Ri and Mario and I sat at the kitchen table a couple of nights ago and drew. We play a game where someone names an animal or thing and everyone draws it. My drawings are always the worst, and the kids find much humor in them.
However, on this particular night, we decided to use Maria’s animal sketch book from the library to help us out. It showed the steps you had to take to get the animal you wanted like starting with an oval and ending with a cute pig. I like the book because it allows me a step-by-step process to get a finished result.
We started with a deer. Mario and I were working away. I had gotten close to completion with a deer that actually resembled a deer for once and showed my drawing off. Maria was amazed. “How’d you draw that so well, mom?” I looked at her drawing and couldn’t tell what she had made. This is unusual for Ri. She typically draws animals that you recognize immediately. She looked over at Mario’s drawing and saw that he was on his way to making a pretty good deer, too. She lost it.
“I hate drawing! Hate it! I am no good at it and I never will be!” She threw her marker in the bin and charged upstairs. Mario shrugged his shoulders and carried on as if a fly had just whizzed by but was now far away. He began to draw a rhino after his deer. Pretty amazing how well he drew when he had detailed steps.
And then it struck me. Mario and I are total left brainers. We think linearly and need set instructions in order to best draw an object. Maria is a right brainer. She sees an object with her own mind and draws it how she sees it. Requiring her to follow steps hinders her process rather than boosting it.
I walked upstairs to comfort her, andI got attacked.
“I can’t draw! I am dumb! D-O-M, dumb!”
I wanted to laugh at the irony of her calling herself dumb and how she spelled it (I knew she was stressed because she knows how to spell “dumb”) but figured she’d go into major distress so I just sat still. Maria went on about how her cousin Alana draws so well.
“Maria, she draws for hours in the day. She doesn’t do as many things outdoors as we do so she draws a lot instead.”
Maria looked up at me with a glare. “We’ll then it’s your fault for making me go outside so much!”
Oh, we have a lot to teach that girl when it comes to accountability.
I hugged her again and brought her downstairs to work on drawing anything she wanted. I explained to her about being right-brained and she seemed to understand that concept (because she is right-brained!). I told her how lucky she was that she could draw an animal without having to follow detailed steps. I reminded her ridiculous my animals looked when I didn’t have detailed instructions. She laughed at the thought of them.
She began drawing a girl in a gown and then a boy with a bow tie. She wrote “mom and dad” next to the drawing. It was us on our wedding day. Meanwhile, Mario kept cranking on that rhino.