Fear and ballpoint pens


Mikus is a ball-point pen man.  It his only drawing implement of choice.  He has never been interested in colour or making something pretty. Both he and his brother use drawing to act out situations - the point of the drawing for them, seems to be the ACTION that occurs during the drawing itself, a kind of extension of the games they play with each other.

But to be honest his pictures worry me a lot of the time, because they are only ever renditions of ninjas, or monsters, locked in battle, guns blazing and swords glinting. Unhappy people at the mercy of some big, evil force. Much of this drawing theme comes from Mikus' kindergarten friend -we'll call him Walt - who is a big authority on all things war-related, and who is allowed to play shocking adult first-person shooting games.  I find this totally disturbing, but you can't choose a five year old's friends for him, and it is difficult to protect your child from the influence of their friends while they are at kindy.  In addition, although we limit the amount of tv/computer the guys get to watch, I still think they are influenced by them too much, and am trying, subtly, to cut back the computer/tv time even more.  The kids aren't happy about this.  So sue me.

Funnily enough, I mentioned being worried about the drawings of Walt and Mikus to Walt's mum the other day. She said that it didn't worry her at all - it would concern her more if the boys were coming out with stereotypical kids pics, you know, flat green grass, square house with a triangle roof, a flower, and a sun.  And I've got to admit she's got a point.  At Mikus' darkest and most maladjusted point, when he was attending a different kindergarten, he started drawing like that.  The only theme was a rainbow: all the right colours, next to a flower, on flat green grass.  Over and over and over again.

My worry about drawings and my active tv censorship is mostly because I can see that Mikus has been fearful lately.  He is scared of everything:  playing on the top floor of our new house if I am not within eyesight.  Getting up in the morning and going into the loungeroom.  Going to bed at night. The world news (we have stopped listening to the BBC since Mikus began to fret after weeks and weeks of  updates on floods, cyclones, tsunamis, egyptian presidents and libyan madmen).  Partly this is probably an age thing.  And partly its the impending move to the new house.  And my guess is, that it is a lot about the computer and tv he insists on watching.

I am hoping that there is a change afoot, however. The drawing above, which Mikus brought home last week, was a refreshing change from the monster-ninja battles we always see.  I have wondered what an art therapist would say if they saw the pic, but I'm not planning to go down that road - just publish it on the internet!

According to my sensitive son, the picture is of a mechanical robot, built by Mikus.  On the outside it looks frightening, but no one knows that on the inside the robot is a virtual aladdin's cave: it contains all of the things you could ever want (and all of those things are displayed on the little pedestals in the "neck area" of the monster).  The little figure lying squashed between two big rectangles in the middle is Mikus himself.  He is lying on a tall bed, watching a large-screen tv.  The two people with their hands in the air down the bottom are me and Jem.  We are happy because we are eating chips.  On the left, in the tail of the robot, is Mikus' friend Walt.  The figure with the devil horns and the big muscly arms.  Walt has captured someone - a tiny, tiny figure on the far left - and locked them into a cell.  On the right is an anonymous soul, running away because they can only see the scary outside of the robot.  To my surprise, big brother Matiss is not in the picture.

Hmmm.   Lots for me to ponder there!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Fifee says:

    I think you have a very expressive and deep thinking young man as your son. It is good that he can articulate the picture but of course all those other levels of meaning are a little cryptic to even his mother. Something to track over time. Who is the boy in the cage and who is running away? Hmmm mysterious. Good luck!

  2. Isn't it interesting who our kids choose as friends. Walt sounds so Delightful......but at least he has passion and enthusiasm for something. As long he is not killing small animals, setting fires and bedwetting you should be fine ( cardinal features of a sociopath)
    Very interesting using a ballpoint- very functional isn't it rather than decorative. I can see him progressing to storyboards for movies quite quickly, definitely an ideas man.
    The image of him squashed in that rectangle for me is somewhat reminiscent of that scene in Empire Strikes Back where Han Solo gets cast in the giant slab of concrete for all eternity.
    Maybe he's also processing the multiple level, cavernous and slightly daunting place your new house will be after living in a much smaller apartment for his 5 years thus far. Planning to post the boys some collectable Star Wars Pez dispensers- any requests for who they want? Jack has already poached Luke but everyone else is up for grabs.

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