Friday, December 9, 2011

Gary Blum, Age 6

or, Putting Kids' Shit on the Refrigerator

"I made this for you." Gary held out a thick piece of warped paper smeared with color. It had a pungent odor to it.

"Well thank you sweetie," Diane said. "It's beautiful." She examined her son's artwork. A swash of finger-painted brown across the top, swirls of light green punctuated with splotches of yellow, orange, and red across the middle, and a bright yellow patch spreading out from the bottom corner.

"Oh . . . " she said. "It's . . ."

"It's upside down, silly," Gary said. She rotated the picture in her hands and held it lower so they could both see it.

"It's the forest behind Gramma and Grampa's house," Gary said. "See? Here's the sun. Here's the trees. And here's the ground." He pointed to a bright cluster of colorful smears in the trees and said, "And these are birds in the trees."

"Oh, of course." Diane said. Now that the picture was right-side up, she could see the landscape. Gary was obviously an artistic wunderkind. "Did you make this at school?" she asked.

"Nope. I made it upstairs last week. I kept it in my closet so it would dry."

"You have paints upstairs?"

"Nuh-uh!" Gary giggled.

"What did you use?"

"Mrs. Hurley, um, told us last week about, um, about re-. . . reez- . . . restickled art."

"Recycled art?"

"Uh-huh, restickled. It's where you make pictures and stuff from stuff that's just laying around or that you'd just throw away anyway."
English: A whimsical collection of refrigerato...
Image via Wikipedia

"So you made this picture from . . . ?"

"The trees is a bunch of the grass left over after daddy mowed the lawn. I rubbed it on the paper really hard to make it green. I made the birds out of that stuff you put on your fingers."

"On my fingers?" Diane spread out her hand over the picture. "You mean nail polish?"

"That's it."

"Okay. What about the sun?"

Gary's smile dropped and he looked at something on the floor. "Um, that's just crayon. I guess I cheated."

"Oh, that's okay, honey. It's still a beautiful picture."

His face lit up again. "Will you put it on the 'frigerator?"

"Certainly!" Diane walked to the refrigerator, held the picture against the door, and popped a monkey-shaped magnet on top of it. They both stepped back and looked at it with pride.

"So what's the brown stuff you used for the ground?" Diane asked.

"Oh! I almost forgot! That was my favorite part!" Gary's smile widened as he whispered conspiratorially, "I used poop."

He giggled.
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