Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Sraikh recently posted about the way her boys have plastered their dresser with stickers and wondered whether this made her an indulgent mom. Had I read something like this before I had kids of my own, my answer would have been an unequivocal yes. I have been to many a house where the kids has been allowed to run riot on the walls with crayons and turned my nose up at the 'out-of-control' kids and vowed that I would never let my kids get away with something like this.

When Ayaan decided to first draw on the wall, I lost it. I shouted at him and absolutely forbid him from peppering my walls with his graffiti. Considering that he was bang in the middle of his terrible twos, this was about as effective as telling a dog to stop barking. He chose to express himself on the walls during his nap times and soon the wallpaper behind his bed was a torn, scribbled-over mess. Thankfully, he grew out of this (after much screaming on my part and much more defiance on his part) and we repainted the house and replaced the wallpaper. I also put up a big rectangle of chart paper in his room and he limited himself to doodling on that.

And then about a year ago he discovered a passion for sticking stuff - stickers, his own artwork, stuff he had cut out from magazines, used Post-it notes... maybe it was the pregnancy or maybe I had just matured as a parent, but I decided that it was only fair that he should be allowed some place to express himself. After all, it was his house too and he should be able to put his stamp on it. So I agreed with him that he was allowed to stick on the wardrobe and the door of his room and nowhere else.

So, at any point in the last year, these two pieces of furniture have always been decorated with something or the other. But last week, he decided to really kick it into high gear, with a little help from the maid. Presenting the door to Ayaan's room... or whatever is visible of it, in any case:
I have to admit, I was a little pissed off when I saw this. It's one thing to have four-odd neat rectangles of artwork and some stickers up on the door and quite another to have every inch of it covered with random bits of paper. But he showed it to me with such pride that I didn't have the heart to take him to task for it. Besides, he hadn't broken any rules technically. Moreover, the more I looked at it, the cuter it seemed.

Here are some of the details from his 'door collage':

The letters spelling out his name are my only contribution, stuck on a few months ago. On the top left corner is a picture he cut out of a magazine of snow on some outdoor furniture. He is fascinated by snow and has been asking me when we can go for a holiday to a snowy place. Some day...
In addition to magazines, a lot of his raw material was sourced from his school activity books. Check out the four clippings - each portraying a different stage in the life cycle of a frog...
All the numbers grouped together...
Some brands make their appearance - the circle from the Gems packet and a cutting from his Indigo airlines baggage tag...
From the Lonely Planet magazine; he says he wants to go to this restaurant and eat this food (It's in Goa, I think)...
Lots more from the school activity book
Pretty neat, huh? In the end, I am glad I went with praise over punishment on this one.


  1. Dyou know that all my cupboards and glass fronted wall cupboards started getting decorated 21 years ago and remain in their decorated glory because I cant bring myself to remove stuff ?

  2. I find this incredibly cute. Really awesome :) Some of the stuff up there is going to make you smile everytime you pass by it, in a few years, no?

  3. This is such a great idea to provide a space in the house that is NOT off limits to little one's "creative endeavours" (!). Little Planet is very good and only paints/scribbles/stickers on paper and the blackboard but she's only just turned two so I know defiance can kick in soon so I will remember the door and dresser tip.

  4. Yes , it can be annoying to look at. that dresser makes me want to take every sticker off but but seriously they havent done it anywhere else.

    I am putting this in my little black book, the one I will pull out when they decide to listen to their wives instead of me...

  5. I recently let Rahul stick his first ever sticker on our steel library cupboard. I have always removed every other sticker but now he is old enough to feel hurt over that and besides, I remember how much my brother and I wanted to stick stickers on our furniture and our parents would never let us. So now that's one place he's allowed to stick things. Of course, I've also told him that he'll get another sticker next month only. ;)

  6. Awesome...loved it....getting ideas to mess up our home from the pix :P

    I think I should put up pix of my wardrobes and fridge where all artwork is promptly put up...and like eveslungs...I can't bring myself to remove even one of 5 years of doodles n scribbles!

