Saturday, July 17, 2010

Learning Experience

If you're reading this, I'm asking you a few questions.

Are you a parent?

Are you an aunt or uncle who is close to her/his niece(s) and/or nephew(s)?

Have you ever been amazed at the unlikely details that seem to pass down from one generation to the next?

I'm thinking of my son as I ask these questions. I don't know that it's accurate to call him a perfectionist. It IS accurate to state that if he doesn't achieve a goal close to what his parents can do (think, doodling polka dots or staying inside the lines while coloring); he is quickly frustrated and on the verge of tears. (Sidenote, I'm a mean Mom and am not phased by these tears anymore.) If he can't do it "right" then he wants to quit it all together.... He's also three, so in many ways I'm not surprised.

Furthermore, I'm not surprised because I see how he's a lot like me. I have this looming fear of personal failure. I was also blessed with a rich imagination; so I can determine what the worst-case scenario will be and decide I should never try so I don't have to face that fear. If you're asking, it doesn't exactly work out well for me. I'm working on that now.

Add to the mix, my son is a big fan of the Toy Story movies and characters. He's latched onto many phrases, including one from Woody in Toy Story 2 (when he's looking for his hat, I believe), "Oh, this is a disaster!" This is what he exclaims every time a project is not going according to plan. I'm left to remind him, "It's not a disaster, it's a learning experience."

Last week, he was very interested in recreating drawings of Gingee (the gingerbread man from Shrek); and,later, an alien from Toy Story. Both of these required him to practice his fine motor skills while learning how to draw a 1/3-inch polka dot (the gumdrop button) or simply coloring in the lines (the alien). He's learning and if he concentrates and gives himself a chance, he can start out pretty well. Then he gets excited and loses the motor control; resulting in a large scribble...and tears.... and a reminder that it's okay, that he's learning, that he'll get what he wants if he keeps practicing. In the mean time, I get occasional shots of frowny faces and outright tears. I also get to create scrapbook pages to serve as reminders for him always.

Very little in life is ever going to be a true disaster. Instead, it's going to be a learning experience.

I created this page with the help of the Thursday Sketch at Pages In Time. The large photo is of him pouting because I made him keep trying to practice coloring. The three smaller photos were of him being a total goofball; actually LOOKING at the page and seeing he was doing fairly well and finding surprises, too.

Until I run out of it, I have fallen madly in love with the Oliver line from Basic Grey. To my own surprise, I even like the stickers that came with the collection, so I used an arrow from that sheet to add the title at the top. The gears on the right are Cosmo Cricket; painted red. Evidently I had a gap issue so I added buttons inside the gears to fill them up. Thanks to the preferences of a scrappy friend, I even took the time to sew some thread through them....And as a little back pat for me, I even managed to guess correctly where to push the needle through coming up from the back of the page; didn't pre-pierce those holes at all!

Thanks for looking, and commenting if you so choose. I should have a couple more blogs in the week ahead, too. I'd like to share some more mail art pieces that are part of the Mail Art project at Pages In Time and another page or two. I've missed blogging and would like to get back into a more regular routine.


  1. Oh our boys would have such great fun together! John just turned 4 and is also a big fan of Toy Story (Buzz is his favorite) and drawing AND he's a bit of a perfectionist (which he gets from me). In the last year he's lightened up a LOT with the meltdowns when something isn't perfect. I'm assuming it's something they've been working on with him in preschool :)

  2. My son would most definitely love to play with yours! That's actually a part of Pre School I'm looking forward to! I used to teach so long ago, but there are some social skills that I just haven't figured out how to teach just yet; other than just regular exposure to a situation so he can practice what I preach.

  3. Such insightful journaling in your blog post--it also is a keeper in addition to your wonderfully scrapped pages that document these milestone moments.


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