I am not The World’s Best Ever Parent (TM) I know this to be a fact and not merely a self-deprecating sympathy request because until The Toddler started play group three weeks ago he knew a grand total of two nursery rhymes. He did however sing ‘we’re going down the shops’ to the tune of Sham 69’s We’re Going Down the Pub. So high quality rock and roll parenting perhaps, but possibly not quite the one to get me a book deal or invited onto Channel 4 to share my recommendations to other parents.
I say this as background to the Kids Capture the Colour competition which Travel Supermarket are running. Yes, it’s open to children aged under 15 so arguably my two year old is not likely to win when set against the skills of someone doing their Art GCSE, but hey! They were giving away cameras to the kids that took part (better than my own I hasten to add, The Toddler may umm.. be doing a swapsie with mummy) and it also gave me the opportunity to be one of those mums who does loads of creative arty educational stuff with their kids. And The Toddler does like playing with cameras and who am I to tell him “No, no, no, that’s mummies please don’t break it or throw it down there!” in a high pitched voice. No. It’s all about letting him make his own discoveries round here.
So like a brave mum that doesn’t concentrate all their parenting skills on old punk tunes, I gave The Toddler the camera and these are the entries for Kids Capture the Colour by The Toddler, aged two years, ten months and who will always be his mummies favourite little David Bailey.
Now see, already I’m getting into slightly unfamiliar and nervous territory here and we’re only on picture number one. I’m really not one of those bloggers that regularly shows off their kids artistic ways am I?! So Travel Supermarket have said they want to see “your child’s best photos for each colour”. This IS the best entry for green. It’s outside having fun in a field and The Toddler has brilliantly composed a picture that shows that its warm enough in the sun for me to remove his green hoodie, my green cardie and to put them on the lush, green summers grass. I think it shows amazing understanding for a two year old of the use of colour to signify a time of year. It was also the first picture that he took and I am a bit sentimental.
Our first photographic expedition was to Hill Top Farm. You may think that these are blackberries and yes, strictly speaking, you would be right. I asked The Toddler what colour these were though and he said ‘red’ and in fairness, there probably are more red ones than black left on the bush (I umm…ate the black ones). Also, you want to argue with a two year old? You go for it. The Toddler says this is red, it’s red.
Upon returning home The Toddler decided he wanted to take pictures of his toys. I’ve kindly spared you the spiderman sword and fifteen pictures of his trike, this however is Blue Bear, arguably the most important member of our family. “I take picture Blue Bear!” The Toddler informed me, and then gave me Blue Bear to hold. The composition and aiming are his own though, obviously much more attention put into this than the ones of me or his dad who both have our heads missing in the photos.
Our next family outing was to Colchester Zoo. We’d been meaning to do this for ages but had been put off by the cost. Still, with The Toddler’s little sister on the way we wanted to have a few Nice Family Days Out where I was capable of wobbling around for a bit and we were still close enough to home to be back before nap time was missed and all hell broke loose. For reasons unbeknownst to me whenever we asked The Toddler what he wanted to see at the zoo he kept replying with ‘rhino poo’. I blame his father. Obviously. So here’s a picture he took of the rhinos. I don’t think you can see any poo, and I doubt you want to look that closely, but the ground is a lovely yellow colour, right?!
So my final plan to absolutely nail this competition was taking the camera with us down to the beach. We live near the beach. This is a blog where it’s mentioned a lot. The Toddler is obsessed with it, we’ve got to be onto a winner there, right?! Also, the local private school does art scholarships for four year olds and surely winning a national competition open to fifteen year olds has gotta help with that?! So hurray, a sunny day, down to the seaside in search of golden yellow sands, bright blue sea and picture perfect white seagulls. The Toddler takes this picture of some pebbles and then I realise I haven’t charged the battery enough and it turns itself off. And he now won’t play with the camera any more as it’s something creative and artistic that mummy would like him to do, as opposed to an expensive toy that he has nicked from my handbag and is therefore way more fun.
So ladies and gentlemen, I give you white. There’s some white pebbles in there after all. And maybe in a week or two when I want to use the camera again he’ll be desperate to wrestle it off me, but in the meantime I’m not going to force him to do it. After all, fun is experiancing things, not being forced to do them. And that includes art, crafts and singing songs, no matter how out of place they might sound from a two year old.
Disclaimer – The toddler was sent a camera by the nice people at Travel Supermarket so that he could take part in this competition and I could show off his amazing artistic ability. For full details on the competition, prizes and terms and conditions please visit the competition page over here.