BABY OFF BOARD

BABY OFF BOARD -

Things in Common: Coloring

by Aurora Bordeaux

zombie teddy bearRecently, I spent time with my darling little niece and nephew at their house. (Plus my youngest niece crawling under the table who I accidentally stepped on. She didn’t even seem to notice; being the third child is rough.) As a childfree woman, I often get confused and disoriented when playing with children because their games don’t always follow a discernible plot. Plus I got in trouble with my sister-in-law one Thanksgiving for taking the game to new and evidently unsavory heights…

Here’s what happened: The kids and I were playing cars, then it became cop cars, then it became a zombie outbreak that involved green-eyed deer and launching a huge teddy bear down a long flight of stairs multiple times. Problem was, the contaminated bear kept coming back to life, so we had to keep throwing it down the stairs (letting it roam free would have been irresponsible). Leading the game into dark territory may not be my proudest moment as an aunt, but it was lots of fun, and the kids liked the zombie romp so much they still talk about it. I guess Presbyterian households don’t play zombie often and they got a taste of something they liked. Oops.

When I was invited over to help prep for my niece’s birthday party, I was so glad my sister-in-law wasn’t still miffed about the zombie episode that I was ready to be her full fledged birthday party bitch. Harrowing interactions with swarms of children aside, being asked to help plan a birthday party is fantastic because I love arts and crafts. I mean, effing love them. (I recently read the Brick Bible’s Revelations chapter, and it terrified me, so I’m trying to eliminate foul language or at least save it for special occasions. It’s not going well.)

zombie bear

Prep for party decor didn’t take as long as my SIL anticipated, and she seemed open to me hanging out until the kids came home from school. I was cool with that—I like these kids. After we picked them up from the bus stop and they took their shoes and socks off and went through the entire contents of their backpacks, we sat down to color. And that’s when I remembered something I had completely forgotten: I love coloring.

There is something so absolutely zen about washing coats of color over paper, filling in lines that were meant to be there, and ending up with something that, though it is mass produced, is completely yours in every way. I am obsessed with color and doodling is like taking a bath in it. Coloring is all about making choices that don’t have dire consequences while having a chat, listening to a book, or just letting your mind flatline. Meanwhile, you watch an empty image mutate into something lovely.

So as an aunt, I figured enjoying coloring with the kids couldn’t go wrong. And yet, after not too much time and despite my solemn promise to myself that I would be on my best behavior, I appear to have taught the children naughty tricks all over again. I drew a mustache on an evil character in the Disney coloring book, and the children were aghast. How could I so deface the image? Didn’t I know I was just supposed to fill in the blanks?

adult coloring

“It’s okay because Jafar is evil, see?” I said. They chewed on this, and agreed that Jafar was indeed evil. “Watch.” I drew lightning bolt eyebrows, a curly beard, black fingernails, chunky jewelry, and a big clock necklace. That got them giggling.

I got up from the table to help with more party prep, and when I came back, I noticed more of the characters were sporting mustaches, although the kids had drawn them upside-down because they were new to defacement. There were pages and pages and pages of mustaches. Next to a fat facial-haired bear from Robin Hood, one of them had scrawled “I’m a girl” in hot pink.

“Did you write that?” I asked, aghast. Who were these little churchlings turned urchlings?

“Yeah,” their shoulders sloped and they covered their mouths to mask the giggles.

Like I said, I effing love these kids.

adults who love to color

PS, If you want to color along with ‘Ole Bordeaux, here are the coloring themed gifts I gave myself for the holidays. I am having a giggle of a good time working my way through them! I spent eons researching these and am tickled with my choices.

If you have a favorite coloring book and want to share it with fellow adults who love to color, leave a comment! I’m going to be through with these books soon and I’d love recs.

  • Leslie says:

    I love coloring. I think the more generic the coloring book, the better. There are some great finds at the dollar tree and such

    January 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm
  • Orchid says:

    Coloring is the best! I actually don’t remember coloring much when I was a kid. The last memory I have of it is right before I went in for a surgery as a 3 year old. I think I was traumatized out of coloring, but I remember my older sister coloring in the car when she was in middle school and I admired her skills. I didn’t start coloring again until I was around 20 years old and then one of my best friends and I started coloring together when I was 23 so it’s been “downhill” since. I now have a whole drawer of colored pencils/markers/crayons and coloring books, INCLUDING that Tiffany stained glass one you wrote about! Dalmatian Press made one of my all-time favorite coloring books.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm
  • Nancy says:

    This is so timely! I have literally just been toying with the idea of buying one of these: http://www.art-is-fun.com/free-mandala-designs-to-print.html (I like the idea of a PDF coloring book that you can print over and over again – in case you “screw up” or to do the same design in different ways. I love coloring – always have. So relaxing.

    When I was in high school, I had a Peanuts coloring book that was like an inch thick. I used to have friends color pages out of it and sign their work. I kept it for years. I just gave it to my friend for her little son to enjoy as we were decluttering our home. I have happy memories of my friends and all of the coloring we did together, but no longer need the book to remind me. And was happy to pass it along to him to enjoy all of the remaining empty pages.

    January 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm
  • sissy says:

    Looking forward to more updates from Aurora’s life… hint hint! We haven’t heard from you in a while! :)

    June 22, 2014 at 10:13 pm

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