Monday, 12 October 2009

Learning to draw

The boys seem to be pretty settled at their nursery now. They trot in no problems and seem to have quite a good time. Certainly they both enjoy the social aspect of nursery and playing with other kids.

I have no idea what they do there every day. I know the basic structure of the morning. Arrival is followed by 'morning meeting' where they do something educational, then a bit of play and lunch and I pick them up shortly after lunch has finished. All well and good then.

What happens in the 'morning meeting' I have no idea. From what I can tell, the children sit in a circle and the teacher teaches them something. It often seems to involve the teacher with lengths of coloured thread and hoops. It seems to me to be quite a formal way of teaching these nursery kids, but this is the way it is done here.

I also have no idea how often the boys do things like painting, messy play, building blocks and all those things that I thought nurseries did. Every time I ask Adam what he did today he says 'nothing'. Now this might mean nothing, or it might mean 'nothing that I want to tell you about, but we did go to the park and I did play with Armin and Amar and I have paint on my jumper so I obviously did something'.

For a little while I used to ask Adam what the other children did which elicited more information. I don't know if that meant that he didn't join in with the activities that the other kids were doing, or that question jogged his memory in ways that the more straightforward 'what did you do' does.

I've asked the nursery staff, and even been in with a translator just to make sure that I fully understood the conversation. I still don't have much of a clue what they do in 'morning meeting' or during the rest of their time there. They say that he is an active part of the class, is well liked and talks with other children but not with the adults (normal apparently for those children learning to speak another language in somewhere like a nursery). Whether this is true or not I have no idea.

Either way, both boys leave nursery like a cork out of a champagne bottle. I suspect that they have spent so long being good, sitting quietly and behaving themselves that when I pick them up they are ready for some serious running around screaming at the top of their voices outside action. Usually this is exactly what we do. I try to run them into the ground.

However, I have noticed that there is little interest from either boy in sitting down and doing crafty type stuff. This hasn't really bothered me much up until now. Boys will be boys, they have been inside all morning and I need to give them a good bit of fresh air. Suddenly however, I am very aware that were we in England Adam would be at school. All the other kids are learning stuff and I need to start thinking about what I can do to make sure that Adam fits in easily to school when we return to England.

So we've been trying out some drawing. Not for us the pretty pictures of people smiling. Oh no. We were stuck in the snail phase for months. One big twirl and then 'finished Mummy!' and off to cause chaos somewhere else. More than one colour was an absolute No No. Entreaties to 'draw Adam at the park' or 'draw the knight fighting the dragon' were ignored as another snail swirl appeared. Recently we moved from the snail phase to the monster phase, which basically looked like the pictures he was drawing when he was about 18 months, but with more colours. I've tried not to worry about it too much, smiled, posted the drawings on the fridge with pride and played the waiting game.

On Friday we sat down to draw some cards for a few birthdays that are coming up. 'Lets draw a picture of Grandma' I said, out of habit more than expectation.

'Ok!' said Adam. He thought for a bit. Then he said 'I'm going to draw a picture of Mummy and Daddy'.

'That would be lovely' I said, but didn't hold out much hope. He's started out this way before, and Mummy inevitably turns into a fire breathing monster. I try not to read anything into this.

But blow me down with a feather. My little boy who has previously not drawn anything that ever looked like anything that one might recognise produced this!

A picture of Mummy and Daddy holding hands. Daddy has the big head and Mummy has the long legs (my boy, you can draw me anytime you like if you think my legs look like that!). Ok, so we might be lacking in bodies, but look at those smiles! To say I was thrilled is an understatment. I was heart stoppingly, dance on the spot, want to kiss the nearest passer-by, delighted. I'm going to frame it and put it by my desk. Just to look at it makes me grin like a looney.

All that time he was working out how to do it, and then when he was ready, he just went straight ahead and drew it.

I reckon he'll be ok when he gets back to England, so I'm going to stop worrying and get on with enjoying.

As it happens Tara at Sticky Fingers has also just published a post about her 4 year old daughters picture of her and invited comments and started a meme to get other Mummy portraits up. If anyone else wants to join in then feel free.


Catharine Withenay said...

It's a lovely picture - no worries there!

I love it when my children surprise me like this. All of a sudden they are spouting something new and incredible and I wonder where on earth they got it from. It is fab being a mum!

