My kids are always drawing or coloring or writing something. And when they are done it always lays on the kitchen table for a while. And then I toss it. And usually I make sure that it's pushed way down underneath the coffee grounds, the onion peels, the junk mail and the other general household debris that makes it's way into our garbage can on a daily basis.
However, once in a while, I will accidentally toss the drawing into the garbage where it lands on top in plain view for little eyes to see.
And every time this happens I get busted! And then the artist pitches a huge fit. "How could you throw away my beautiful drawing? You always throw away everything I ever do!" (Which is completely untrue. And if you don't believe me, I can show you the Rubbermaid containers full of preschool crafts and old homework I have stashed in the basement.)
By the amount of wailing and moaning and foot stomping that ensues, you would have thought that I had thrown away the Mona Lisa. Or at least something that hadn't been sitting largely ignored on the kitchen table for over 4 hours.
So you would think I would have learned my lesson by now.
But no. Now I am taking my art-trashing skills to a whole new level. I am trashing other people's kids tiny masterpieces. Today at preschool, one of our students told me very sweetly that he was going to draw a picture for Nanny.
He sat down with the crayons, markers and a big blank sheet of paper and lovingly began working on his drawing. Fast forward to 30 minutes later when we were cleaning up to go home. I saw the drawing and thinking nothing of the abandoned artwork, I trashed it. And not only threw it in the trash, I wadded it up into a ball and completely crumpled it.
It was nothing against this sweet little boy and his Nanny, I was just cleaning up the room.
Fast forward 5 more minutes and the little boy is frantically searching the art table for his drawing. And then the panicked whining began. "Where's my picture? The one I drew for Nanny? Where is it?"
Oh crap, I thought to myself. I've done it again. I've tossed something that I shouldn't have. At first I tried to pretend I didn't know what he was talking about.
"What? Huh? Grab your backpack sweetheart. It's time to go home!" And then I flashed a big grin. Surely he will drop it if I flash a giant cheesy grin, I thought.
But the whining reached a fevered pitch and the tears were starting to well up.
I shot a desperate look to the head teacher and she jumped in with "Don't worry honey, we'll make TWO pictures for Nanny next week and they will be even BIGGER than the one you drew today!" And then she patted him on the back and led him away from the art table.
And just as quickly as the picture mattered, it wasn't so important any more. Because with preschoolers, size really does matter and bigger really is better.
Except when it involves cheesy grins!