One of the most entertaining types of STFU, Parents submissions is a facet of the Mom's Gold Star category. I first discovered my love of kids' drawings when I posted about Swingy Dong and Jetpack Banana Thrower Dong back in 2012, and I still believe those two penis-shaped monkeys deserve their own show on Cartoon Network. That post, along with Porn Gravy, which was less of a drawing and more of a classwork assignment, led to a whole round-up of children's drawings, marking one of my most personally beloved posts of all time. There's something so innocently hilarious about the mind of a child in written form. They don't know how to censor themselves, nor do they try. With a marker in each hand, their undeveloped psyches laid bare on a single sheet of paper, their creative minds at work, these mini-artists can physically illustrate what it's like to be a kid again. Phallic images arise, along with family portraits that may or may not resemble something a kid would draw on Law & Order, and common symbols of everyday life are represented, like modes of transportation or street signs, except with a kid-infused twist. The 'Drawings' folder in which I store these masterpieces never fails to crack me up, especially because I've received so many different versions of kids' drawings over the years.
Some kids don't stick to paper. They take their work to a wall, or a hand, or a dog. Their artistic expression cannot be contained. And for every 20 pieces of "cherished artwork" (aka repetitive garbage) that a kid brings home from school, prompting oohs and ahhs from bored moms and dads, there's a truly original concept worthy of celebration. My appreciation for these drawings only grows as time goes by and I realize that kids, for a brief window of time, can honestly get away with just about anything. Regardless of what they doodle -- in whatever medium, or perhaps in words, when they're first learning how to read and write -- there's much to be admired. Out of all the STFUP Mom's Gold Star round-ups (and there are many), kids' drawings might just be my favorite. Let's take a look inside the creative minds of toddlers, one wonderfully terrible artistic concept at a time, with a smattering of submissions I've been collecting over the past several years. Art such as this may only get produced in a child's first five to seven years of life, but its lasting impact will live on indefinitely.
1. Ambien-Inspired Body Art
Ambien can make people do bizarre things (see a friend's post about that here) -- but apparently it can also inspire a young daughter to step outside her creative box and view her mother's backside as a canvas, just perfect for a bigass garden with a rainbow and some abstract sunshine. When I first received this submission, years ago, I was baffled as to what I should do with it. Keep it in my archives forever? Print it out and tack it to a bulletin board as a reminder to take never take Ambien? It's not exactly a glowing report of Crystal's role as mom, if you consider what else her kid could've gotten into while Crystal lay passed out on her side. If you're so zonked out on drugs that your kid can essentially treat your body like an oversized piece of construction paper, you might want to ease it back a bit. That said, Crystal did the right thing. Rather than march straight to her favorite tattoo parlor to get this drawing etched into her skin forever, as many other stupid parents would've done, she chose to post this image on Facebook with full disclosure that she somehow allowed this to happen. Her child took advantage of her, and there was nothing left to do but share it with the world. I approve (and hope those were washable markers).
2. Markers Are Thine Enemy
The picture on the left may be one of the most maniacal things I've ever seen, and I love it. What is it about markers and Sharpies that makes a kid go, "Waaaait a second. I could draw on MYSELF!"? This is one of those child-specific tendencies that no adult can manage. Not even on a large dose of mescaline would I opt to make myself look like a Jackson Pollock painting or a blood-thirsty Grimace with a set of markers -- but even if I did, I'd like to believe that I would be smart enough to know to use the washable kind. When you're a kid, you don't think like that, because you're still too stupid to know any better. It's embarrassing and awesome. This little girl seems fun.
3. Newfound Skill
This is like a courtroom sketch, if there were courts that were run entirely by small children. There would be baby judges with baby gavels, and baby prosecutors arguing against the actions of accident-prone children who pee all over the floor, and this is what the sketch of the incident would look like. Kind of like the Puppy Bowl version of Judge Judy. I am 100% in favor of this programming becoming a reality.
4. Etch-a-Sketch Portrait
Some of the best drawings kids create are interpretations of their mom. Mothers never know how their kids truly see them until the day their kid walks up to them and says, "Today we drew pictures of our mommies in class!" and hands them a grotesque cartoon that ranges from "very bad scribble" to "very good scribble." However, in the case with the image above, it's as though the child gave him/herself the drawing assignment in the toy aisle of Target. No instruction or guidance needed. This kid knew what s/he wanted to draw and just went for it, even being so kind as to include breastfeeding slug siblings, without a single prompt! What a gem. It's a shame the mother must have been unaware; otherwise, she could've purchased the mechanical toy and displayed this beauty in her home.
5. Nature Always Prevails
I wish I could come up with a better caption than "cow-style," but I think we all know that'd be impossible. I also agree with Greg that these cows look happy -- so happy, in fact, that they're humping without abandon, unfettered and possibly even in love, without a care or fear of a manufacturing plant in the world. Check out how the "top" cow even has one leg slightly raised. Through the eyes of a child, every creature deserves a little TLC amidst a bright pink sky. I give this "memory book" drawing an A+.