Toddlers + Choices.... Yay or Nay?

Marni Kane

Does #artistmum automatically mean #artistdaughter? 

Budding artist, toddler painting, art smock, mini artist, mini me, making choices

As a relatively 'newish' parent I find one of the most difficult parts (yes there are lot’s but this is a blog post not a novel so we’ll stick to just one); is trying to give your child the freedom to explore their own likes and dislikes. 

In a world that seems to have become, well, for lack of a better term so 'bloody chaotic' that we are lucky to even find the time to feed and bath our kids between the maternal health appointments, drs appointments, form filling out, calls to centrelink regarding child care benefits, supermarket shopping, washing (oh the washing) trying to still fit in family and friends to pretend like we've still got our shit together (just to name a few.) Lets be real here, it’s just damn easier to more often than not encourage the little ferals, oops sorry Angels to do the things that we as their parents enjoy, as let’s face it - if she told me she wanted to bake a cake with me it would be the longest and most boring hour of my entire existence to date (or however bloody long it takes to bake a cake - don't judge, yes i really have no effing idea how long that shit would take!) 

So I personally have tried extremely hard as a mum not to ‘force painting on her’ - I mean just because it’s something that I love to do and have readily at hand due to my current occupation that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same for her.

I often only paint of a night when she goes to bed, so she isn’t constantly surrounded by it (or if I'm being honest ruining my paintings) and she has the freedom to chose when she wants to do it within reason (I mean I'm not setting up a canvas for her at 9pm or anything), as is the case for most children even without parents who are artists.

On a side note - I say most children because for all those non artistic parents out there, (I'm about to make an assumption here but lets just say its an educated one based on my friends with kids that fall into this category) I’m fairly certain that majority of you wouldn’t even consider letting your 2 year old play with paint at home due to the serious mess it would make??? Possibly not the excuse you give your toddler when they are watching play school saying mummy I want to paint.... but I'd guarantee its the reason going through your mind!

If you stayed with me up until now and you're nodding your head and slightly smiling at this point because you know that’s you I'm talking about - that you've come up with many a lame excuse as to why they cant paint today but really its just because you can't be arsed with the extra cleaning it will involve and you've got your mother-in-law popping in for 5 mins later so god forbid there's a blue hand print on the wall - then to you - YES YOU -  I strongly suggest you change that mindset - allow them to make the mess (with paints that can be cleaned with water and possibly in the shed or yard lol) and discover whether they enjoy it - or not - for themselves... It’s just paint! And even if it doesn't come off - its just a wall!

(Don't want more washing - give nude painting ago - they think its absolutely hilarious!)

So, despite me never forcing my love of painting upon little Miss nearly 3; who cant’t currently sit still at an activity for 10 minutes tops - she will however, once set up in her pretty animal art smock, with some paints and brushes, give this lucky mummy a good hour of wine time, oops sorry my bad - I meant peace and quiet time.

Does this make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, yep!

Would I love for her enjoyment for something the same as mine to continue, yep!

Do I secretly hope it doesn’t suddenly change to a passion for golf (yawn) like her daddy, yep!

Will I continue to, however painful it may be, explore what she wants to do until she finds what she loves, hell yep!

And why might you ask would I do this?

Well despite the fact that I’m possibly going to want to tear out my own eyeballs out at some point rather than sit through things on occasion that I’m certain I’m going to have to endure over the coming years. I personally would prefer that for myself for a short period, rather than my daughter not discovering what it is that she loves to do for a long period.

My passion for painting wasn’t discovered until a few years ago, I tried numerous activities over the years and never quite found the enjoyment or satisfaction out of them that others around me did. There were some I was good at, others I wasn’t. Some I liked, some I hated. But nothing even came remotely close to the enjoyment and almost calm in my life that painting brings me (thank fark for that 'cos I needed calming that's for sure).

I’m 100% certain that could my parents turn back the clock 30 or so years knowing what they do now, they would have glued a paint brush to my hand - it would have saved them a lot of sleepless nights, endless frustration and a whole heap of dollars over the years without question!

But we can’t turn back time, nor can we dwell on the what could have been's, we can however learn from it and ensure that we are giving our children, in amongst today's chaotic mess, the best opportunities we can to explore who they are and what they like.

We all know it would make things a hell of a lot easier, and as already mentioned everybody LOVES easy, if they just flew on out of us  (yes I'm very aware they don't just fly out but this is MY blog so a girl can dream) and just automatically loved what we do. But the cold hard truth is that they don’t - well some do - but most don't - they have absolutely no bloody idea what it is that THEY enjoy until they have tried it - whether we like it or not - it's our job as parents to give them every opportunity we possibly can to explore all things and not just what we like.

So despite the adorably cute little mini-me photo.......... does #artistmum mean #artistdaughter? 

I've got absolutely no idea! 

What I do know is that I'm probably going to have to sit through and listen to lot's of boring (to me) shit before I can find that out. And more importantly I know that I  will do that for her, for as long as I have to........

because she, as do all children, has the right to make her OWN choices about what she likes regardless of what I do (please don't let it be golf, please don't let it be golf, please don't let it be golf) - within reason - I'm still a mum - she ain't trying out lion taming or knife throwing any time soon - I still got some say ;)

Got a different opinion - good for you - the world would be just bloody boring if we all thought the same so feel free to voice it in the comments section - HOWEVER be warned this #artistmum has no time in her chaotic life for any form of aggression or bullying! There is a difference between having an opinion and just being an asshole - if your comment is deleted feel free to assume correctly that you have fallen into catergory 2 and start working on either yourself in general or possibly just your communication skills.... Just saying :)


AKA #artistmum AKA Marni

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