Art Appreciation Is A Little Different In Preschool

At school, my daughter is doing a series on art, which is great until I decide to parent way above my pay grade.

Me: We need to stop by the library today.

Her: Can we get books on the artist I’m learning about?

Me, lighting up at the idea: Of course! Who is it?

Her: I don’t know. Things are mixed up but it was person but her hands were weird.

Me: Picasso? Van Gogh?

(I’m a little obsessed with Van Gogh so he’s always thrown into the mix. I’m hoping to see all six Arles Sunflower paintings in my lifetime (I’ve seen half), but I digress much like our trip.)

Her: Not Van Gogh but maybe Picasso.

Me: Well, we can get an art book and look at his paintings to see if you recognize them.


Once we finish up our work at the library, we walk over to the kids’ biography section. I pull out some Pablo Picasso books and she says: IT’S HIM! That’s who we’re learning about in school.

I’m all swagger: That’s right. I have my daughter expand her knowledge at the library. What’s up, parenting. What’s up, preschool.

She puts the book on a table and starts reading it with another friend. I smugly settle onto the library couch until I hear: THEY’RE NAKED!

I jump up: What? 

Her: There are naked people in the book! 

Why yes, they are quite naked in Les demoiselles d’Avignon

Me: Um, well… sometimes in art… it’s considered art when… 

I look at her friend’s mom to see if she is concerned that I’m about to launch into a “naked is beautiful but let’s also remember to not go to school without clothing” speech and decide it’s time to leave.

When we get to the car, I explain how artists believe the human body is beautiful and often draw or sculpt it. My kids nod, and between their art appreciation and 9 checked out library books, I high-five myself.

An hour later, my husband comes home, and I nudge my daughter and my ego: Show him the books you got from the library.

N races over to Scott while opening the Picasso biography: I got new books and TADA… BUTTS!


Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

2 thoughts to “Art Appreciation Is A Little Different In Preschool”

  1. BUTTS!

    Just relax and know that eventually the story will morph into N as a 16 year old saying, “My mom got us this giant book about naked people. I don’t know? It started with a P. Playboy? Penthouse?”

  2. What is it with our almost 5 year old girls and BUTTS? On the daily we talk about how we all have one, how sometimes they smell, how sometimes they are naked, how Dora has one… So. Many. Butts.

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