Last week, Turken's class had its open house. All the families went to school to view a bunch of work the kids had done throughout the year. My favorite activity each year is the one in which the child draws a picture of his family, then dictates a little bit about each person.
When the big kids were in preschool, these drawings were just cute. Not too revealing, seeing as how we lived in a bubble that I controlled.
This is Giant's drawing from five years ago:
The sweet boy. About himself he said, "I like to color pictures for my mom." All he has to say about his siblings is that they like to play sports. About his dad, he says, "He goes to work and he takes us to school. He's sick right now." And about me, "She likes to play games with us. She likes to read her books when she eats." (So true.) While he is meticulous in his drawing, lining everyone up and drawn exactly the same way, there really isn't much to say. (Although, this was done riiiight before Turken was born, so I'm a bit surprised he didn't mention it.)
Skip ahead a few years, and the picture the preschooler makes reveals so much more.
This is Turken's picture:
Let's break it down, shall we?
According to Turken, these are the two social members of our family. Both enjoy playing with their friends. Hilarious that he wrote about Buttercup not liking homework. Last quarter, she got into some serious trouble for not turning homework in. (Those problems have been addressed and she is on board with the homework must be done on time philosophy.) With so many family members to draw, the poor kid must have started to get a cramp. She didn't get hands or shoes or a colored shirt. At least she got hair.
One constant for all the kids is Dad. Each one has always described him as a the guy who goes to work and takes them to school. He got shoes, but no hair. Probably because he is almost bald in real life.
This would be Star. When he says "plays volleyball", there is no net, as it is played inside the house. They used to play basketball inside, too, but then a window and two lightbulbs got broken. And sparks waterfalled out of one of the lights that broke. They took a break from basketball after that.
Here we have Giant. Once again, we see how Turken really sees things. Giant "has coloring homework". Giant is in 5th grade, but he has spent hours and hours coloring for school. His teacher really likes coloring papers. Poor Turken. All he wants to do is play a game with Giant, but has been turned down time and again because Giant has to color his homework.
I love the shape of Giant's head. I'm assuming it's flat because he didn't want to overlap the feet of the person above. And he got a neck. I think. Or he was hungry and dreaming of muffins when he drew it.
I'm shocked that this is all he had to write about Cuckoo. The boys spend almost all of their time together. Perhaps it was a case of "so much to say, so little time" and he just picked something. Either that, or he's just tired of Cuckoo taking all of the limelight with his adorable, outgoing personality. It's his way of toning the boy down.
Glad to see he didn't forget the dogs. Good thing we don't have new pigs or chickens yet. He wouldn't have had room to fit them on the page.
His biggest brother, Phoenix. While he is good at math, he did not get $100 for doing his homework. When I asked Turken about it, he said, "He did get it one time a long time ago." I'm guessing he is talking about the scholarship Phoenix won for getting one of the top scores on the high school entrance exam.
I must have been one of the first people he drew, seeing as I have hands, shoes, hair (after my haircut apparently) and a bow tie (?). It makes me feel special. And then we get to my description. "She goes to a lot of meetings (I have been to one meeting in the last two months.) she washes our clothes at night (Really, I wash them during the day. He probably thinks it is at night because after he goes to bed I make the big kids fold everything. The folded clothes are ready to be put away in the morning.) and she likes to be by herself after lunch!" That cracks me up.
Back in the day when kids actually took naps, I would have at least an hour to myself. These days, we have a schedule that doesn't allow for a good naptime. (We have to leave the house at 2:00 to pick the big kids up from school.) So, after lunch, the boys know that they need to play quietly, away from me, for an hour. If they argue or cause problems, they are sent to their beds to "read" books.
I love getting these little insights into the brains of our kids. While I talk to them all day long, I usually let them lead the discussions. Their versions of our life remind me that they see and hear a whole lot more than we realize.
And they are willing to tell people about it.