Bad Mom,  Bug,  Family Matters,  painting,  Super Dad


a new easel!

It’s been like Christmas here lately. Every day we’ve been getting new things. Some things, like this easel, I bought but most everything else has come in the mail. We are one bunch of spoiled brats when it comes to getting fun things in the mail. And most of those fun things come from you guys! So thanks a lot you spoiling spoilers!

Just kidding. Of course we LOVE snail mail and I will try to blog about each little wonderful thoughtful thing we have so generously received but it’s going to take some time because, did I say it already? WE ARE SPOILED!!!! And we’ve gotten a lot of things!

While we are on the subject of spoiling, I should add that Toby wasn’t very happy with me regarding the purchase of this easel for Baby Bug. He is away on another business trip and you know how it goes, when the cat’s away the mice will play! By playing, I mean painting of course.

painting flurry

I’ve had it in my head to paint several paintings while he is gone. It’s so much easier to paint and make a mess when he is not around to get after me about cleaning up. Toby hates clutter and while I’m not a very cluttered person in general, I am very cluttery when I’m in the middle of a project. My motto is: I make BIG messes but I clean them up in a big way!

So anyway, I had it in my head that if I got Baby Bug her own easel then she might leave my paints alone. “Ha ha, very funny” you say? It was a thought. I don’t know how well it will work. As you can see I need very little justification to go out and buy Baby Bug something neat and fun to play with. Especially when it only costs twenty bucks! How could I not buy it! Of all people who should have an easel, I think Baby Bug should have one. Right? Right!


Toby does not think so. You know why? Because he thinks she is spoiled. He thinks that she will not feel her talents as an artist are special (Don’t you love how we already assume she is a talented artist?) because she has everything any artist could ever want before she is even old enough to realize that these things are special. He thinks that she doesn’t care where she colors or paints. She draws on the wall, the couch, the floor, on paper, not on paper… etc etc. What’s going to make an easel special to a two-year-old?

finger painting with watercolors

Bah Humbug. So maybe he has a point. But this is also coming from the guy who doesn’t think she needs a puppy or a goldfish either. Cold-hearted, I say!

I guess we just have different ways of looking at things. I’m a little short-sighted, thinking about how I am going to get through the day and keep my little busy bee occupied. Toby is thinking of her career as an artist. I say, the easel won’t hurt but maybe I’ll hold off on buying her a laptop. She can use mine. (!)

Toby comes from a very different childhood than I did. I was smothered with gifts even when my parents couldn’t afford them. I remember photos of me at birthday parties sitting in the middle of mountains of presents. Do I remember any of those presents specifically? Maybe. Not really.

Does Toby remember his presents? Yes. When he was ten (not two), his dad gave him a single-reflex camera. I don’t think it was anything fancy. Just an old beat-up Pentax (correct me if I’m wrong Ponnays… Toby is out of phone distance) but that camera was everything to Toby. It still is.


  • Kristin

    Whenever you post wonderful finds from IKEA I get sooo jealous. The closest IKEA to me is over 3 hours drive away. :(

    PS I don’t think an easel is “spoiling” her… you’re just encouraging her to be creative!

  • Laurie

    C has one too and I like that he colors on it very much. It has helped me teach him not to color on walls, sofas, etc because I say Paper – Paper only – go to your easel to color whenever I caught him at it and now I don’t even have to say it! So just think of it as a learning tool to teach her where to color – yeah that’s it…a learning tool…

  • adriana

    I don’t think that giving her an easel is the end all and be all of spoiling Baby Bug. Actually, I think that kids need tools that enable them to be creative. Right now, she might not know the significance of those tools, but she will learn, especially if you guide her and challenge her to create wonderful things using her imagination. Really, what more does she need than books, paper, paints, crayons, clay, balls, blocks and the beach?

    I would worry more about spoiling her with sugary sweets, the television, poorly made toys from China, etc.

    She’s getting to be so big, but I think that if you impress upon her how lucky she is to have such wonderful tools to create art with, she will develop an appreciation. No need to deprive her of paints, cameras, easels, etc.

