Parents take it in stride when their kids do weird things, but sometimes the rest of us aren”t always prepared for some of the truly bizarre things children get up to–and into. Artist Lenka Clayton decided to share the joys of parenthood with everyone by creating a cute little book titled 63 Objects Taken From My Son”s Mouth. The book, a joint creation between Clayton, designer Brett Yasko and photographer Tom Little, features full-color, life-sized photos of all the things Clayton had to forcefully remove from her son”s mouth over a period of seven months. Besides being a wonderful investment into the embarrassment of her son in the future, it”s also a fun, irreverent way of celebrating the stranger side of parenting.&
The items in the book range from the ordinary (an acorn, small rocks, a sponge) to the potentially hazardous (wing nuts, marker caps, paper clips) to the downright disgusting (a cigarette butt), and none of them, of course, were suitable for toddler consumption. Clayton”s son is something of a well-traveled taster, too, as he”s attempted to snack on British pounds, Euros and U.S. dollars. How sophisticated. The only item from this time period, from when Clayton”s son was 11 to 18 months old, that didn”t make it into the book–a packet of rat poison. Luckily, Clayton fished it out of her adventurous son in time and threw it away, but as a result, it doesn”t make an appearance. Everything else, though, was carefully photographed and given its own page in the book. The result is surprisingly charming.
The book serves as a refreshing way to look at parenting–it”s great, but sometimes you have to yank loose change out of your kids” mouths. By taking the less idyllic forms of mother-child bonding and creating an art piece out of them, Clayton reminds us of the very human, day-to-day reality of parenting. It”s at once funny, gross, and a strangely touching way to commemorate this time in her son”s life. Although he might not think it”s so funny when he”s older.