Everyday June comes home from preschool with some awesome new art project and I LOVE it. Our house is officially decorated — as much as a craft slacker as me can muster, anyway — with seasonal stuff because of June’s Montessori Monets.
Whenever I unveil her splotches and doodles, I can’t help but ooh and aah and praise her artistic genius like one of those deranged moms on Toddlers and Tiaras. “June, you’re a genius!” I say. “A wunderkind! An uber-menschen!” (Even though I have no freakin’ clue what uber-menschen means.) “Everything you touch turns to stardust and gold. One day you’ll grow up to be Suri!”
And then a creepy little troll’s voice whispers in the back of my brain, “Stop praising her so much. You’re giving her an inflated sense of self. She’ll grow up to be one of those smug little jerks who thinks she’s too good to attempt anything she won’t immediately succeed at. Praise effort, not outcome. Don’t you ever read Psychology Today?”
I wonder if I should actually be saying, “Um, you are demonstrating a fine stroke on the upper quadrant of this water color doodle, daughter. I see you’ve put thought into this composition. You show great promise. Don’t get your hopes up. The world is cruel and we all die.”
As an addendum to this thought provoking post, her teacher emailed me today about June’s latest masterpiece (another reason I love this school — daily emails with photos from the teacher).
I can totally see the resemblance.