Lola makes sure to regularly ask you, her other grandchildren and other children in her life: "Has anyone told you today that you're [fill in the blank]?"
... beautiful? ... clever? ... smart? ... creative? ... strong?
I think it's a wonderful way to build your self-esteem and confidence. Better than just saying, "you're beautiful" or "you're so smart!" Which is just a few years and an eye-roll away, from "sure, whatever, mom."
"Has anyone told you?" implies that someone should have DAMN SURE WELL TOLD YOU ALREADY!!! As in, no one told you that you're smart today, Babybel? Well, lemme at 'em! Because YOU ARE. And you deserve to be told. And even though those adults forget to tell you these things, they are still, forever and ever, one-hundred percent, TRUTH.
Babybel, the smarty pants that she is, usually replies, "Yes. My best friend Ava told me!" Which she totally didn't, because they haven't seen each other in at least two days. But, maybe during a secret late night phone call? Or dream? I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
Babybel, did anyone tell you today that you are an artist?
No, seriously. I mean, I know everyone is an "artist." Yes, your kid is cute and talented too. Blah. Blah. Blah.
But look at this!!! Really!!! You have to!!! The exclamation points beseech you!!!
Lola told me you painted a robot while I was at work. And I was, all: sure, great, whatever. But, look at it!
IT'S A FREAKING ROBOT!
With a rectangular robot head! And robot eyes! And robot ears! And robot shoulders! And robot arms!
Lola told me she didn't help or coach you at all, other than writing a title when you TOLD her to. You were alone in "the Studio" as we call the garage, with your paint and your paper.
And here's your "berry tree":
As in all you do, you are precise and intentional. You've moved beyond that two-year-old scribbled mess of mixed muddy brown paint. That was SO last week. This week, you're painting actual figures. From your mind.
Maybe, I'm biased. And easily impressed. Someone please put me in my place.
But, I didn't see this coming at all! Firstly, because, well, you're two. Painting or drawing things that make actual sense is not something I expected or was training you to do. And secondly, because I don't think of you as an artist "type." Danjo's the musician, the free spirit, the child who will give me gray hairs as I wait for her to "discover herself" while doing performance art and still living at home.
But, Babybel, did anyone tell you today that you are a truly talented artist?