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: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

Recruitment Genius: IT Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Strength in numbers: the big, happy extended family from the 1970s television series 'The Waltons'  

How to be happy: Stop chasing the bigger house, better job or higher salary, and do what makes you feel good

Victoria Richards
Under the current rate of progress, the UK will only reduce its carbon emissions by 21- 23 per cent between 2013 and 2025  

The Government's cosy relationship with big energy companies is killing thousands of people

Zachary Boren
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific