Deborah Ross: 'The macaroni-and-glitter stage of childhood creates appalling carnage'

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, the combination of art and children is most trying. It starts with the crayoned squiggle which they'll say is a "fish" but obviously isn't a fish, as it's just a squiggle.

"That looks nothing like a fish. Go do it again, dumbo," you might want to say but, of course, in these over-praising, non-competitive times, where every child now gets a cup and ribbon on sports day (even the total losers!), you cannot. So, instead, you say, "It's marvellous, darling" and put it on the fridge even though, if they want their work to go on show, they should really provide a brief bio and timeline.

Next, it's the macaroni-and-glitter stage, and the appalling carnage this always involves. Macaroni everywhere. Glitter everywhere. Glitter. Glitter is viral. Glitter gets into every inch of the house and your being. Glitter gets into your lungs. All these years later, I can still cough up sparkly phlegm with quite a twinkle to it. But did I remain encouraging? Yes, although it does get harder over the years. "Marvellous darling," I would say, scarcely glancing at the 29th macaroni-glitter calendar of the week. "You possess a great talent," I would add, while binning it. "And if that macaroni had eyes, those eyes would be following me around the room," I might further add, while taking the bins out, and doing a sparkly cough.

Next comes the most frightening stage: figurative work. Your child presents you with a picture of a fat blob with three strands of hair and dots for eyes, one dot significantly higher than the other.

"Who is that?" you will ask. "It's you, Mummy!" will come the reply. You will protest. You will go into denial. But then you will look in the mirror and see you are a fat blob with three strands of hair and one dot of an eye higher than the other. This is always upsetting, but the truth, which is why you should put these pictures on the fridge. They are on ours and you are welcome to come see them anytime. You will know our house. It's the one between the very big flower and the very small tree. Also, you will know me, as I have three fingers on one hand, only two on the other and wear a big, red triangular dress.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies