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Andrew has asked me to "keep doodling forever"
June 4, 2011 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Lunchbox Doodles: "At the beginning of his first school year – on his first day of kindergarten in fact – my wife was preparing my son Andrew's lunchbox. As I sat sipping my coffee, she handed me a 3 x 5 blank index card and asked me to draw something for his lunchbox."

"And so it began. I drew another the next day, and the next, and have continued this trend every day for the entire year in school, never even missing during a recovering from surgery or on days when he was too sick for school.

I've created a cadre of robots, kiddos, critters and recurring themes in these doodles, and I enjoy adding to the menagerie each morning. Andrew has asked me to "keep doodling forever" and between him and his two younger brothers, I see no end to lunchbox doodles any time soon."
posted by bwg (35 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very cute!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:35 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's a lot of trouble to go to when all he really needed to do to show is love was dress up and stand on the front porch.
posted by tomswift at 5:35 PM on June 4, 2011 [38 favorites]


is=his
posted by tomswift at 5:36 PM on June 4, 2011


When my daughter was brown-bagging her lunch in high school, I would occasionally draw a cartoon on her bag. She said they were very popular with her friends.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:36 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is so awesome. The mom of one of my middle school friends used to pack her lunch every day and include a note written on a napkin. Just something short and simple like "you make me proud every day" and "I couldn't have asked for a better daughter." No one ever made fun of them, but she always acted horribly embarrassed. And then one day, there wasn't a note, and I had never seen her so crushed. (Their cat was sick and had to be taken to the vet, causing for a really rushed morning...the notes were back the next day.)
posted by phunniemee at 5:40 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


tomswift, that only works if the kid's bus route passes their house.

And: previous similar post (different dad, different drawings, drawn on lunch bags).
posted by filthy light thief at 5:42 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Edmund the Skater is now my iPhone wallpaper.
posted by 4ster at 5:49 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


My friend and her beau used to write love notes on the bananas in their lunches. (Insert your own joke here.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:51 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, this is really cute. But I now realize one thing that does bother me about both this and dress up dad: why the blog? Can't you just make this about doing something sweet for your kid instead of promoting yourself on the internet? It's like the relentless stream of cooking blogs. Just fucking cook and enjoy it for the sake of gaining competency and feeding the people you love. Do you need hundreds of strangers to applaud too?
posted by serazin at 5:59 PM on June 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


Please please please don't anyone call this "lame".
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:00 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some things are so obvious to me, and so seemingly not obvious to other people that I wonder whether there's something fundamentally wrong with me.

This, this here, this is an awesome dad. This is what an awesome dad does. These are wonderful, personal gifts sent directly from awesome dad to appreciative son without huge attention seeking fanfare or any sense of desperation. These are treasures.

The other guy, the dress up in costumes and embarrass your son dude, fuck him. Embarrassment is not an emotion you should knowingly inflict on anyone, whether you mean to or not. If you do something with good intentions, but the recipient of the thing you're doing is embarrassed, you should fucking well stop doing it.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 6:01 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If these are doodles, then I have been doodling wrong my whole life.
posted by rtha at 6:06 PM on June 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's sweet. My father used to write my name and my sister's in Egyptian hieroglyphics, which was always fun.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:10 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone else surprised they have a kid named Toph? No, me neither.
posted by Keith Talent at 6:34 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, this is really cute. But I now realize one thing that does bother me about both this and dress up dad: why the blog? Can't you just make this about doing something sweet for your kid instead of promoting yourself on the internet? It's like the relentless stream of cooking blogs. Just fucking cook and enjoy it for the sake of gaining competency and feeding the people you love. Do you need hundreds of strangers to applaud too?
posted by serazin at 10:59 AM on June 5 [2 favorites +] [!
]

"I'm aware of the irony of appearing on TV in order to decry it. So don't bother pointing that out."
posted by oxford blue at 6:41 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


serazin - why not?
Some of my favorite stuff on the web is "here is a neat thing I did". This guy did a neat thing and put it online. Yay! Why is it bad?
posted by kavasa at 6:49 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Agreed, can't people just toil in obscurity? Authors, what's with the publishing your books? Do you really need the approbation

Come to think of it, why did I post this comment? Couldn't I have just kept the thought to myself, secure in my own opinion?
posted by Ad hominem at 6:56 PM on June 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not going to dig in my heels opposing self-promotion. Really I have nothing against this person and their very cute doodles. It's more an itch I have against what I perceive as a cultural trend. In my own self I try to resist my tendencies toward wanting to document and brag about all my small achievements, because I don't like how it feels to interact with the world that way. But people should do whatever they like that isn't harming people. And obviously this documenting brings some joy to the bigger world so, right on.
posted by serazin at 7:19 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I kid. But I think a lot of these blogs are legitimately set up for friends and family. I get email from friends like "check out my kids zippy cup blog" or even more heartbreakingly "please subscribe to my father's blog so he thinks people care about his stories about how great the 70s were." The fact that they are available to the Internet at large may not have even occurred to some of these people.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:38 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


In my own self I try to resist my tendencies toward wanting to document and brag about all my small achievements, because I don't like how it feels to interact with the world that way.

