Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Marvelous Adventures of Muschka Mouse

Little Muschka lives in Princess Gracie's pocket and eats marshmallows. Together, the two of them go on many adventures, usually involving dragons (who seem frightening at first, but are very sweet at heart), mermaids (who take the princess/mouse duo down to the bottom of the sea in search for pirate's treasure - watch out for sharks!) and fairies (who like to eat marshmallows, just like Muschka).

I don't remember exactly when the Muschka Mouse stories began. I think Gracie was about two and a half... something like that. It was Will who started the mouse talk in our house. As long as I've known him, he's had this habit of taking a bite of EVERYTHING that he hands me, whether it is a slice of buttered toast, a cookie or a doughnut (yeah, I'm a seriously healthy eater, can you tell?).

"A little mouse took a bite," he always explains.

And so the stories of Muschka began. I think Muschka came into our lives as an explanation to Gracie, for why her snacks always have bite marks in them. Now, she just automatically says, "Look, Muschka took a bite!"

The other day (now, this is a sad story, so be warned... your eyes may just mist up), Gracie and I were sitting on the couch together, sketch books on our lap and pencils and Pink Pearl erasers in our hands. I was sketching out Miss Muschka for Gracie and was too absorbed in my own sketch to notice hers until I heard her suddenly burst into tears.

"Why are you crying?" I asked. She has never cried while sketching before... art usually makes her smile.

"My mouse doesn't look like yours!" she cried. "I don't know how to draw the ears!"

Wow, talk about heartbreaking. She is three. I didn't expect her to become aware of her artistic capabilities for years yet! Luckily, I was able to calm her down and point to the little mouse head and instruct her to draw two circles. She did, easily, and then laughed at her picture when it was finished. I assured her that her Muschka was perfect. And it is - though that just might be a mother's love shining through my rose-tinted glasses as I gaze upon the perfection that is her picture.

But a part of me is sad, still, because Gracie's innocent little drawings are beginning to change. No longer does she pull out the marker and draw a large and simple, happy-faced critter. She now hunches over her sketch book and draws tiny and very detailed characters (usually rabbits in wedding dresses), with the ability of a 6-7 year old. She really is an amazing little artist... but I'm not sure just how many new illustrations will be added to Tootsie and Grace, as her work is too small and detailed now.

Ah, well it was fun while it lasted, and we did a lot of awesome illustrations together.
My own version of Muschka is finished and in the shop. Of all my illustrations, she is, of course, Gracie's favorite, as Gracie knows her very well as the little mouse who tucks up in her pocket eating marshmallows and nibbling at her toast.

And I expect the two of them will have many more marvelous adventures together, in the years to come.



The Musings of The Momma said...

That is so sweet! Kinda funny too, cause when the hubs says we (most of the time he usually means me), I ask if he has a mouse in his pocket!!!

Karen Erickson said...

I rarely have this problem with my daughter because she can draw better than me I swear! And she's six! LOL

Oh Mandie! said...

You should get some of those blank hard covered books and you and Gracie could write and draw your very own Muschka Mouse story.

Brayden and I did something similar when he was 4 and we still get out his book and read it all the time, plus hes super excited to be a "famous writer with his very own book" and you'll always have a keepsake!

Look into in woman :)

Momma J said...

So sweet. She is her mother's daughter for sure!

Janna said...

Oh, I'm so sad! I love all of your art, but the Tootsie and Grace collaborations are my absolute FAVORITE!! I hope she makes more of them! When I eventually go back to work, I'm planning to hang some of her illustrations in my office...I'm a pediatrician, so it will be perfect!

Karen Faulkner said...

What a sweet story, Marisa! My mom is good at drawing, much better than me, and I can still remember sobbing uncontrollably one afternoon because I couldn't draw a fish that looked good enough in my eyes. I think I was 5 or 6 at the time.
Luckily I found watercolor because I still can't draw as well as I'd like! Love both mice.

Whimsical Creations said...

How cute! And sad at the same time. My daughter is sitting next to me while I was reading your post and she is calling your mouse mommy. Both mice are adorable.

Winklepots said...

Love the two latest drawings, they're adorable! I agree with Mandie, you should write a book and illustrate Ms Mouse. :o)

AnniKae said...

It reminds me of when my daughter was 3, but with a twist. She wanted to make up a story and have me draw pictures as the story was told. She got very frustrated at me because...
"Mom...I want you to draw a mermaid. What is that thing?"
lol...needless to say, drawing isn't my talent.

Elaine said...

One of the most insanely talented 2d artists I know took a bit of a hiatus from painting and drawing when her daughter was between 5 and 8 or so. Why? Her daughter was so upset that nothing she drew was anywhere as good as mommy's.

So my artistic friend got into clay, where she is an amazing sculptor, and let her daughter shine for a bit.

My solution with the same issue - which is still ongoing - has been to help the kid out with drawing lessons and such. She's old enough now that the mechanics are starting to improve. I don't think I could have done like my friend Fae and stopped for 4 years though.

Valerie said...

your blog is precious!!!

Nikki said...

I love both of the mice! They are so cute.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Haha, I'm loving all of your stories!! Thanks for sharing!

shiborigirl said...

Your mouse is very charming!

I feel for you about Gracie I believe we are all born with an innate sense of creativity. We encourage it in our kids, and then they get to school where they are told horses aren't blue, flowers are red, etc. And that creativity gets beaten down to conform. Then we spend the rest of our adult lives trying to get it back again.

I hope you can rescue her joy of artwork and help her realize that what she does doesn't have to be perfect.

Good luck with it!


::::Lula Boutique:::: said...

Awwweee...that is just so bitter-sweet! I love how Muschka's ears have polka-dots!! :)

Hyla said...

TOo Too Too Cute!

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