Posted by Jenn Thorson at 7:00 AM Labels: being a kid, drawing boobs on everything, kiddom, listening to your parents
When your dad's a biologist, your childhood might just be a bit... different... than everyone else's.
Oh, you won't necessarily notice it in-between A-Team episodes and Crayola 64-packs.
But as an adult, you might just look back on your first years on this planet-- cringe-- and wonder how you went so far astray.
Such was the Third Grade Boobie Extravaganza.
Yup, where most parents were happy enough if little Rodney just colored in the lines, and didn't pick his nose in the school play, my dad had other priorities.
Things which, as a biologist, he found oh-so-adorable coming from a little person. But which pretty much put a giant red target on my big bespectacled noggin.
I was, for instance, the only 7-year-old who had to call horseshoe crabs at the beach by their Latin name.
And let me tell you, when your Limulus polyphemus innocently slips out in class, it does not make you the girl everyone wants to sit next to at lunch.
Now, I mention all this, because it was this line of thinking that transformed one carefree artistic moment into what we shall call my "Boobie Enlightenment Period. " I recall vividly how it began.
I was sitting on the floor of my grandpa's house in Florida on summer vacation, drawing mermaids. Red-haired mermaids, blond mermaids, brunettes... Mermaids with blue tails, purple tails...
No Crayola left behind.
And my father, watching this for some time, determined that the real problem with my drawing style was not my derivative over-use of a Warhol-esque repetitive theme...
Nope. It was that my mermaid collection violated the laws of proper anatomy. If I were ever going to be an artist of any caliber-- y'know, and not be washed up by age eight-- I really needed to pay more attention to detail, the Pop explained.
And thus, the first pair o' boobs entered into the picture.
Or actually, all of the pictures. Yup, from here on out, it was a veritable Boobie Renaissance in my artistic endeavors. From Nancy Drew to Wonder Woman and everyone in-between... if it was a female character and I drew it, you could guarantee, she had a pair.
And while this appeased the Pop regarding my maturing artistic sensibilities, I discovered once I hit third grade-- as in many an art movement-- it didn't quite translate to the masses like I'd hoped.
Unlike second grade, the third grade classroom, inside and out, had a number of bulletin boards we kids were allowed to decorate and maintain. And so for every season, we crafted a scene using our own hand-made cut outs.
You can probably tell where this is going.
Oh, my friend Josette did a snowman and kids throwing snowballs. Lance Helgerberger drew a couple of boys on a sled. And me, I drew a pirouetting ice skater...
With sweater-clad knockers Lana Turner would have been proud of.
My teacher, Miss Andros, a sweet prim maiden lady, blinked befuddled at the image and struggled noticeably about just how to tactfully address this booby-trapped situation. So she pointed. "Jenni, now you see these here... um..."
But then I explained to her, yes, I was aware of them. And how being anatomically accurate was important if you were ever to really learn to draw properly.
Mumbling and patting my shoulder, she found her argument suddenly flaked away like Elmer's paste.
And so third grade became the year I introduced my classmates to the joys of fine art. I can just imagine now, at Parent-Teacher Conferences, Miss Andros pointing out the bulletin boards and asking my mother if she could pick my contributions out of a crowd.
Oh yes, Miss Andros. She could...
She most certainly could.