  7. Hmm don't kick me, but I am in the camp that believes kids should be allowed to put up stuff they want, so long as it is INSIDE their own room; I mean, we don't really ask them how to decorate the living room, do we? So, I'm glad you went with praise over punishment. Do agree with you reg kids being allowed to run riot over the whole house.

    As children and as teenagers, my sisters and I were allowed to go crazy with our posters - so long as we stuck to our bedroom. Yeah, the walls were a little worse for all the taping, but so what?

  8. Anonymous9:21 am

    Its really cute :) I wish I could do this myself, but I dont think I have the skill ;p

  9. I find it really interesting. And see, how every bit reminds you of a story. A sucker for all memorabilia, I would not exchange this door for any in the world.

  10. Ayaan has done a great job of decorating hi door. very imaginative! i hope i can be as cool as you when my son wants to start putting his stamp on his room! He's 2 plus now and has so far stuck to drawing in books and on his magic slate. But I have been thinking that i should have a corner for him, a blackboard/corkboard kind of thing where he can both draw and put up stuff.

  11. As you say, I totally feel sad when I see houses with scribbled walls. And I have seen some houses where the kid does nothing on the walls, and uses a drawing pad for doodling.

    The door is looking awesome cute... guess its like ' his world' :)

  12. - so sweet no :)
    - In my teens I tried sticking a whole wall in my room with film star posters but lost interest mid way..
    - achu has a free hand at his grand parents place but not at our rented out apartment... noway :D

  13. The idea of having a board to do all the coloring, sticking and pasting seems to be great...should try that on R once she shows any inclination of spoiling the walls LOL! and Ayaan does have a lot of enthu to cover every bit of his allowed space :)

  14. Roxana10:35 pm

    Hi Rohini, been reading your blog forever now. I had to delurk, after reading this post! Totally 'aww'- inducing :)

  15. AWESOME. I love it!

    Our door also looks like this btw. I allow them to invade the living room display units too - I like to display their artwork along with all my curios collected from everywhere.

  16. Hi Rohini, we learn as we go with parenting, don't we?

    About ten years back some relatives of ours who were based in Mumbai got their daughter engaged to a boy in our city, Lucknow. As my father-in-law was technically the girl' grandfather and as the boy's family were in no mood to bring a baraat to far-away Maharashtra, it fell to us to host the wedding from the girl's side. A few days before the proceedings were about to begin, my daughter Mel, who was going through the terrible twos, covered the drawing room wall with crayon sketches. My normally indulgent in-laws were horrified and got really angry. There was nothing for me to do but get a bucket of hot water and soap and a scrubbing brush and scrub those walls. Luckily, I was able to get rid of the mess and my father-in-law was very appreciative in the end, but I was careful to give her plenty of paper and a blackboard to write on after that!

    Ayaan's work is lovely.

  17. Really neat! I specially like the frog stages and the cut outs from his school work. He seems to be very good at colouring!

  18. Hey it's lovely! I think he's expressing himself really well with all of his door art :) Does he have a scrapbook where he puts stuff in too?
    Nikki has recently discovered the joys of crayoning and I'm currently at my wits end trying to protect the walls and the floor and the sofa....aaargh!

  19. Very nice and creative Rohini! Love the way you have put it up as well. I was a monster with Appu. Scared the wits out of her when she proudly showed me the "green decoration" on the wall at 2.5 yrs though this was limited to a neat line of green dots on the wall. After that she never dared to do such stuff. I have banned clay totally as well. Now I let her stick her stickers on things that belong to her and in her room never in areas used by guests! Occassionally, she tests me out with a sticker or two in other areas as well and surprisingly, I am easy with her. With Aarush, I guess, i wont have such strict controls and may even let him draw all over the walls as he pleases. And pssst...I cannot describe the sense of belonging I feel when I see the stick figures and the numbers scribbled my me when I was barely 3 feet high on my grandmom's outhouse walls!!

