Monday, March 1, 2010

the book of NO

no-nina-cover

no-nina-underwear

no-nina-clean-your-room

no-nina-play-with-ball

no-nina-mess-with-fishy

no-nina-bad-girl

no-nina-one-more-chance

yes-nina

good-job-nina

no-no-no

call in the child psychologists and the round up the parenting experts! my first grade artsygirl has discovered the power of writing and she has published her first exposé of life under my oppressive thumb. she has been cutting her writing teeth on safe topics in the short stories "fire ants are bad", "snowflakes are good", and "snuggle trouble", and she's told me of a work-in-progress at school about her distress when i set off the the fire alarm. but last weekend i moved front and center as the antagonist when i gave her one NO too many. she ran off with a sniff to her writing materials and reappeared at record speed with this blistering attack on my management style. we read through it together and i laughed harder than i have in months.

i laughed not only because i adore her, not only because i love how she expresses her thoughts and her humor in this way, but also because it is all true. i won't let her outside in her underwear. negative on ball playing in the house. i flip out over messy floors that are abandoned to make more messy floors, and if we had a fish named fishy i would not encourage her to jump up and down on a stepstool and swish her hand around in fishy's bowl. the only thing i cried foul on was "bad girl". in that kind of situation i usually say, "i want to know who did this and i want to know NOW". straight out of the old school parenting handbook. otherwise this is a spot-on portrayal of the chief bosshole i never thought i'd become, but have had to, to keep some form of smooth operating structure around here. and although this story certainly won't win me any bloggy parenting awards, it is a shining example of how a child's creativity can vanquish the iron fist.

60 comments:

Megan Walker said...

My hat is off to you BOTH - Nina has obviously learned more from you than the sad truth that her mother is a bosshole (which is my new favorite word after foofery). I love how she is free to express herself, and express herself she does! And my favorite thing is that she adds actual expression on her faces! Look at those devious eyebrows as she's messing with fishy! LOL! The nut did NOT fall far from the tree my friend :)

xoxoxo

Jeannine said...

hysterical and adorable! little nina obviously has inherited her creativity from her mom.

thank you for sharing - this made me smile!

Krissy said...

:) awesome!

oneartistjournal said...

You crack me up so badly Aimee...and oh it was so needed after posting a 'heavy one' just now. And you know WHAT? YOU just won not just "any bloggy parenting awards" byt THEE Bloggy Parenting Award of all times, Most refreshing, honest, 'as it supposed to be' parenting award, Bravo for so openly sharing and for allowing Nina to do the same. By the way love the name Nina, was my second choice after Maya (my daughter). Nina is awesome with her self expression. And you are just too good Aimee, seriously, I love your writing the most in the whole entire blogosphere, there is no one like you...Okay I'm beginning to be too much...XOXOrly

gypsy said...

Your daughter's artwork is awesome! It is so good that she explores her thoughts through art, and art is always a bit of an exaggeration of reality.... right?

tink-ink said...

Your daughter seems to be just as amazingly witty as you are!

Terri said...

ohhhhhh man. fan. flippin. tastic.

e.beck.artist said...

did you see the eyebrows on the fishy page! oh my gosh .. there's a little glint of "i'm doing it on purpose!" ... love the whole thing!

rachelkdownunder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CRABCAKES said...

OH MY GAWD! ! ! ! ! That is priceless beyond words! (not to mention brilliant!) All I get is notes on the chalk board: 'i hate you, it's trooo'!!

S.E.Minegar said...

This is very sweet Aimee. :)

~Valentina~ said...

OMG! I think Nina is *AMAIZING*. I love the way she express so openly ;)

NANCY LEFKO said...

This was wonderful...thanks for sharing and giving all of us mothers a smile.

I know what you mean about becoming the boss you never thought you'd become...we've all been there...but unfortunately w/o the boss, the house slips into chaos.

I remember once reading in a comic strip...I think it was "Baby Blues"...the character commented that she'd "done her best parenting before she'd had children." Yes, I thought I knew it all until I had children...and then they suddenly make you feel clueless.

BTW....Nina shows she appreciates the artistic answer to problems :)

aimee said...

she had a lot of help with this one! there's a book called NO DAVID that she's gotten wrapped up
in at school and i have a feeling that many of these scenes were, um, "informed" by the illustrations and words in that book. all the same, i love that she's learning how to tell stories and that she dashes off into corners to express her thoughts.

on the other hand, i need no help whatsoever being a bosshole.

Karen Blados said...

okay, so it's not just me and my little urchins?!! thanks, i feel better now even if i am staring at a note that says "I hate mom becoz she won't get me what i want when i want it". the little drawing is a self-portrait of my son sticking his tongue out at me.

you must be doing something right if she feels safe enough to critique your work. GOOD JOB!

Eden said...

Love this!! You're doing something right, cuz Nina is comfortable expressing herself! Love her drawing and captions!!

lori vliegen said...

well, i see that artistic genius runs in your family.....definitely like mother, like daughter! and just wait until she's a teenager....you'll still be the chief bosshole, but by that time you will have graduated to having your title in capital letters!! hee hee :)))

Shannon said...

adorable. i love how you nurture your kids creativity. seriously!!

Phoenix Peacock said...

I immediatly thought of "No David". And no worries, I'm an Art Therapist... and I would not have jumped down your throat for these!
Good for her for sublimating her feelings. And good for you for letting her!!
Totally awesome book!

BloggingQueen said...

"Bosshole." That's like ten different kinds of outstanding. I must use that about myself, since I find myself insisting on having the last word with The Boy.

I'm sure a book about me, from The Boy, is in my very-near future.

Susan said...

I love everything about this, but particularly appreciate her appropriate use of commas. Impressive! There are many adults with 30 years on her who haven't mastered that kind of grammar.

