Aug 092009

I’m not really too much of a neat freak. Anyone who’s been to my house can testify that there is clutter on top of clutter on the coffee table, painting shit & packing supplies all over the dining room table, and toys emerging from every furniture orifice. But the one thing that really gets under my skin is a messy-mess. Play-Doh, the way it leaves trails of little colored turds all over the house. Pudding, the way it never makes it into my son’s mouth and falls into wet puddles on his clothes and the floor. I know that I can clean him off when he’s done, but it’s excruciating for me to have to watch the mess unfold right before my obsessive-complusive eyes.

Yet for some stupid ass reason, I decided (OF MY ACCORD) to squirt some of my paint on a pallette, slide some canvas under Chooch’s nose, and let him go to town. It was funny, because he gingerly dunked his fingers in the yellow and then he kind of just stood there, watching me suspiciously, as if he was waiting for me to freak out that he had sullied himself with the Devil’s art supplies.

But I breathed in real good (Blue’s Clues taught us to stop, breathe and think. It works well for Chooch, but mostly I still want to slaughter a hamlet, collect the eyelids of the citizens for pinata stuffers, and steal their crops for one last kick in the nuts) and reassured him that it was not a trick, that I really wanted him to paint.

And paint he did, for a good hour. And while I feverishly ripped off great lengths of paper towels and stopped him every ten minutes to wipe him down, I was pretty proud of myself for letting him go at it without getting too tightly wound. (And I’m pretty tightly wound to begin with.) And I wasn’t even too stage-mom about it!



Doesn’t he look exhausted here? Like he’s my little Etsy sweatshop worker. MORE PURPLE, YOU LITTLE SHIT! MAMA WANTS AT LEAST $100 FOR THIS SO YOU BETTER MAKE THIS LOOK BETTER THAN A POLLACK!choochpaint3

As he would smear the paint into patterns, he’d walk me through his process.

“This is a road. And this is Kara, and she’s standing with Janna’s parents.” I would like to make a note that my friend Kara hasn’t lived in Pittsburgh for about a year and a half, and though Chooch barely sees her he still includes her in his stories and art. Even after she broke his heart by getting married last summer!  I’m not sure if she should be touched or terrified, to be honest. He’s also obsessed with peeing in Kara’s potty, so now I’m worried that he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer with a penchant for leaving his mark in the toilets of his victims.


“I can’t believe she’s not bitching at me for making a mess.”


He seemed to really consider where he wanted to place each color, which impressed me. He’s much more methodical about it than I am. I’m just kind of spastic. He’s going to be so much better than me at everything. (I hope, anyway. Mama wants a beach house.)

  4 Responses to “a fine mess”

  1. If you go to Babies R Us, you can find these really cool plastic sheets that are very sturdy and rewashable in the sink/tub/washer (on cold). I got one at a baby shower and it’s been awesome. At first I used it under their high chairs, but now for their art work (you think Play Doh is bad, wait until someone gives him Moon Sand. That shit is so invasive, you’ll wake up with a purple or green ass one day and then figure out Henry didn’t beat you in your sleep, the stuff emigrated to your bed – from the playroom on the other side of the house).

    Put Chooch in a button down shirt of Henry’s, they make great art shirts. He’ll need one for school, eventually. He’ll stay way cleaner.

    And the best part of creating masterpieces in summer, you can boot him outside and hose him down in the yard.

    My uncle was really artistic, and sadly, I can’t do much more than stick figures. I’m happy to see that while it skipped me, Bugbear is really coming along and he draws cartoons and stuff already. Given the nature of his PDD, it’s all good. A cartoon illustrator or comic book writer or artist will suit him perfectly.

    It’s so cool to watch kids create like Chooch did, and even cooler that he had a method. Bugbear tells me how he gets ideas and how things should go down on paper and it just blows my mind. See if Chooch will share the secrets.

    • Eve –

      Moon Sand is a BITCH! They make it look so neat on TV but meanwhile it shits itself all over everything. I bought it once. Big mistake! And not only was it messy, but it was ridiculously hard to work with too.

      It was really interesting to watch him and see that even though it looked like he was just smearing and slapping, there was something he was actually envisioning. And then he’d switch up the heavy-handedness for more gentle and precise strokes. Kids are so much fun to watch!

      Thanks for all the suggestions! I let him paint in the shirt he had on that day because it was one that Henry bought him, hahaha.

  2. i wanna seeeeeeeee what he painted!!

  3. I love the shot of his little hands on the canvas, all covered in paint. Precious.

    And if he’s making up stories about his painting, he takes after YOU!

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