  20. I love the door. It's so cute and tells a lot about Ayaan's imagination and creativity. You dare not remove them.

  21. "After all, it was his house too and he should be able to put his stamp on it." - shows a great deal of maturity on your part

  22. Preeti10:05 pm

    Nice... really creative and he has a nice eye for detail. Agree with the wall driving - drives ME up the wall:) Fortunately, L has given up, but am sure U will take revenge:)

    L has carte blanche over her toy/book cupboard, but contrary to my expectations, she limits herself to sticking sticker on it and that too just on one particular panel - go figure!!

  23. Preeti10:06 pm

    Sorry, meant wall drawing, not driving.

  24. Anonymous1:19 am

    Very imaginative and creative.
    As long as he keeps it to designated areas or appropriate surfaces, I would not discourage it. My parents never let me and were shocked at how lenient I was with my own. Choose your battles.

  25. i think its awesome!

    i still havent given free hand to Cub, tho i do put up his art work from school on his wardrobe! :D and it looks really cute and personal than having bought stuff put all over!

    and yes, writing on wall is absolute no no. plan to buy him a white board now so that he can doodle at will.

    am sure we will see the sticker phase soon too! :)



  26. I think the rules for wall decorating depend a great deal on whether one is living in a rented home or own the place. When my children were young, I had a long blackboard in their room (it's still there actually) and stickers in their rooms were definitely allowed. They were also allowed to paint their walls. The painting on my daughter's room wall was only removed during the home painting before she got married :-)
    I love the way Ayaan has decorated his door!

  27. What do you know Rohini, there may be an artist in the making :-) Preserve these pictures and 20 years later, you can do a 'NOW' and 'THEN'!!

  28. Such a lovely door!
    You're a wise mother:)

  29. Aha. Can see a bit of trouble ahead considering I have just got used to the idea of the Husband having some space to express himself in the house :)

  30. [Eve's Lungs/ Starry] I am totally unsentimental about the artwork. Ayaan churns out so much of it, there is no way to display or even store it so most of it ends up in the bin eventually.

    [Soul of Alec Smart] That's if it stays up. Tarana's got her destructive little eyes on it and a couple of pictures from the bottom have already been peeled off, much to Ayaan's chagrin.

    [Planethalder/ Nina/ R's Mom/ Abha] All the best in your endeavours:)

    [Sraikh] LOL! I think I am going to go make that black book too :D

    [Sue] Meanie!

    [Aparna] Why would I kick you? I totally agree. In his room, he is allowed to express himself. Elsewhere, no.

    [Preeti] Believe me, there is not much skill involved in cutting out pictures and directing the maid on where to stick them... :)

    [Violet] It is kinda cute, isn't it? :)

    [Aathira] To each their own, I guess.

    [Gayatri/ HGM] Oh yes, I didn't think of that. The rented part would make a big difference. Our house is self-owned so it matters less if it gets messed up a bit...

    [Roxana] Thanks for delurking :)

    [Choxbox] We have no living room units. Have decided to keep it bare till the kids are both well out of the destructive ages!

    [Gaelikaa] What bad timing on your daughter's part! :)

    [Lawyeramma] His colouring skills are purely mood dependent. Sometimes good, sometimes horribly messy...

    [NMOTB] We have not done a scrapbook yet but that is a good idea... all the best with keeping the crayons off your stuff. My money is on Nikki :)

    [Sandhya] These second kids get away with a lot more, don't they :)

    [Sscribbles] Er... ok *tries to keep knees from trembling* :p

    [Pesto] Just the sense to pick my battles, I guess

    [Preeti] That's awfully well-behaved of her!

    [Dogsmom] Thanks. So true about choosing battles...

    [AD] :)

    [Dipali] Me? WIse? Surely, you jest :)

    [Anita] LOL!

