My Half Term Artist

Half term has been and gone, and much as I kind of dread school holidays and how we’re all going to cope, this half term was super. I think a week, with enough distraction, is just enough for him. And it’s just enough that I don’t resort to the iPad all day every day!

Dont get me wrong he was on the iPad a fair amount. Especially in the mornings when he’d been up since five and mama seriously couldn’t be doing with “building a bigger track” right now. Am I the only one whose child seems to wake up fully ‘on’? It’s like he’s got some internal flip switch, that I just don’t have!

Anywho once I had come around sufficiently, we had some really great days this half term. Lots of joint interactions, some of which lasted ages. I did my heart good to see him really collaborating with me and really showed me how far he’s come since starting school.

We did all sorts last week, from trips to the park, to train rides, to hair cuts to meeting up with friends. All of which was wonderful. But really the things I enjoyed the best were the days when we turned to the art cupboard.

When Oscar left Nursery back in July, he still wasn’t drawing anything, despite his well developed fine motor skills, and the artwork that came home was only ever daubs of colour. As the Educational Psychlogist noted, he still wasn’t engaging in any “meaningful mark making”.

That all started to change almost as soon as he started school and over the last term the paintings and drawings have been becoming more and more recognisable. And not only is he now drawing things both he and others can identify, he loves it. And I mean LOVES it. So last Tuesday we spent a couple of hours with pads of paper and markers and he went for it. Each image he drew, I cut it out and he’d blu-tac it to the wall.

And before long the walls were covered.

The aquatic wall, including fish, sharks, “shark whales” and even a squid! All named by Oscar

Sodor. Can you see the steam and the tenders? So detailed!

Alllll of the rockets. Blast Off!

I worked out that over the course of the week (as he added a few more here and there over the week) he drew 44 fish, 31 engines and 24 rockets. And 4 ambulances, randomly. He’s nothing if not prolific!

Yes he has his favourite subjects, but these marks ARE meaningful. I kind of wish the EP could see them. I think they’re ruddy glorious!

Obviously when he went back to school I needed a bit of my own space back and yes I did take them all down. But never fear, I painstakingly transferred them to his room. The fish are swimming up the stairs and the engines hiding in an alcove. And he loves them.

The aquarium is now swimming up the stairs to his room!

And for that I’d have all the blu-tac marks on my walls in the world 🙂

 

Art imitating life

Poor little blog. Like a poor second child. Or actually, at the moment, more like a distant cousin. Twice removed. I want to keep in contact, but I’m just finding it so hard.

What on earth could I possibly write about that people would want to hear?

But I do write. I’m more committed to this blog than any other project I’ve ever had. I write. But blogging isn’t all about the writing. It should be of course but it isn’t. Because what’s the point in writing if there’s no one there to read it? Blogging is huge amounts of publicising. Getting the words out there and in front of people. Those who do this game well aren’t always the best writers with the most original, funny, touching, clever or thought provoking content (although some are of course), no, it’s the ones who push and push and push. The ones who have this social media game figured out. The ones who make the networks and the connections and build the ‘love’ almost to the point that what they say comes second.

And I admire these people so much. These business minded folk who know how to make every possible opportunity work for them.

I’m just not them.

I write something. It’s usually something I want to say, not something people want to hear. And then I send it into the world. Alone. Unsupported. With no one cheering it on. No support team showing it off, pushing it forward. I let it drift. And I move on.

Much as I’ve lived a lot of my life.

I’ve always thrown my energy into the ether and walked away. When things get hard, my instinct is to shrug and change direction. They talk about life imitating art. I’m pretty sure my blog is art imitating life.

Or at least my life before Oscar.

He changed everything. Suddenly here’s this thing, this other life, that I can’t move on from. And I can’t tell you how hard that’s been for me. Some days I’ve been so ready to run. But I don’t. I can’t. But more than that, I choose not to. Against all my judgement I choose to keep going. Even when every fibre of me screams to make the choice to walk away walk, I choose not to.

Because it is a choice. Even on the days when it feels like a choice between a rock and hard place. It’s a choice.

I stay

I push forward

And I keep writing

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My New Tattoo

In my late teens I decided I want to rebel. In the mildest manner possible. I was never one for starting a revolution, but I wanted to do the things my parents didn’t want me to do. So I took up smoking, drank heavily on a Friday night, got the top of my ear pierced (I wanted to get my nose done to really piss my dad off but I chickened out!), I occasionally inhaled (ahem!) and I got a tattoo. A tiny star at the top of my arm. The star was taken from the front of a friend’s wallet. I walked into a tattoo shop on Union Street, Plymouth, told them want I wanted and got it done there and then. It cost me a fiver. It wasn’t anything special to anyone else, but to me it ticked a box and actually I really loved it. It’s not the neatest work I’ve ever seen, but do you know, I had it done with all my heart and therefore I’ve never wanted to change it. I also didn’t want another one. It served it’s purpose, I’d been there, done that, so to speak.

Although actually that’s a bit of a lie. I have always thought about having another one. I saw other people’s and admired their creativity and courage. But I was looking for something small, nothing fancy. No names, no frills and flounces. Something that meant something, but nothing too painful. I couldn’t find anything that ticked all those boxes, and I was in no rush, so I let the idea go.

Then I had a baby and pain took on a new level of meaning. Pah! I’ve had my entire abdomen cut in two and a person removed. I got over that! What’s a tattoo compared to getting off the bed after a C-section? But I still couldn’t find anything I liked. I played with the idea of having something designed. Something with more stars (I love stars), possibly intertwined stars? Three intertwined stars to represent me, Ben and Oscar? Hmmm. Maybe. But it did get me thinking about the concept of family. My family. And that got me thinking about who I was now, what that meant and about my place in the scheme of things.

And then I realised, that no matter what happens in life, it will never be just me, ever again. Even if my family were to leave me, in any way, I will never just be me again, because I have given birth.

I will always be, regardless of what happens, Me and …….

And that’s when I realised what I had to have.

Me & .....

Me & …..