Last year on Father’s Day, E was almost seven months old. I popped her into the pram, and walked around to a local shop where you can paint ceramics, and the lovely lady smeared her hand with paint and printed it onto a picture frame. I added some detailing, and it stands as a lovely memento of his first few months of fatherhood.
This year, I have had to be more creative. These days, E enjoys painting under her own steam. She often recognises and chooses the colours she wants and is beginning to experiment with different marks, such as dots, lines and arcs. She loves to paint, and will happily spend ages with a brush, carefully surveying the canvas and bringing her world to life, with a well placed daub of paint.
Painting is not a remotely clean and tidy activity in this house. It’s messy and gets everywhere! Mummy cleans the floor, the doors and sometimes even the walls when E has been painting, but she finds it an incredibly satisfying experience. In time, I know she will learn to keep the paint to the paper, and her paintings will slowly become more detailed as her fine motor skills increase.
We’ve always been interested in sensory play of one form or another, whether it’s seeing the light playing through water blocks, or making a drum using a biscuit tin and a spoon.
Instruments are a perennial favourite, as are sand and water. In the last week or so, she has become fascinated by play dough, particularly rolling it out and cutting out star shapes. She’s developing new skills so fast I can barely keep track of them! I’m amazed by how much E has changed in such a short time. And there’s a part of me that will be disappointed when this stage passes.
My daughter is blossoming. She’s learning where her skills will take her, and how much she can do under her own steam.
She’s still dependent on mummy for so much, and yet I am seeing glimpses of the creative and artistic soul I think she has the potential to become. And what better gift can there be than a record of these moments?
So, this year, I bought four inexpensive canvases, and presented them to the Budding Artist to imbue with her creations. And she rose to the challenge, even saying “nope” when asked if she wanted to add more colour. She knew when they were done. We’ll wrap them up and give them to daddy on Sunday.
Now there’s only the card to worry about…
Jenny Smith – The Supply Teacher