  • Gramma

    An easel is one of the things that helped me through my gang’s childhood. I found it at a garage sale, no less. It was an easy fold-up contraption that stored easily. The three legs were in two pieces each and fastened open or closed with the use of wing nuts. it was used for drawing and painting, but I also used it for story telling…with a piece of plain flannel (on which I drew background scenes) draped across the board I used paper figures backed with little pieces of sandpaper glued to the back…they stuck nicely.

  • Amber

    My mom showered my with all kinds of art supplies starting from when I was very little. If anything I have even more respect for my supplies now because I learned early on how good it felt to create and to have someone like my mom support my endeavors. You can’t call it spoiling if it is helping to enrich her talents!

  • Starryprincess

    Paents with crappy attitudes make spoilt brats not STUFF. Stuff is just that ….stuff.
    My 3 have always had tons of stuff, the starry princess has masses yet, shameless trumpet blowing, they are 3 of the nicest polite,repsectful,kind and humble children you can meet………because we beat them alot……JOKE !!!!

  • Chris

    Ooh, I’m conflicted about this one. On one hand I can really empathise with Toby worrying about buying unnecessarily many “things” for a child, and her learning a focus on having things and taking them for granted, or thinking gifts equate to love, or…(hyperventilating now)

    BUT the easel…if you can set that up as THE station for executing her artistic works, then it’s much more practical than a toy. And there’s room for her to grow into it!

    Be warned, if I see her with one of these:, I’ll accuse you of spoiling her. :P

  • Chris

    oops, left a comma in the hyperlink but I’m not going to repeat it ’cause I didn’t actually know it would be a hyperlink and I don’t want to put advertising in willy-nilly! Sorry!

  • Katherine

    I don’t think buying an easel and art materials is spoiling, buying every single bit of useless junk she wants would be spoiling, but art things give lasting enjoyment. Looks to me like it’s encouraging her already, the little sweetie.

  • sizzle

    How is it spoiling when it inspires her to use her mind and ignite her creativity? Plus, if it helps occupy her so you can get some of your own art done, even better!

    I was a spoiled kid. My parents bought us so many things but they also spoiled us with a lot of love and affection. We didn’t grow up greedy or stunted because of it. But we really were lucky. I can see that now as a grown up.

    Wait. I’m a grown up?!

  • Sarah

    People always used to call me spoiled but I tell them “milk spoils, not people” as long as you teach her right from wrong i don’t think there is anything wrong with an easel!

  • Gingermog

    I can see Toby’s point of view, but I also thinking having your own area and supplies from a young age to create with is always a good idea. I started to draw as soon as I could hold a crayon and began to make stuff out of construction paper and yoghurt pots around 3, of course they always fell apart as we never had sellotape or glue in the house, as my family really isn’t that creative. I knew from the age of 3 I wanted to draw for a living but was discouraged a lot and, I am glad I didn’t listen. To compensate I tend to shower my nephews and neice
    with craft materials and project’s for us to work on together. I think BB is a lucky little girl to have 2 wonderfully creative parents.

    A lot of my student’s who are in their early 20’s haven’t made things with their hands since they were infants until they get to my class and have to make puppets out of wire, glue, balsa wood, paint and material (even though I teach on a Digital media course), they all really enjoy it and surprise themselves with their creativity. I think crafts should be pushed more throughout education to help us think more in 3D and explore ideas.

  • beck

    we had a full-sized chalkboard on the wall when I was a kid and it was awesome. I don’t think stuff spoils kids I think it’s the attitudes they’re allowed to get away with that leads others to conclude they’re ‘spoiled’.

  • ginger

    I always thought I was totally spoiled as a kid, got almost everything I wanted. But my parents did try to spoil me with objects they knew I would love, that would spark my interests: books galore, coloring books and construction paper up the wazoo, cheap costume jewelry. Do I remember every book my parents gave me? No. But I do remember that they supplied me with something I valued implicitly. I still own some of those books, ones that I’ve specifically set aside for my girls. By the way, my mom now claims we were never spoiled, just given the tools we needed to enjoy our childhoods that much more. I think the easel is just helping Baby Bug enjoy her childhood that much more.

