Sunday, February 3, 2013

Katie's Kid Art: A House by Katie Carleton

Katie sat alone at the table and announced, "I'm going to draw the inside of a house" while I attempted to scramble her an egg.    Will was off to work already, so it was just us two.  I'm glad she decided to draw something with a lot of detail since breakfast would not be served anytime soon.  I had to wash the frying pan first.  My least favorite thing about cooking is always having to first wash the dishes I never got around to doing the day before.  I spent more time searching for the spatula than it would have taken to just wash the pile of dirty dishes it was under.  By the time I was ready to crack an egg, Katie said, "Come see, Mama!"

Mama?  Ooooh, I hardly ever get one of those anymore from my big first grader.  I had to stop everything and go see.

"Ooooh, nice," I said.  "Tell me all about it."

"Well, it's a house," Katie explained.  "And up at the top is the baby asleep in the crib."

"Is that a mobile above the crib?"

"Yes!" She exclaimed.  Katie likes it when I ask questions.  "It has things dangling on it so the baby can go--"  She demonstrates by staring off into space with her mouth hanging open.

"Ah, yes, I see.  And who is that on the next floor?"

"That is the mom and the dad.  They are asleep because it is night time.  And on the next floor is the sister and the brother.  They are twins.  They are asleep too," Katie explained.  Her diction becomes very precise when we're going over the details of her art work.

"I like the stars," I remarked while Katie took a breath.

"Yeah," she continued.  "And then on the next floor is the brother.  He's playing Final Fantasy 2."

"Is that his little sister?"

"No, that's a doll."  Katie shook her head and smiled like, duh, Mom.

"Is the doll playing Final Fantasy 2 also?" I poked my finger into her ribs.

"No!"  She flinched.  "That's the twins' doll." 

"And who is the person on the first floor?"

Katie kept an eye on my hands, leaning back slightly as she explained, "That's the sister.  She's watching TV."

"I see."  I shoved my hands into my pockets to show I intended to behave myself.  "And is that a dog house outside?"

"Yes!  That's the mama dog and the daddy dog and their seven puppies!!!"

"And what's this over here on the left side?" I asked.

"That's their van."

"Wow, does it hold their entire family?"

"Yes!  And the puppies too!"

"Wow, that's awesome, Punk."

"Thanks."  Katie laid the picture down and rested her hand on her belly.  "Mom, I'm hungry."

I hopped up and walked to the stove.  "Oh yeah.  Let me get your egg scrambled."

I looked down at our little skillet and smiled.  I used to daydream of having a big family too.  Like Katie, I'd draw pictures of my pretend family.  There were always ten children.  I couldn't fathom ever having just one.  But my ovaries wouldn't cooperate and so I ended up having just one.  I was sad about it for many years.  But now I thank my rebellious body.  As challenging as it is for me to feed one child breakfast by noon, I think maybe my ovaries know me better than I know myself.  If I had ten kids, they would surely starve to death.  And even worse, when would I have time to sit down with each of them to admire the detail of their art work?

"Hey, where's the kitchen in that house?" I called out from the stove.

"Right here," Katie held up the picture and pointed.  "Where the sister is watching TV."

Oh, whew.  That's the bad thing about details.  Sometimes I over-think them.  If I actually had ten kids I wouldn't have time to worry about whether or not their house drawings have kitchens in them and if they don't is that some kind of commentary on my lack of culinary skills? Parenting an only child has its perks and is great for an easily distracted introvert like me, as long as I don't self-indulge in the details.