OK. Here is a picture that Boy #2 brought home from nursery with him today. (Bear with me please, there is a point to this post other than maternal boasting. Just for a change.)
Not bad, huh? Especially when you remember that he is, in fact, only 3 years and 3 months old. "I'm sure that Boy #1 wouldn't have painted this at the same age" I thought to myself. In fact, the more that I considered it, the more impressed I became with my younger son's artistic ability.
I located him in the sitting room, where he was supervising the removal of a train wreck from the Isle of Sodor, and the subsequent airlift of Thomas the Tank Engine to the local workshop in a super-jet. (I may not have great faith in his artistic talent, but Boy #2's imagination is working just fine, thankyou very much...)
Me: "Boy #2, this is fantastic! (His face lights up). Did you paint this?"
(Now, before you think I went in there to give him the 3rd degree, I didn't. Questioning is just part of the normal conversational technique with this age group. As in ; Did you make that mess / tidy up / push your brother over / find your blanket etc etc.... Obviously, I know he did all those things. It's just a way of communicating that encourages children to answer back... So, I was just making small talk, really, as a way to underline how impressed I was with the picture)
Boy #2: "Yes. No."
Me: "Ah. So you did paint this?"
Boy #2 (totally unphased): "No."
Me: "So who did paint this?"
Boy #2: "Miss M painted it." (Miss M is his teacher)
Me (still grasping at straws): "What, you mean she painted bits of it?"
Boy #2: "Yes. This bit (points to the roof). This bit (points to the boot). This bit (points to the bonnet). This bit (points to the wheels)."
Me: "And you painted....?"
Boy #2: "This bit." (points to the thick black line representing the main body of the taxi).
I'll not be filling in his application for art college just yet, then...