So we were having Family Drawing Time*. Rio was making a watercolor bookmark, one of her standard favorite art projects. Serena was trying to destroy it, so she got to sit on my lap. To entertain her, I put my own project away and grabbed the nearest coloring book and a crayon.

I started coloring a lion. The sight of me coloring in one of the kids’ activity books was enough to suck in Rio’s attention.

“Lion’s aren’t yellow, Mom. They are really brown. You should put brown here and here.”

I obliged with a little brown shading, but continued coloring in the rest of the lion with my yellow crayon.

“Mom! You are doing it wrong. Lions are not yellow. That is actually true.”

While I sat there wondering who she got the “you are doing your art wrong” idea from (it was NOT me), Rio took the coloring book away, and started coloring in a mouse with a blue crayon.

“Hey!” I said, being a mature adult. “Mice are not blue!”

“Yes. Some mice are. I know a mouse who is blue. His name is Cheeser. I met him in my dream one night. So that is how I know him, from my dreams. He is blue.”


Rio finishes coloring in the blue mouse, which she then presents to me with the smug air of a four-year-old who is Right. As I admire it, she casually adds, “Cheeser is not real, actually.”

*Family Drawing Time is an activity I grabbed from SouleMama’s Creative Family book. You set aside an hour when the whole family sits at a table together and – you guessed it – draws. Usually, I secretly write in my paper journal during Family Drawing Time, because I am not much for drawing.