Lately, my nearly-3-year daughter has taken to creating ‘bouquet’ of animals.
Ever so often, she asks me what animals I want. I give her a random list. Then she asks me which color I want them in. After half an hour of hard labor, the bouquet is ready and it looks something like this.
Now the daunting task is to label each animal accurately without hurting her feelings. But by now, I have already forgotten the list and color code, not that she follows it anyway.
Since I am a small-town woman and her paintings are on more of the experimental side, I am at a loss most of the time. So, I try to get the information from my only source without showing my confusion. I admit, I rely heavily on flattery and treats.
“Oh! What a pretty animal! Such pretty wings!”
(Flattered and pleased) “Not wings, they are feet.”
This is my first clue that it is not a bird.
“Oh yes, it has a nice long tail. Very beautiful.”
(Even more flattered and pleased) “That’s the trunk.”
Mystery solved. “Such a cute elephant!”
I write its name next to it.
But being a small-town woman, I am bound by the old-fashioned thoughts and, at times, make monumental mistakes. “Let’s add his ears.”
(A little annoyed now) “But it already has ears.”
“Of course! How silly of me! Here, take a Chocolate chip.”
Placated, we begin with the next animal. After a week of labeling these mysterious animals, you would think I’d get the hang of it. But I’m a simple woman from a small town. Modern art eludes me.