Monday, March 16, 2009

Portrait of the artist

Adriana loves to draw. The MagnaDoodle I bought last fall for a long car trip was a fantastic investment, and crayons and paper can occupy her for a long time--she often sits in the kitchen and draws while I fix dinner in the evenings, and when we flew to Florida last month, she spent more time drawing on the flights (and in restaurants and in her great-grandfather's house) than pretty much anything else.

She'll bring one of us her MagnaDoodle, or hand us a crayon when we're sitting with her while she draws, and ask for a picture of a flower, a monkey, or herself. Brian and I are not exactly artists, but our skills are enough to impress a two-year-old. But I found it frustrating to constantly get these requests. Even if we were sitting together, and I wasn't using the crayons to occupy her so I could get something else done, I wanted her to be the one drawing. Who cares if she can't draw a cat? She can scribble, right? So I draw her the giraffe she asks for and tell her to put on the stripes, or make the main part of the requested 'A' and she can put the line through the middle. But then she is back, asking me to draw a picture of her in her flower shirt holding her baby doll, or a monkey holding a balloon in a tree. 

Now I think all that watching was good for her. On Saturday night, Brian's parents babysat while he and I went out to dinner. When we got home and were sitting around talking, Adriana got out her MagnaDoodle and began to draw. er scribbles have changed a great deal over the past few months. Instead of covering a piece of paper in one color, she changes color often (making sure to tell me with each change what color she is using). She went from short little marks to longer scribbles to very specific little "designs"--she makes rows and one-inch high scribbles, for instance. But now we were seeing another change. She carefully used the "pen" to make a potato shape and drew a lot of lines coming out from it. Then she erased it and as she started again, I asked her what she was drawing. "Ana," she said. And there was the potato shape again. She drew two squiggly lines out from the side. "Arms," she told us and then "Wegs," when I asked her about the two squiggly lines that came from the bottom. The two lop-sided circles inside the top of the potato were eyes, of course. And then she made a similar, smaller drawing right beside her--her baby, she told us. 

It's such a funny little milestone, and yet it was the one I've gotten most excited about in a while. Putting on her own socks and shoes is quite nice, but this, to me, showed more than just an improvement in her coordination. It somehow made her seem more grown up, in spite of her footed pajamas. 

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