I've seen it in movies (Monsters, Inc. comes to mind) and on TV, and even in books.
I really hate when we have a pre-verbal child who communicates amazingly well
with neat, accurate pictures.
Let's clear this up once and for all. If you have a pre-verbal child, and they're at an age where being pre-verbal is expected (once they pass that, all bets are off, of course), chances are that their "art" is pretty damn abstract. More like what the rest of us would call "scribbles". Sure, they may *say* it's a flower, if you prompt them into labeling it at all, but it could just as easily be a truck and nobody would know the difference. (Heck, at that age, you can easily ask them "What is that?" and get the answer "I don't know" or ask "Is that a flower?" and then, after being told "yes" go "I thought it was a truck!" and hear them say "Oh, it is a truck". There you go.)
Even when they start doing representational art (and I'm assured by people who know more about this than I do that the early age for this is three, at which point most kids are talking in sentences, even if nobody outside their family understands them), they're not going to draw these amazing, easy-to-recognize pictures. They're going to draw circles with lots of lines and call them spiders. Or suns. Or flowers. They'll do blocks with a few lines and dots and say they're people. Or cats. Or elephants. They'll do squiggly circles, those are hearts. Or lakes. Or clouds. Or wheels. Or the letter o. Or flowers. Or I don't know what.
So, a kid who can't talk and turns to art in frustration? Well, I won't go so far as to say it's totally impossible but... yeah, actually, it mostly is. If they can't talk, and you don't find that strange? Odds are that they can't draw either. And even if they can, you're sure as heck not gonna know what they mean when they do.
Oh, and while we're on the topic of artwork, a special note to certain parents (who, I'm sure, will have no idea I mean them
I see you and your ilk all the time when out and about. You have to have a piece of artwork for the memory books.
Thing is? It's not your
spider, or jellyfish, or paper flower. It's your toddler's.
And it's not about the product anyway, it's the process.
So when your kid isn't putting the eyes on "just right", don't correct them. When your kid doesn't want to color in the entire
surface of the paper plate, but just wants to scribble on it? That's fine. Don't correct your child, and for crying out loud, stop taking the project away
from your kids to do it right! Grow the fuck up already! Your kid is two
, and you're already trying to thwart his/her budding creativity!
Seriously. If it's so important to you, ask the teacher and get your own damn craft stuff and do your own damn project. Maybe, if you're really nice, we can even hang it up in the window for you. Wouldn't that be fun?
Edit: Just noting that feebeeglee
's kids don't count in this, they're pretty exceptional. And she has a lot of kids :) so she should know! I still maintain that this sort of thing is nowhere near common enough to merit its frequency in fiction.