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So child number two came home from nursery with a veritable treasure trove of fine art ready to adorn the walls of any household with exquisite taste – oh hang on a minute, no, no he didn’t. He came home with a pile of half-finished scribbles that will enviably sit on the messy end of the dining table – the dumping ground – until we carry out the “art review”. This review takes the form of sorting through said pile of crap* and passing judgement. It can go one of two ways; they can either be added to the more popular “bin” pile or if they meet the minimum artistic/sentimentality requirements they will be added to the (reluctant) “keep” pile. I imagine this to be a very similar process to when the judges are shortlisting for the Turner prize.

Once judgement has been passed, the bin pile (AKA – most of it), will be discreetly placed into the ‘special filing cupboard’, usually with additional household waste immediately added on top so to act as a decoy in case one of the children try to be helpful and actually out some rubbish in the bin. Recycling has to take a back seat when it comes to a sensitive mission such as this (sorry planet etc.). The significantly smaller pile will then be transferred from the dining table to one of the “keep” storage boxes in the loft.

I imagine at some point there will be a further elimination round so only the strongest, most meaningful works of art (ahem) survive, ready for future generations to admire. After all, the selection process hasn’t always been so stringent. With all three children, we have marvelled and swooned over those first tentative brush strokes and celebrated the smudgy finger painting, concluding that we have managed to raise creative child prodigies. Hence, we end up with an abundance of their early work and less of the later period (when they had sold out). If you were to plot it on a graph it would look a bit like this:

Now, a single coloured line on a piece of A4 will not make the cut. I wonder if nursery can put in place a preliminary check, like the pre-auditions they do on The Voice and X-Factor so you don’t end up with too many awful singers on TV.

Still, child number one has now turned into quite a good little artist and he loves to sit and draw, although we are still at the stage where you can’t always assume to know what it is he is the drawing. You should always approach the artwork with caution:

It doesn’t always go so well.

When not drawing freestyle he likes colouring and we spend an inordinate amount of time printing out black and white pictures of super heroes. The other week he tried to print one out himself and somehow ended up printing a solid A4 sheet of black… does he not realise that printer ink is more expensive than gold!

Anyway, I digress.

I guess what we should be doing as parents is encouraging all forms of artistic expression whether that be finger painting, OCD colouring or just random squiggles, after all, occasionally something comes home that could pass as contemporary art – if it were mounted in a frame… in someone else’s house.

Just don’t get me started on Play-Doh.

*the spell check on my phone keeps changing ‘crap’ to craft… like it somehow knows…

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Dad to three mostly wonderful children… two boys aged 6 and 3 and a girl who has just turned 1 (depending on when you are reading this). For stats fans, there are 2 years, 7 months between child 1 and 2, and EXACTLY the same gap between child 2 and 3. Interesting fact. So life is pretty hectic but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I've wanted to get writing about my experiences for a while so I’d thought I’d just bite the (nerf) bullet give it a go – what’s the worst that could happen?

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