Sunday, September 1, 2013

Perfectly Creative and Creatively Perfect

Peeper drew a picture for Shrike this afternoon, some red crayon swirly scribbles. She then wanted to draw a blue circle for me. Well, things started falling apart then, because the circle wasn't "perfect."

She was very upset, and said, "I wanted to make it for you, but it's not perfect!"

I asked, "Did you want it to be perfect because it was for me?"


"Oh, honey, it doesn't have to be perfect. Nothing's perfect, nobody's perfect. I'm not perfect."

Then she went into, "Yes you are! You're perfect! You are! You're perfect!"

Well, okay, now I'm in tears. She stops her freak-out for a moment to ask, "Why are you crying?"

Oh, kiddo, because you really have no idea just how not-perfect I am.

When she calmed down a bit, I helped her find something round to trace, but she had the tiniest blip in her circle where she started and ended, and there she went again.

This time it was, "It's not perfect!" and "I"m not creative!"

We tried and tried to explain that tracing a perfect circle is pretty much the opposite of creative, and she is like the most creative and imaginative person that we know. I don't think she ever believed us.

This was a new thing for her. She definitely gets frustrated when things are working the way she wants them to, or she can't make something do quite what she wants, but it's the first time she's freaked out about something not being perfect.

And it's certainly the first time anyone's told me that I am perfect.

This evening, bedtime was delayed for several minutes by a whole big scene (of the dramatic play kind, not the melodramatic freak-out kind) in which her toy monkey was the bride, and she was the groom, and she was getting the bride all dressed up, because they were getting married in the morning.

Then it was revealed that the bride monkey was pregnant. With twins. Then she went into labor and had her babies (caught by Daddy Monkey) – a boy named Michael and a girl named Dory.

After Daddy Monkey and the Grandma monkeys looked at the babies and held them a while, they went back to Mama Monkey to nurse.

Then Daddy Monkey went to the grocery store and bought tomato soup, and brought in some pans, and cooked green beans, red peppers, blue cabbage and yellow corn (all different colored strings of Mardi Gras beads) and fed it to us all.

When it was finally time to go to bed, we were informed that we were safe from the storm outside, because we don't have any holes or cracks in the roof. And that the babies were scared of the dark, but they were by the night light and with their mama, so it was okay. And that "I'm their Daddy, but I'm also kind of little, so I still get goody."

All this from the child who, just hours before, was crying that, "I'm not creative!" 

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

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