  31. His door looka totally cute. Tell him he can come to my house and decorate the doors too.

    Anyway, I dislike too much tidiness, this is the perfect antidote to it.


  32. Anonymous10:02 am

    That door looks great! I had read an article in readers digest. A lady allowed her kids to scribble, paint on one of the walls in the house. That same wall was also used to mark their heights each year. Years later when the house was re-decorated, she preserved this wall. Now when kids are all grown up, this wall speaks tond of memories.

  33. cute.. loved the pics

  34. Love this blog! My daughter is 13 month old and this is like looking into a crystal ball... and seeing all nice and wonderful things ahead! I got here from Beks and Ro.

  35. Scribbling on walls??I wonder what my son will do a few years from now. Right now I am thinking-NEVER! :) Love Ayaan's artwork :)
    I remember, you talked about using a sling for Tarana some time ago. Which brand did you use?My son refuses to get off me so I want to see if I can manage to carry him around-'hands free" :)

  36. hey look at the tiny details he has put together with so much care. its not randon stuff- its stuff he is curious about, interested in... like you i think the door looks great.
    and ten years later when its rock stars, pin up girls, and cars you will think back fondly to the snow filled photograph.

  37. Anonymous5:56 pm

    Tiffany's is one of the most well known [U]tiffany company jewelry[/U] brand names and design houses in the jewelry [B]tiffany jewellery[/B] business. The quality of service, customer satisfaction and the fine designs offered by [U][B]tiffany london[/U][/B] the company are one of the best in their times. The company is primarily [B][URL=http://www.tiffanysfree.com]tiffany london[/URL][/B] famous for its superb quality and artisanship.

    However, as this amount of beauty and quality comes at [B]tiffany necklaces[/B] a price, there are many jewelry lovers who are just not able to pay [U][B]tiffany jewellery[/U][/B] the high price and look for suitable replicas instead. This is the [U][B]discount tiffany jewelry[/U][/B] reason there are special [U]tiffany london][/U] designers that now offer beautifully made Replica Tiffany Jewelry and that too, at a much [B][URL=http://www.tiffanysfree.com]tiffany uk[/URL][/B] lower price.

    The Tiffany's is one [B]buyers of tiffany jewelry sets[/B] of those brands that actually [B]3tiffany & co jewellery[/B] mark the onset of a classic style and design on its own. Some of the designs of this [B]tiffany pendants[/B] brand name have become so common and popular, that they [B]tiffany jewellery uk[/B] are bound to be copied by artisans all over. These replicas are created either by [U][B]tiffany charms[/U][/B] using a mass production technique or by an individual jewelry designer who is striving to [U]tiffany necklaces][/U] make a name for his services and capitalize on the original designs. These [U]authentic tiffany jewelry monthly promotion[/U] kinds of procedures have made the replica business [B]pandora jewelry[/B] a very lucrative one, with scores of skilled designers [U]tiffany jewellery][/U] paying close attention to these designs and producing them effortlessly [U][B]tiffany jewellery uk[/U][/B] with same style and appeal.

    It is important for [B]authentic tiffany jewelry[/B]genuine jewelry lovers to notice that there are [B][URL=http://www.pandoraforyou.com]pandora bracelets[/URL][/B] fake designers who can pass off their imitations as genuine [U]pandora bangles[/U] replica Tiffany jewelry. Before you actually buy jewelry, make sure [U][B]tiffany charms[/U][/B] there is the mark Tiffany & Co., engraved on the [U][B]pandora bracelets[/U][/B] piece. By rule, all of replica Tiffany's jewelry carries an identification mark for the benefit of its customers.

  38. Loved the door! Love your blog! At last I have stumbled across a blog which talks about Indian moms and their lives in a non-preachy, fun and inspiring manner. I know what to do now with all the endless art work the teachers keep sending home every week! :)

  39. I think this is art!! Your son has such a fine eye!! Really!!

  40. I think this is art!! Your son has such a fine eye!! Really!!