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Paint By IQ Numbers

posted Sunday June 15th, 2008

One day when Annabelle was about a year and a half old, I plopped her in her high chair, shoved the Grinch into the VCR and gave her some orange construction paper and blue paint. She made some lovely, messy finger paintings that I proudly framed and gave away as holiday gifts.

This afternoon, I plopped Sophie in her booster seat, turned on “Bear in the Big Blue House” and gave her paint/paper.

The results are pretty close to Annabelle’s 18-month effort.

Pity party for me! I know Sophie’s biggest challenge is writing/drawing/painting, and really, who cares what a kid’s artwork looks like? Annabelle had a pre-school teacher when she was 3, who sent home remarkable artwork — intricate collages, wooden sculpture, gorgeous tissue paper creations. It wasn’t til Annabelle switched schools that I realized she had made these things herself. Of course that’s what matters, that the kid do the creating and that we celebrate the outcome. And I did, I oohed and ahhed over Sophie’s paint splashes, and didn’t complain when she covered herself with paint, too, despite the smock I made her wear.

We’ll give her work away tomorrow as Father’s Day gifts, and everyone will make a fuss, just as we will over Annabelle’s intricate drawings.

Still, like a lot of things these days, it gives me pause, particularly as we continue to test Sophie to see just where her brain’s at. Is there a correlation between IQ and the ability to draw more than a circle?

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