Aris said...

Nina rocks!!!!
That's it! Who should write and illustrate children's books, children!!! IT makes perfect sense!

Annie Pazoo said...

I can't even begin to describe how much I love this (so like "No, David). And those eyebrows! So expressive. Also reminds me of my own Miss No whose first word and still-favorite is 'no.' Couldn't be that she learned it from me?!

painted fish studio said...

this post made my day. thanks, nina!

Candied Fabrics said...

Yup - I recognized "No David" right away! My boys love that one because I have a younger brother David who really used to run out of the house naked at bathtime!

Anyway, I think it's awesome to see a mini you in development!

heather smith jones said...

I love that about kids. Sometimes at school when I feel my patience going thin, some little one does something hilarious or sweet and brings me back to center. N.'s monologue/book here is certainly a keeper, if not just for reminding you of this moment but for more laughs. :)

Natasha said...

OMG!!!! I wish you knew how hard I was laughing RIGHT now! This is genius. Kudos to you for giving her enough room to express herself and for coming up with Bosshole! I'm totally stealing that for my house ... I can only hope my wee one will one day make sure a hilarious book - wait till you show her this when she's like 20! Great stuff! From a No Queen to a Bosshole I salute you

Tyggereye said...

This is great! lol. I love kids drawings. Too funny. She did a great job!!

Lori said...

Oh Aimee. Your daughter, the book, YOU. It is all so cute and adorable and real and funny and totally heartwarming.

jane said...

love this! and she´s totally got down the facial expressions! too funny! p.s. i´d nominate you...:)

Caity said...

Now THIS is what you bring to your child's first book launch, LOL! I see a great future ahead...

suzie said...

wonderful, made my morning! (altho' NO no no no....I spluttered tea all over my monitor now)

rachel awes said...

hastinkinlarious!!!
what a great collection!

hanna-happenings said...

This is SO funny! I love the way You two communicate!

queencake and titangirl said...

I just love this.children are great quite often, aren`t they?last week i picked up my son and his friend from school and they had completely ruined their shoes (which were soaking wet) in the thawing snow. when i told him off for it, he looked at me with a cheeky little grin and said:" but we`re children".i tried very hard NOT to laugh.

Liz said...

you do make me laugh... and obviously you are not such a tough-nut bosshole cuz she felt comfortable enough to tell it from her perspective... I totally and utterly think you are tops for a creative bloggy parenting award!

Erin Butson said...

This made my day. my week. my year. love this.

Kirstin said...

Love this! Made my day. That ones a keeper!

kendalee said...

Oh my goodness - that artsygirl of yours is a gem! So cute, so funny. It made me laugh out loud. Brilliant!

michelle allen said...

HILARIOUS!!! LOL!!
the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. she's as clever as you! and a spitfire. love this post and your reenactment!

Sarah said...

Brilliant! The drawings, the expression, the simple and effective way she gets her message across!
I remember my niece once doing a particularly good written version, with pictures to illustrate, of how utterly boring mine and her Mum's conversation really was-the typical things we talked about! It was so accurate it made me laugh so much.

T.L. Holmes said...

I loooooovvvvvveeeeee it! And while I, myself, have used the word "foofery" and it's offshoots (foof, foofenheimer, foofage, and foofing), I'm now in wordlust with BOSSHOLE! I used it today at work when talking to colleagues who declared I was a genius and should coin the word...I smiled big and told them, "Sorry, not my word, but my friend Aimee's." Nonetheless, you'll undoubtedly find some English teachers at our old high school using the word, "bosshole" (and with regularity and passion, I might add, because we have a super bossy bosshole we have to deal with on a daily...sometimes hourly...basis!)

T.L. Holmes said...

*its (oops!) And me, an English teacher. Shame! ;)

aimee said...

if only i HAD come up with bosshole and foofery! google and you will see. they are already out there in circulation, just not as widely used as they should be. i'm just trying to push forward the word usage a bit!

elizabeth said...

Wow. Amazing. You have a budding creative genius on your hands, you know that, right? And possibly an expert conflict manager, too.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

LOVE it!

cindy said...

adorable and you better never use curse words around nina, although she might turn them into magnets ;)!

i've learned a new word here today - bosshole is fantastic. i've known a few and if i look in the mirror at the right time i see one.

●• Thereza said...

OMG, she's the sweetest! what a cute take on her home life :)

Alexandra Hedberg said...

Oh. Wow.

She got me laughing so much.

Wat will it become of her?

Fruenswerk said...

Haha..NO I just love it...

BT said...

Well what a star she is and what fantastic work at her tender age! You bully you! No, I fully understand why you have to keep rules and I'm so glad you had a good laugh about it too. I can see her challenging you in the business!

My granddaughter Poppy is just over one and has been told 'NO' quite a few times. Now, when she does something she knows she shouldn't, she repeats 'no, no, no' at the same time!! How can you not laugh?

whenigrowupcoach said...

This is so cute & adorable & hilarious & smart I can hardly stand it. You better keep that forever so you can embarrass her when she wins a Pulitzer!

jennifernew42@mac.com said...

love it!

Francesca said...

I love it. It made me smile and laugh. And I love your comments here, they also made me smile and laugh:)

Coreopsis said...

Oh my! This is SO SO SO SO funny!

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh geez, oh geez! This has TRULY made my day! I could kiss the both of you right now. Her mischievous looks of evil are hysterical!

Bosshole

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

jennifer lee said...

OMG, Nina's drawings are so endearing! She's had such a great creative role model in you :)

la ninja said...

NONINA 1 - BOSSHOLE 0

6512 and growing said...

That's it. You're going on my blogroll. This is wonderful.

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

I'm glad to see that you also pass out gold medals!