I was recently inspired by another blog I visit periodically to build a family portrait using the kids toys. But, I was going to let the kids each build one. I really couldn't wait to see their perspective. I first tried to get the four-year-old to do it...but...it was the wrong time of day (late afternoon) and she was not in the mood to play along with anyone else's idea (if you get my drift). So, I moved on to the nine-year-old. I told her that she could use any toy they had to represent each member of the family...could a mixture of stuffed animals and action figures...whatever...just go pick a toy that represents each of us.
She really wasn't gone for very long. I don't know if it was just that easy or if she was just grabbing the first thing that she came across to satisfy her mom's request. She provided the following portrait.
I asked her to explain who was who. Well, the lion was her dad because he is king of the house and family. The pretty kitty was her mom (that would be me!). She chose an elephant for her big sister because elephants are one of her favorite animals. She chose a cheetah for herself because they are lean and she likes them. And then...for the four-year-old...she chose an ugly dinosaur. Hmmm...interesting...
Next, I give the same assignment to the eleven-year-old. She returns with five Pokemon cards (she's a huge fan). As she described why she picked particular Pokemon to represent her dad, myself, herself and her nine-year-old sister, I could really tell she considered how each one looked or their particular strengths. But then we go to the one she chose for the four-year-old. When she showed it to me, I asked why she had chosen that one to represent the youngest in our family. Her reply..."Just look at it."
And given my exchange with the youngest daughter over this particular project, I really struggled to make a compelling case as to why representing her with ugly dinosaurs and Pokemon with "Scary Face" powers wasn't appropriate.
So, this exercise did not turn out as cute as I thought it would. But, due to a recurring perception, I think I have a client for my PR work.