Monday, June 23, 2008

Surrealist Bean

A conversation in bed, as I put her to sleep…

Bean-girl (holding her sippy cup of milk): Milk mommy, milk mommy, milk mommy!

Me: What’s a “milk mommy?”

Bean-girl: Milk mommy, milk mommy!

Me: Is that a mommy made of milk?

Bean-girl: Yes. (pause) But how do we stick the milk mommy together?

Me: Uhhhh….

Bean-girl: You use branches. You use branches and you put mud on the branches to stick the milk mommy together. Then you cover it with wrapper. The wrapper is very sticky. And the milk mommy is the biggest, greatest singer in all the world!

I swear, sometimes that girl is a Surrealist poet.

She is also an artist. Here is her “art gallery”, a wall of the living room devoted to her art.

Here is “Paper Daddy.”

Here is "Baby Legume."

She’s been meaning to make “Mommy” and “Bean-girl”, but hasn’t gotten around to it.

These works were conceived, directed, and assembled by the Bean-girl. She announced that she wanted to make a paper Daddy, made his wide pants, and then very specifically directed me to cut out the remaining pieces. She then assembled the pieces together with Scotch tape.

Scotch tape is her favorite medium. Scotch tape goes on everything--I find pieces stuck to the tissue box, wrapped around the handle of her toy vacuum cleaner, strips of it on a book. She learned how to use scissors in preschool, and now she’ll spend an hour cutting construction paper into teeny tiny pieces, when she then presses into bands of Scotch tape. Then more tape gets wound around and around the piece. Finally, the whole things get taped up on the wall, as part of the “art gallery.”

And learning to use scissors has been like having the key to the world for her. No longer does she ask me to please open a package of snacks, or a wrapper-encased chocolate. She scissors the treats open herself. Today, observing Bean-girl solemnly cut open a wrapper-encased chocolate with her new left-handed scissors, Husband intoned: “You have a lot of power with those scissors, Bean-girl. With great power comes great responsibility.”

Bean-girl was too intent on her chocolate to pay much attention.


rana said...

bean girl is wielding great power and responsibility w/ the lefty scissors! AND legume walked. :D

(sigh!) meanwhile, i'm unlearning everything i learned in law school to take a strange exam :o(

science cog said...

Oh I love this post. You are a good writer; the way you captured the nuances and details. Your kids will love this when they are older.

Ten years ago I started a diary called moments and started putting little snippets of stuff my kids did. Its a great record although not very well written, usually just a line or two.

Mad Hatter said...

Hi! I was going to send you an invitation to be a contributor on the alternative careers blog I'm starting, but couldn't find an email address. If you're still interested, send me an email at too.much.mercury AT gmail DOT com. I hope you'll join us--I think there would be many people who would be interested in reading about the process of getting back into science after taking time off to have a family!

Anonymous said...

Her art is outstanding! Good for you to hang it on your wall of art. I think I might take up that concept, here. What a great idea!

Jack, too, is really into the scotch-tape-art. It's an interesting medium - just gets a little...sticky.

The bean-mom said...


That's great, that you also have a record of all your kids' doings! I'm glad blogging was invented--I tried keeping this stuff on paper and it just didn't work (maybe because I was always losing the notebook?)

Madhatter--I'll be e-mailing you--would love to join!

Ophelia--Bean-girl taped the art on the wall herself. Husband and I just have to live with it now =)

Nana--why do you have to forget everything you learned in law school? I'll call soon...