So July's theme was creativity, and there were some very interesting submissions. You can find the participants on the link above.
It started me thinking about the creative buzz there is in the Alt House. This goes way deeper than the crayons and bits of tissue paper we find stuck all over the place. The creativity in a three and a half year old is inspiring. AltD1 just isn't inhibited in any way, (that is certainly true, and probably stories a-plenty for another time!) least of all when her creativity gets going.
One of my elder daughter's favourite ways to express herself is through her crazy, crazy wardrobe choices. We have had some interesting selections. There was the period during which she would only wear tops and tights (in October naturally), sporting them with wellies or sandals, depending less on the weather than on her frame of mind. We once went to do the weekly shop with AltD1 dressed in a purple tutu. On top of jeans, with a sunhat (mine) and oversized sunglasses (also mine). She may or may not have been wearing wings, I can't remember. We had a few funny looks in the aisles, but I'm pleased to say there were also a few admiring glances, too.
Someone once expressed to me that she was a little envious of her 2 year old who had gone to the library in a fairy dress. Wouldn't life be more fun if we all wore dress-up on a daily basis?! Does it make a difference that the 2 year old in question is a boy? I do feel quite proud of my friend for letting her hilarious little guy be so self-confident in his pink tulle! She too witnessed raised eyebrows, but I hope she continues to have the same confidence as her little boy does now.
I admire AltD1 for having her own style. She can dress herself, and she chooses from clothes that I (for the most part) have bought for her, so I can't complain. She is comfortable, and as long as she is dressed appropriately for the weather and vaguely appropriately for the occasion, I won't ask her to change her outfit. Nor would I ask her to change herself. She dresses her own way and I hope she'll continue to do so for all of her life. Just as I hope she won't feel the need to be the same as everyone else in her views and opinions, nor should she need to dress the same as they do.
It's more than just the unabashed confidence that I admire in small children, though. They are not afraid to get stuck in.
AltD1 loves painting. For whatever reason, we tend not to do it at home (no child friendly paint... birthday coming up, must remedy that situation!) so given the opportunity at nursery or groups, she is straight in there, and very soon covered from top to toe. Her favourite thing to do is hand prints, so you can guess where that leads! Arm prints, ear prints, so on... But secretly I would love to roll up my sleeves and squish the paint the way she does.
We are a pretty creative bunch, really, in the Alt House. Small Person arts-and-crafts abound, with interesting shaped boxes being saved from the fate of recycling whenever castles, monsters or props for playing shop are required. I am a stitcher and sewer, and AltFather is pretty handy with his work bench and a jig saw. I still don't reckon we make enough of it though. Isn't it a shame that as adults most of us have reined in our creativity? A three year old thinks "what shall I do today" and heads for the pavement chalks. They aren't worried about their skills at drawing, sometimes AltD1 decides what she's drawn after it has come out on the page. Actually I might apply that to dinner sometimes
We could all do with a bit of arts and crafts in our lives sometimes, in whatever way suits us... just don't get me started on the glitter! :)