If you aren't already a WASP, I grant you honorary status.
posted by incessant at 7:47 PM on June 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not to be roly poly parental issue bitchcakes about it, but this is also a good way to completely smother a kid's interest in doing art, if they have any. I'm saying this because I've accidentally pulled that off a couple of times. "Aw, I could never draw like that." (tosses away pencil) Me: "Nooooooo!"
posted by furiousthought at 8:38 PM on June 4, 2011


My mom would always write coded messages to me on the hard boiled eggs in my lunch. "The crow flies at midnight" = I love you. "The brown shoe is early" = Dad will be home from shift work for dinner, etc. I wanted to be a spy when I grew up so it was quite fitting. It was her way of connecting with my day without embarrassing me. Plus then I spent the rest of the afternoon dreaming exotic spying James Bond adventures that involved coded message drops instead of learning proper math.
posted by kanata at 8:44 PM on June 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


If you aren't already a WASP, I grant you honorary status.

Ouch.
posted by serazin at 8:44 PM on June 4, 2011


I wrote John Wooden quotes and Grateful Dead lyric lines on my kid's brown lunch sacks until they started making their own lunch. My kids appreciated it not so much for the actual quotes, but more for the fact that Pops was taking the time to write them a note every day.

And, to this day, their favorite athlete is Bill Walton because of his connection to both the Dead and Coach Wooden.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:14 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


But I think a lot of these blogs are legitimately set up for friends and family.

I know for a fact this is true in this case.
posted by sanka at 9:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't you just make this about doing something sweet for your kid instead of promoting yourself on the internet? It's like the relentless stream of cooking blogs. Just fucking cook and enjoy it for the sake of gaining competency and feeding the people you love. Do you need hundreds of strangers to applaud too?

Because then *I* wouldn't get to think it was cute.

And, speaking as a performer. Yes. I fucking do need hundred of strangers to applaud too. I sing good. I can just sing for people whom I love and who love me, but it's way more exciting, fun and satisfying to make complete strangers happy, and to bask in their appreciation. Not everyone's brains work in the same way. Stop trying to take all the fun out of the world.

Also, without cooking blogs, I would lose my primary source of recipes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:59 PM on June 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think Ad Hominem put it best, but serazin had the point: who are you doing this for, your kid or the Internet?
But the real kink is the monetization of content- blogs/twitter feeds being turned into books and thusly what was pretty much always guaranteed a labor of love, has become corrupted by the possibility, 'yeah it's sincere, and I hope to make some cabbage with it!'
posted by From Bklyn at 11:14 PM on June 4, 2011


If you like these, then you would definitely like Lunch Comics by 'MeFi's' thirteen.
posted by Neale at 11:35 PM on June 4, 2011


Bart: Uh, I think I got your lunch.
[He hands Lisa a note from his lunch bag: "I Am Very Proud Of You. Love, Mom."]
Lisa: Oh yeah, I didn't think this was for me.
[She hands Bart a note from her lunch bag: "Be Good. For The Love Of God, *Please* Be Good."]
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 AM on June 5, 2011


And, speaking as a performer. Yes. I fucking do need hundred of strangers to applaud too. I sing good.

Yeah, but do you distribute CDs of your live acoustic lullaby performances? Sure, people do things for public recognition. But can't people do some things just because they love their kid?

I'm not really complaining though, hearing that this was started for other family (as opposed to this being a marketing blog for his illustration company). I hope doodle man blogs on. But I see serazin's point, especially with this coming on the heels of that other post.
posted by salvia at 7:39 AM on June 5, 2011


About doing these things publicly;

It goes against my personality, and rubs me the wrong way. That said, I think it serves a good purpose. We are fed a steady stream of garbage all day from media outlets, I need to hear about real people doing small nice things to balance it.

I used to think it was silly and in poor taste to put political bumper stickers on your car. Then I realized that people in my area really thought that everyone loved Sara Palin. Since they never saw any signs to the contrary, what else would they think? I considered it sort of a duty to have a sticker with an opposing view, even though I wasn’t comfortable with it.

I need people to post on blogs saying "I don’t kill people, hate foreigners, or steal anything from you, I just make little drawings" just to remind me. Mostly because of advertising, we have no problem with people telling the world about all their faults and shitty, juvenile behavior, but jump all over people for telling the world they did something nice. I realized a while ago that I’d rather live in a world where people bragged about the good things they did than one where they didn’t do them.
posted by bongo_x at 5:02 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sure, people do things for public recognition. But can't people do some things just because they love their kid?

Millions of people do lots of things just because they love their kids. It's just that, for some reason, no one else ever hears about it.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:29 PM on June 5, 2011


who are you doing this for, your kid or the Internet?

I started doing the same thing for my kid when she started kindergarten; she is finishing fourth grade now. So I was doing it for her. But she wanted to save most of them, so I now have several hundred little doodles packaged up, several of them good. My wife thinks I should scan some in to share with friends and family. So maybe I will and since only a very few people read my blog that's who would see them. But if the rest of the Internet came across them and also enjoyed them, that's fine too.

This guy seems to be in the same situation - he did it for a while and now he is looking over a body of work and deciding to post some up. So he did it for his kid, but now is looking back and happy with this work he did and wanting to share it.

As an aside, I encourage anyone to try this (if the kid seems into the idea)! It's a fun way to get creative juices flowing and connect with your kid at the same time. And while this guy's "doodles" seem like production-quality cartoons to me, even my basic scribbles go over well, and I am now getting requests from her friends. This one gives you an idea of the drawing level, but usually I don't add text like I did there for the new year. Most mornings it is just grab a pencil, think of an idea, draw for a minute, done!
posted by mikepop at 6:36 AM on June 6, 2011


I need people to post on blogs saying "I don’t kill people, hate foreigners, or steal anything from you, I just make little drawings" just to remind me.

Good point. You have convinced me.
posted by salvia at 9:17 AM on June 6, 2011


I put in carrots instead of cookies. Good nutrition: that's my "art."

(also every now and then a pack of baseball cards)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:32 PM on June 6, 2011


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