The Nugget Chronicles: Tiny Artist

One of the things that Nugget got for Christmas is one of those Magna Doodle things. You know what I’m talking about, and, if you don’t, I’ll wait while you search the internet for a good description.

Okay, back? Awesome. Anyway, as I stated above, Nugget got one of those for Christmas. She got it from her grandfather, largely because the last time she’d seen him, she’d played with one and thought it was just about the coolest thing in the world. Now, I’m pretty heavily in favor of it as well, because, well, this means that she gets plenty of opportunity to work through her eager “draw on things” phase, and does so in a safe way. Plus, she’s figured out how to erase it all on her own, so she’s almost as happy wiping the slate clean as she is coming up with her works of art. Sure, they may just look like random scratches on the pad for now, but I can see a budding modern artist brewing happily away.

Honestly, one reason I love this particular gift for Nugget so much, aside from the creative outlet it’s giving her, is watching her use it with HawtWife. For those that don’t know, between the adults in this house, there is one who is clearly a visual artist, and one who is very much not. I fall heavily into the category of “not”. Don’t get me wrong. I like trying to do things visually. I’m just not that good at it. I often joke that I can’t really make a stick figure look like a stick figure, which is one of the big reasons I never went into cartooning. That isn’t to say that I don’t have skill. When I was a kid, I used to be able to take someone else’s created images and create an enlarged version of them by hand. It’s the whole “free drawing” thing that I’m not great at, so I tend to avoid doing so. But HawtWife is gifted in the visual arts, so she can draw things for Nugget on the Magna Doodle and come out with the image looking like what she actually intended. Is she drawing a lion for Nugget? It looks like a lion. Faces? They are recognizably person-like. Feet are weird, but, well, feet are always kind of weird, let’s be honest.

Because of this, when I see Nugget crawl into HawtWife’s lap and get a series of different drawings of things, all of which Nugget points at with glee to find out what they are, it warms my heart so much. I’m overjoyed to see that connection between mother and daughter, and I’m also filled with hope that, one day, Nugget might actually have a smidgen of artistic talent that she can use for whatever she chooses.

When she sits with me, on the other hand? Well, let’s just say that once she starts art classes in school, it isn’t going to be too long before there’s confusion over which piece of “art” was mine, and which was hers. I’m fairly certain that HawtWife will erroneously put something up on the fridge, thinking that it’s clearly our daughters, having rescued it from the trash before I have to humbly admit that I’m the one who created the terribly proportioned stick-figure family.

That said, there are apparently a couple of things that I’ve been able to draw that Nugget has actually recognized, which floored me (especially since one of the words isn’t one she says often). The first time I drew her an apple, she pointed and said “appu”, which was pretty darned cool. I then followed up by drawing a pretty poor banana, to which she pointed and said “nana”. She recognized the terrible pictures I was trying to draw, and got the message pretty strongly. I was even starting to feel a little bit better about my ability, so I thought I’d move on to drawing her some grapes, and see what she thought.

She looked at me blankly, like I had just done something terribly wrong. She then waited until HawtWife came home from work before wanting the Magna Doodle again.

That blow to my artistic ego aside, I do feel that I have to point out that it’s not like she no longer asks for me to draw her pictures on the Magna Doodle. It’s just that now, I’m not so certain that her laughter is anything more than taking joy in the fact that Daddy isn’t good at something. Wait until she gets a little older, and starts finding out everything else Daddy isn’t good at.

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