie with the colors. If Zdenek Miller colored his butterflies orange and brown, so should we all. Maybe this is good for hand-eye coordination and learning how to match colors, but I sometimes paint my skies apricot and my seas orange and I like to draw without thinking about it and for fun. So when I see her shoulders all wound up concentrating on getting something right, I don’t quite know what to say. She’s three after all and mostly acts rather than listens.
Caroline gave me the yellow (here you go mommie, your turn), picked up the pink and started to copy the pink train wheels into her picture, as careful as any three year old possibly could be. But try as she might, she accidentally filled in the white hubcaps on those wheels. Hm...she said, then shifted up to the already illustrated picture and used her marker to pink up its white hubcaps, and was done.
I decided to save my lecture on looseness for another day. The jar spent all day drying, while we went triking and roller blading and ate ice cream by the river. It is now a lantern alit outside my window, rather twinkly and blue.
Dining out for Life
13 hours ago