It’s no secret around the house that Mom is not quite as talented as Dad in the art department. Just last night I was giving Briar a bath as Sean put Avery down for the night.We were using Crayola Bath Tub Crayons to deface the lime green tiles of the shower surround. (Technically since the bathroom is as old as the house – 115 years- I don’t think it’s really a shower surround, but bear with me, I am trying to pretend it’s not a 4 x 4 square of inadequacy.) Much to Briar’s chagrin we were plum out of pink, so I was using green.

“Mommy draw a Mickey.”

“Umm, ok. Hang on. Ok. Here we go. Let me smear this on. Ok, let’s do an ear. Mickey has a round ear. Then let’s do another ear. Ok. Umm, then Mickey has a kind of a round head and his nose kinda swoops out sort of like this. There. There’s a Mickey.”

She cocked her head and looked at the wall. She leaned in closer, then craned her neck back, tilting her head the other way. It was clear that in looking at my green smear she saw no Mickey. I looked at the smear and could not even remember how I could have said aloud that the misshapen blob I was drawing was Mickey. It looked like a Sesame Street rendering of a CSI crime scene where Oscar knocked his head on the wall after washing his hair with cilantro paste.

“Umm, Mommy draw Goofy?”

“Hoo, let’s ah, let’s wait for Daddy. Daddy is going to finish any minute and he’ll come in here and draw you Goofy. Daddy can draw anything. He’s going to come back. He’ll be back any time now. Sean? Daddy? Ok. How about a heart? Want Mommy to draw you a heart?”

“No thank you Mom. Goofy? Mommy draw Goofy?”

God bless her faith in my ability to one day pull some sort of artistic skill out of my ass.

“Sorry baby. Mom doesn’twant to waste any more of you green stuff. How about I get you a cool washclath, maybe the butterfly one and you can wash the wall?”

She bit. Thank god.

Luckily I am a whiz at the craft store. Over the summer I picked up a couple of “sun catchers” for a rainy day. I can best any artist if given the right gear.

Behold, the wonder of a famous form, paints, glitter and the oohing and ahing only a mother can do.