Mwa said...

Very cute! I have one waiting to be framed as well.

TheMadHouse said...

How wonderful, boys are just a little later at drawing pictures. Thjis is a great post about this type of drawing

Josie @Sleep is for the Weak said...

Oh that's adorable!! Definitely frame worthy. Sounds like your boys are doing just fine :) xx

London City Mum said...

FM - Lego may be the answer! With my 2 boys (now 6 and 4) as well as their sister (aged 5), they are absolutely enchanted with 'building' anything - they come up with some amazing concoctions - and can spend an hour or even two playing with this. Keeps them sitting relatively still too for a while.

Not sure if you have tried this, or I may be teaching you to suck eggs ;-)


Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Great pic, I love those sort of surprises. My daugher still, aged 5 draws everyone with a tummy button (presumably this means they are wearign no clothes) But I love it, seems such a sweet, bizarre detail.
I have also learnt to say "tell me about your picture" Otherwise invariably I compliment them on a fantastic drawing of Granny only to be withered with a look & told "that's a tree mum"

Nobby and Me said...

Lovely drawing. Nice legs! My boy's first drawings of people all had enormous nostrils. He was the one with all the colds and allergies and couldn't breath through his nose properly till he was 4... Don't knock it, they notice things.

Have you tried drawing on the computer? My son used to sit on my lap while I showed him CBeebies etc then one day he grabbed the mouse off me (he was 2) and he's never given it back.

MuddynoSugar said...

Lovely - your child is clearly talented as they have given you both arms and children, not so much!

Ellen said...

Wow that is a lovely picture - I wish someone would draw my legs like that as well!

whistlejacket said...

That's a really lovely happy picture - one for the wall! My son has drawn me for Tara's challenge. The results are not great, will post it shortly. I know what you mean about them not telling you what they do at nursery. My son rarely tells me what he does at pre-school. He might say 'I played' and that's it.

Kelly said...

That picture made my heart beat faster. I will be so excited to see my first Mummy portrait, it's a way off yet, but something to look forward to.

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Where did my comment go? Oh hang on a minute I think I posted it on BMB instead. Damn.
Basically I said you jammy jammy jammy sod. Why do you get long lean legs on the first attempt and I get the body of a balloon?
Anyone else taking part in this had better have worse pictures than me or else I will sulk!

nappy valley girl said...

That's gorgeous. He is very good!

Like you I don't think little boys have much patience with drawing but when they really want to do something, they can come out with great stuff.

NB the boys do 'circle time' in their nursery too - it seems to be an American thing, along with 'Show and Tell'....

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

CW - It is fab being a Mum. I was so delighted. He's now drawn one of the whole family, I'm thinking of posting that one up too!

Mwa - I think we have to frame them, otherwise they'll get destroyed and they are too wonderful to be put away.

MH - Thanks for the link. Boys seem a little later at doing everything except climbing really high and giving their mother a heart attack.

Josie - I do worry, but this just reminds me to stop worrying. They are doing just fine.

LCM - We've got some Duplo which they love, but tend to use to make guns and then run screaming around the house... I should try Lego though. Christmas is calling.

Paradise - Bless! Good tip on the question front too, I've had a few of those.

Nobby - Pretty pleased with my legs. Your poor little lad. CBeebies drawing is good, Adam loves it. Luke never gets a chance with the mouse as his big brother hogs it all.

Muddy - he drew one today with no arms. Didn't need them apparently.

Ellen - pretty pleased with the legs! Nothing like in real life sadly.

WJ - Looking forward to seeing it. How is it at 4 they already know how to reply 'nothing' to your questions about what they did today?

Kelly - it is a really special moment. Piran will be there before you know it!

Tara - saw your comment on BMB. I'm loving the legs, the smile and the big head on Daddy. Heh heh heh!

NVG - no idea what my two get out of the circle time, but I'm impressed nursery can get them to sit down for it!

Ju said...

I loved this post. Firstly because when I ask my girls what they did all they in nusery/school they sometimes say ' nothing' like your boys do. Made me laugh.
Secondly, I adore kids drawings, no matter how "good" they are. (I often post pictures of my girls' drawings too).
And your boy's picture of mummy and daddy holding hands is the sweetest thing; not surprise you are thrilled:)

Iota said...

I think you look lovely.