Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Tale of the Labia Spider

Children are notoriously interpretive artists. They can draw scribbles and lines that are supposed to represent horses, rainbows, their parents...really anything. Jagged shapes and swirls satisfy their artistic sensibilities in their early years and, honestly, it goes both ways at that stage. A kid could say "Draw Elsa and Anna for me!" and you provide two stick figures and they are BLOWN AWAY by your amazing skills. When presented with the artwork of a very young child, we as adults are meant to squint at these creations and then go on about how great of artist they are. 
As kids get older, the weirdness factor of their art definitely increases alongside their abilities. At a certain point they show you a drawing that you think you know what it is, but you still don't have it quite right. After they explain what they have put to the page, you as the adult have to be like, "Oh, but of course this is a picture of your cat riding a hot dog rocket ship to the moon. I was just making sure I knew all of the nuances of your art".
I once went over to my friend’s house where she had displayed her preschooler’s artwork on the fridge. Nothing weird about that, right? But the more I stared at it, the more I began to question what I was looking at. It was a circle, with little lines radiating out from it and a few letters. So, I figured I’d just ask what it was supposed to be. It went like this:
Me: Hey, what is this a picture of?
Friend: Oh that? It’s Laura’s ABC spider. She's learning the alphabet at school.
Me: Really? Because it kind of…sort of….definitely looks like it spells out the word “labia”
She whipped her head around and took a really good look at the picture and I watched the expression on her face change. By some chance, her kid had wrote the letters “ABA”, but the legs of the spider visually filled in the “L” and the “I”.
It looked kind of like this:

At this point, I was convinced this was the most amazing thing ever created by a preschooler. Looking at this drawing on their fridge brought me so much joy every time I came over, as my friend rolled her eyes at me. One day, they were having family over and her husband insisted on hiding the “Labia Spider” (as it had become known), but their child threw a FIT screaming for her ABC spider to be returned to its rightful place on the fridge. They hesitantly hung it up again, but no one else seemed to notice. It was odd, for whatever reason no one really saw the word "Labia" in it unless it was pointed out to them first. When they moved to their new place they “lost” it, I was disappointed because I would have kept that as a memento. Baby in the bathtub photos have NOTHING on Labia Spider pictures for future teenage embarrassment.

**This entire post was inspired by a question I answered on Quora that gained a surprising amount of interest.**
#children #art #labiaspiders #ABCs


  1. HAHAHAHA!!!! This is like seeing the FedEx arrow and then never being able to unsee it. I love that kids have no idea! Honestly, I can't wait to be a parent specifically for these moments. Or when my kid says "duty". Hehe, dooty. I can be a child with them.

    1. Yes!!! The FedEx arrow messed me up when it was pointed out to me, it's crazy that I never noticed on my own. Honestly, one of the best parts of parenting is being a big kid right along with them.

  2. This is brilliant! I can only hope that my son one day garnishes me with such a treasure!


Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies.

You can turn off the use of cookies at any time by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on September 3, 2016. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at: