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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: When is a baroness not a baroness? Titles still cause confusion

Guy Keleny
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?