Chapter 12-Art Attack

Wombles, R White’s lemonade, and woodchip wallpaper.

Three iconic items that this child of the seventies couldn’t live without. And the urge to pick away at the latter drew me like a moth to the flame of my parents’ rage.

I was always somewhat disappointed to find that the irresistible tiny bumps on the hallway wall did indeed just contain a woodchip, but not nearly as much as my parents. Small wonder then that the house always smelt of fresh paint and wallpaper paste.

Times, houses and walls have changed, but the lure of that giant blank canvas has also proved too much for Raffie to resist.

Our house is a DIY work in progress. We have battled rampant woodworm, mystery damp patches and multiple electrical failures. But even the short-lived invasion of giant wasps pales in comparison with the at once creative, and destructive, hand of a toddler.

Boy interrupted.

Boy interrupted.

Although he enjoys his Gruffalo breakfast set and piggy bank, Raffie only has eyes for one of Julia Donaldson’s literary creations-Cave Baby.

Cave Baby loves to paint on the walls of his cave, which infuriates his parents.

And naturally Raffie has been inspired to do the same, leaving joyful zig zags of crayon (yellow above the sofa and black on the stairwell) and frenzied spirals of ballpoint pen on the fridge.

There are scribbles all over his garage, and even Cave Baby himself has been coloured in.

Raffie talks to Cave Baby, holds him up to the telly so he can see, gives him toast and takes him on car rides. “I do a handprint like Cave Baby Mummy! Show Cave Baby Mummy!”

On the paper for now, it's the walls next.

On the paper for now, it’s the walls next.

Pablo Picasso once said that every child is an artist, and Raffie does thrive on making his mark. He draws wildly with crayons, but insists on only writing in ballpoint pen, making small careful lines while repeating A, B, C.

Raffie is a busy boy. But he still spends a few quiet moments with Cave Baby while colouring himself in. He is Raffie’s muse, inspiration and companion in a toddler’s ever-changing world.

And toddlers are a fickle sort. But although Raffie has started to carry a torch for Bob the Builder, I have a feeling he and the gang will never quite hold a candle to Cave Baby.


The lovely Up All Hours blog, written by Sam, has a smashing piece on the obsessions of a two year old, and is well worth a visit. You can read more here:

And if you fancy finding out more about Cave Baby, there’s lots more information here:

8 thoughts on “Chapter 12-Art Attack

  1. Wow! Raffie is an artist… Adrian won’t go near a pen or paper and the only way we can get him to create is using bath crayons… We would love a bit of free crayoning anywhere! We have given up and are now focusing on colours and appreciation of pretty things… Will keep you posted…

    • Thanks Cathy, lovely to hear from you. It took Raffie a while, we just left the crayons and paper out for him however this has probably led to our walls being the way they are! Looking forward to hearing how he gets on.

  2. Oh bless him, I like Raffie’s style! Must be rather liberating to take to the walls when you feel the urge to draw! Thank you so much for the mention. Thrilled to be mentioned on your wonderful blog xx

    • Thanks so much Sam, it’s lovely to hear from you and thank you for your kind words. Yes I think it’s only a matter of time before we end up joining him and then completely redecorating!

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