  • red lotus mama

    Little ‘Ny got an easel for Christmas this year and LOVES it. And, I must say your IKEA one is a much better price than the one we got … and the paper roll fits it. We bought two rolls of paper at IKEA on our last visit and they don’t fit on Little ‘Ny’s easel roll … humph. Oh well, we will improvise with taping up sheets of it while I search for the right length paper roll. BB is a very sweet girl and deserves an easel and I am sure she will make great use of it! It would be cute to get a picture of you painting and her painting on her easel next to you!

  • Bug's mama

    I totally think the easel is a must!!! We are planning on getting our Bug one for her second birthday. I taught preschool for years and I think that getting kids into art is HUGE! Plus it’s better than another toy with batteries that she can only do one thing with! A momma needs her sanity at times!

  • Susan

    Not one thing wrong with spoiled or they would have gotten rid of me 20 years ago. =) Love the easel and hey if it keeps the bug happy then its a must!

  • 180/360

    I wish we had an Ikea here. The easel I bought is way too tall. And what a great deal for 20 dollars! I can only imagine what a great artist your daughter will be one day. :)

  • Amy

    If an easel helps you and the Bug get through the day then so be it. I can think of far worse ways for a child that age to be doing. (Hours of mindless TV for one.)

    Good for her to have her own artistic space, like her mom and dad! I agree with the above commenter, I bed Bug will be an awesome artist one day!

  • Pumpkin

    My husband and I have had many of those conversations! I would buy my kids tons of stuff if my husband wasn’t stopping me.

    He came from a family that only got very simple presents only at Christmas and birthdays. One or two presents tops. My parents gave my brother and I things all the time and Christmas was HUGE as were birthdays.

  • BeachMama

    Although our kids have a lot of stuff, so do we! Hubby thinks that J is spoiled but, I remind him to look around at his tv, xbox, guitars… And then he realizes that we just have a lot of stuff these days. And sadly, we have so much less toys and stuff for the kids than a lot of my friends! I came from a family of very little and when we got stuff we treasured it. Hubby’s family gave and gave so Hubby doesn’t know what it means to wait for something. There is always two sides.

    I love the easel(we have the same one) maybe just hold off on a pro-easel until she is a little older :).

  • Jennifer

    I’m another believer that things don’t spoil children. I grew up poor didn’t get much, and there was no romantic doling out of a small tin cup that was treasured forever, or anything like that. My husband grew up very well-to-do and never wanted for a thing, and we still have the same level of appreciation for gifts and special treats.

    I have a daughter slightly younger than BabyBug and I buy her what I know she will use for a long time and what I know she will love. As a result, we don’t have 500 obnoxious toys, but she still has plenty of stuff. Teaching appreciation and value and love is not harder when they have stuff than when it’s a rare treat — you just have to give them the proper context.

    I also give my child candy once in a while, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to help her have a healthy relationship with food, all the same.

    Teetotaling in any capacity makes it harder to teach the lessons, I do believe.

  • cadiz12

    i think the most important gift a parent can give to a child is the lesson to appreciate whatever they get, be it a mountain of presents or one very special item.

  • ninabi

    Art materials are tools for growing. I can’t think of a better thing to buy!

    I think children can have too many toys (to the point where they flit or get overwhelmed when trying to clean up their rooms) but easels and art supplies are another matter. Very important!

    I hope BB enjoys the thrill of colors, shapes, lines and ideas. On paper. Not the sofa.

  • OMSH

    There is a balance, but I have a tendency to allow for anything creative – paper, paint, markers, map pencils, crayons… as well as books.

  • aunt kathy

    When LeAnne was four I asked her why she drew on her sheets. She told me, “I didn’t have any paper!” So, hurray for an easel with paper. Also when I was growing up we had a huge chalk board in our family room that I remember covered the whole wall. It was there from the time I could remember anything so I was very young when we got it. We used it too. With colored chalk too.

  • Lauren

    you made her world bigger with that easel, just like her chair that she can get in and out of as she pleases … her world got bigger. that’s good, not bad.