It seems like it happened overnight. Abby’s frequent crayon and pen scribbles started to include circles. Soon the circles sprouted stick figure arms and legs and hair. But the faces are pretty recent additions to her art. And those cute little faces are my favorite part. The nose always seems to end up between the eyes, although a bit smaller, and the mouth is always a line that she goes back and embellishes with a circle at each end for “cheeks.” (I think she learned to make cheeks at preschool. She frequently says: “Oh, I forgot the cheeks,” which makes me laugh.) And now that she’s been to the pediatric dentist a couple times, she likes to draw teeth, too.
So given the way I eat up these precious little drawings, I admit it was a bit self-serving when I bought Abby and her little sister, Amelia, each a blank sketch pad and a new box of crayons for Valentine’s day. It was kind of a gift to myself in many ways because I so enjoy watching to see what happens when they put crayon to paper. I love observing the colors they select, the shapes they draw and listening to the stories behind the art. There’s always a story and that’s the fun part. (I always ask any child showing me their artwork to tell me about it. They get a kick out of sharing and I’m always entertained by the response.)
So, on V-day, Abby got to work filling the pages of her little sketchbook with these drawings she calls “happy monsters.” (We like happy monsters a whole lot thanks to “Monster’s Inc.” ) At the end of the day it was so fun to flip through the pages to see what she and Amelia had created. Amelia is still in the scribble phase but puts together interesting color combinations. And Abby has amassed a small collection of happy monsters in her notebook. I decided the monsters are too cute to stay in the notebook, so I decided to embroider them all on fabric and make her a little quilt. I know, it sounds like a big time-consuming job, but I don’t mind. I love basic embroidery and I really love using Abby’s designs. I mean, how can you not smile when you see monsters with “cheeks?” I’m having fun and Abby seems amused by our collaboration. Hopefully, I finish the quilt by the time she graduates from high school. : )
When I got home from work today, Abby showed me the story she “wrote” while I was away. The whole page was filled with wavy black lines of completely illegible pretend writing. I recognized it as the kind I used to fill notebooks with when I was a little girl who couldn’t wait to learn to read and write.
“I have to read you the story I wrote,” she said.
“Very nice, what is called?” I asked, looking over her paper.
“Old Mc-, I mean, Hello Kitty Had a Farm.”
I found this very amusing and asked her to say it again so Jeff could hear.
“That’s funny, Abby,” he said, as we all settled into the dining room table to eat the dinner I picked up on the way home.
Abby sang us a couple verses of “Old McDonald.” (There seemed to be an abundance of cows in this particular version.) We clapped for her and then went on with the meal. I could tell she was very pleased with herself. It was one of those pleasant moments when no one is crying or having a tantrum, the sort of moment you could live in forever if it was allowed.
I suspect I’ll be stitching Abby’s monsters for a good long time, but I love it, so that’s okay.
P.S. You people really love Anna Maria! Holy smokes, I’m buried in e-mail and looking forward to the interview. : )
P.S.S. I got my swap apron finished last night and plan to ship it out tomorrow after I snap a couple more pictures. Whew.