Child Number One has started making her own books. She’s drawing pictures and writing captions on several sheets of A4 paper before binding them with sticky tape.
It’s very sweet to watch and is excellent practice for her reading and writing. It’s also a joy to know she finds books inspiring.
The only thing is, this activity adds to the huge amounts of arts and crafts stuff coming into the house. There are paintings and drawings from school, written work, models and so on plus bits and pieces from other groups she’s involved with. Added to this, Child Number Two is now producing her own works of art, both at nursery and at home.
We’re swimming in the stuff. There’s barely a surface or wall in the house that hasn’t got some kind of artwork on it. I know for a fact there are even several pieces lying in the footwell of the car, slowly but surely getting covered in footprints and mud.
I’m afraid a tough decision has been made; we’re throwing lots of this stuff out. Sure, we’re keeping the better pieces and have even allocated a box where it’s all being stored. The more run of the mill stuff, however, is being dispatched as soon as I think I can remove it from the house without the kids realising what I’m up to (I say kids, I’m really referring to Child Number One as Child Number Two is far too young to appreciate what’s happening).
To my surprise, this is causing me a certain amount of heartache. I’ve never been one to get emotional when a child has proudly presented me with a picture they’ve just drawn. I’ve generally gone through the motions of praising them and telling them it looks wonderful before urging them to produce something else.
When it comes to my own children, it just feels wrong to get rid of this stuff. I’ve spoken about this to two more experienced parents and their approach seems to be considerably more ruthless. It seems I’m a big softy!
That’s enough about me. What do you do? Do you keep every little creation? Do you select a few and hide them away or are you mercenary and chuck them out at the earliest opportunity?